{Review} Leagoo Shark 1 | Smartphone + Battery Powerhouse

Leagoo Shark 1

I first heard about Leagoo smartphone last month when it’s earlier models were reputed to be sold out in Singapore following launch.  The ultra-thin latest model, Leagoo Shark 1 comes with a large capacity battery that boasts of 3 days of usage or 25 hours of video-marathon.  I was bought over by the impressive battery capacity and gave the phone a try out.

Leagoo Shark 1

I caught my very first Korean drama with Descendants of The Sun and went on with several others like a drama-junkie within a short span of two months.  Watching the videos on Leagoo Shark 1 is a pleasurable affair with hours of continuous viewing.  Given that I have pockets of 2-6hrs daily, I am always on social media, chatgroups and/or catching up with my drama every minute I can.  The screen display does not get to rest for hours at times.  Despite so, my fully-charged battery still maintains at about 70-80% at noon time which is very impressive given that I normally need to recharge my usual phone at mid day before leaving the house, and again recharge say, at 8pm.  My phone normally gets to rest when I turn in at 11pm.

Leagoo Shark 1

Despite having an impressive Lithium-Polymer battery with a capacity of 6300mAh, the phone maintains a sleek design being just 8.5mm thick.  The phone itself is notably heavy at 240.9g if a comparison is done with other phones.  However, given that I carry a portable battery charger in my handbag daily, the total weight is anytime double than that of Shark 1 since my current phone (with cover and few cards) is already 278g.  With the extended battery life, I never needed to bring a portable charger with me during the duration of review.

Leagoo Shark 1

The phone battery is equipped with a 3A power-charge charger.  Given a quick charging time of 30 minutes, the battery life hits a good level of 30% which could already provide me with a day of usage.

Leagoo Shark 1 features a Sony 13-MP BSI rear camera, flash and a fingerprint censor at the back where its unlock speed can be as fast as 0.39 seconds, while still maintaining maximum security. Making use of Fingerprint ID 3.0, Leagoo Shark 1 offers a safe, comfortable, convenient and fast technology that gives users a brand new experience.  All it took was several initial scans of my full fingerprint for it to store in memory.  Initiating the phone to start up with fingerprint scan each time thereafter was a smooth affair and there was no lag.  I realize having a fingerprint security also served to bar my kids from accessing my phone.  The password did not help at all.  ^.^

Leagoo Shark 1

Below are some photo samples taken using the rear camera and ambient light if you are keen to know how the photographs will turn out.  I would say they are pretty fine for general use.  Photo-taking can be a little slow for impatient people like me.  At times, I had to wait for the focus to lock before I could snap away.

Leagoo Shark 1

Leagoo Shark 1

Photo taken during a picnic with friends at Sentosa. Love the burst of colourful mess. >.<

Leagoo Shark 1

Photo taken at the pool in the late afternoon. Jiejie’s hair turned out so patchy.

The Leagoo Shark 1 comes with a 5-MP front camera with F2.0 aperture.  Equipped with flash even for the front camera, they offer greater exposure to “selfie” shots at times with dim light condition.  However, I didn’t like that the “selfie” photo turned out to be grainy.

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The phone supports a lovely Full HD Screen of 6.0” inches, with a resolution of up to 1980*1080.  Its display panel comprising the LTPS technology coupled with a pixel density of up to 368 ppi brings users a good viewing experience, not only on video playback but also while surfing the Internet.  I am used to big screens and anything smaller than 5.5″ actually has become a torture to view from.  So this 6.0″ inches of display actually works very well for me.

Leagoo Shark 1

Besides power strength and screen size, Shark 1 also features a 3GB RAM which served my usage pattern quite well without much lagging.  The built-in 16GB ROM comes with the possibility of adding up to 64GB external T-Flash (micro SD card) for additional storage.  The smartphone can accommodate Dual Micro SIM cards over 4G network.  Switching between SIM cards is hassle-free.  I don’t travel out of the country usually but find the need to switch to my back up SIM card for the additional free 1GB of data usage without incurring additional surcharge over my basic 3GB-plan every month.  For frequent travellers, having a Dual-SIM card slot is a big bonus!

Leagoo Shark 1

Shark 1 is also equipped with the latest LEAGOO OS 1.2.  I find no difficulty getting used to navigating the OS since it is Android-based.  However I hope that icons that are not used often could be hidden given a choice.  The phone also heats up when multiple apps are being used at the same time.  Manually closing some unused apps can help with a lower temperature though.

Leagoo Engineers have also fitted Shark 1 with Corning 3rd Gorilla Glass and combined it with the 2.5D process which makes the glass screen smooth, scratch-resistant, and extremely robust yet presenting a thin and sleek look at the same time.

Shark 1 Specifications
CPU MTK6753 (Octa core)
Display 6.0” FHD with Corning Gorilla Class 3 2.5D Screen
Resolution 1920*1080
Pixel Density 368PPI
Memory (RAM) 3GB
Memory (ROM) 16GB (expandable up to 64GB)
Fingerprint ID Support
Camera Front Camera 5MP
Rear Camera Sony 13.0MP BSI-2 AF with dual-tone LED flashlight
Battery 6300mAh Lithium-polymer Battery
System LEAGOO OS 1.1 (Android 5.1)
Network 4G Network (Dual SIM dual standby)
Size 158.6*82.8*8.5 mm
Product weight 240.9 g
Card Slots Dual Micro SIM cards
GPS Support
Colour Starlight Silver, Midnight Black & Champagne Gold

In short, the Leagoo Shark 1 is a good mid-ranged smartphone for general use.  With the On-The-Go (OTG) cable (additional accessory), it can also serve as a power bank for other devices should the need arise.

Leagoo Shark 1

Retail Outlets

Leagoo Shark 1 retails at S$399 and is now available at nearly 100 stores island-­‐wide (http://www.leagoo.com.sg/where-­‐to-­‐buy/).

About LEAGOO

LEAGOO is a star brand owned by Shenzhen OTEDA Technology Co., Ltd. In order to supply high quality smartphones and excellence using our wealth of previous experience, the OTEDA team – which relies on a proven track record in the mobile communications industry – set up a new smartphone brand called LEAGOO in April 2014. With our Research & Development expertise and supply chain resources, the OTEDA team has spared no effort in building LEAGOO into a well-known international brand of smart devices and ecosystems.

For more information, please visit: http://www.leagoo.com/about/About_LEAGOO.html

Leagoo Shark 1

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Family Holiday Memories with Adventure Glamping at The Canopi Resort, Bintan

The Canopi Bintan

My family booked our March vacation to The Canopi Resort, Bintan since last October and we had been looking forward to it since. This short trip seemed far-fetched back then. Yet, one school term is already over in a flash.

The Canopi Resort is by far the newest resort at Bintan. It boasts of a 6-hectare salt-water crystal lagoon available with all sorts of water sports and outdoor play. The rooms are also not alike to the typical resort-style wooden huts or low-rise buildings. Instead, the rooms are built like Mongolian tent style.  Yes, with canvas fabrics.

Following few photos are my family monkeying around in the ferry moments after boarding. My sis and BIL were not in the photos as they were seated elsewhere.  We bought the economy class tickets and it was just an hour’s journey.  For your info, the Emerald Class passengers gets priority boarding at an additional cost of $44/pax (round trip).

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The cabin inside the ferry is pretty spacious and thankfully cooling and clean.

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I caught a cat nap during the ferry ride since I was feeling seasick even before the ferry departed Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.

We reached the resort at 1130am local time after the hour-long ferry ride. Clearance through the customs was breezy as it appeared that guests going to The Canopi Resort have a dedicated “Immigration” station. We simply handed over our passports at the counter and walked through the hallway to scan our luggages. After which, we walked through another short hallway through some “mama-shops” and met up with the pick-up service.  Not the best practice for security issues but it has always been the way immigration at Bintan and Batam worked.

It took us about 5 minutes drive to reach The Canopi Resort in the comfortable and clean van. That’s a plus! But we still do not have our passports. It was only returned to us at the resort after we were allocated our rooms. -.-

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This crystal lagoon view invited us the moment we stepped out of the van which alighted us in front of the resort lobby.

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The lagoon view was superb with an inviting man-made crystal lagoon to jump into. However what you are looking at now is definitely not what we we experienced. The weather was unbelievably hot. The sun was mercilessly glaring. I was squinting under shades and shelter and constantly tearing uncontrollably.

To the right of the lagoon are where all the “glamps” are located. “Glamps” are glamorised camps or tents which look like those Mongolian dessert tents equipped with creature comfort of air-conditioning and hot water shower at the attached outdoor bathroom.

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Now, we arrived at the resort at about 1130am (local time is behind SG time by 1 hour). Since our rooms won’t be ready until 2pm, we took lunch at the restaurant which is just located next to the reception.  More on the food later.

Our tortuous wait for our rooms continued after lunch. The heat and pretty much non-windy mid day weather slaughtered every one of us. Out of the four rooms under our booking, we were only given two rooms at 2pm and the remaining two at 230pm.

Point to note – don’t book the ferry to arrive too early or risk suffering like us. Our ferry booking was for boarding at 1110 am. An hour later would have been perfect.  The ferry schedule is available for reference.  Do pre-purchase your ferry tickets for the best time slots!  Ditto for our return ferry.  We booked our seats at 330 pm.  Best to make your reservations an hour earlier as well.

An electronic wrist tag was given to each room. It is meant for charging of bills to the room and can be used for adventure games and water sports at WOW Experience, vehicle rental and expenditure on meals.

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The Rooms

The Canopi Resort has 40 “glamps” with 3 broad room types – Lagoon View, Safari Tent (garden view) and Jacuzzi Room with private outdoor jacuzzi tub.  They all look the same externally except for the outdoor furnitures given.  The rooms with lagoon view had swing chair and bar table/stools.  We had proper dining table and two chairs each.

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I really love the idea of having this water tank for washing our feet before we enter our room.

Rooms are furnished with comfortable basics. However, having no fridge nor telephone is quite a major inconvenience. Just imagine we resorted to collating our requests or making enquiries only during meal hours because of the distance from room to front desk (to add, under the scorching sun).  Nobody wants to walk out after the sun sets too.

The pillows provided a good sleep.  Seldom can hubby and I sleep very well on our first night as we prefer stiff pillows.  The bedsheets are very clean too.

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The aircondition is mounted on the floor which makes sense to cool the 2+ metre of air space from the ground instead of keeping the ceiling cool.  It is good enough for the strongest mid-day sun and it had been our life saviour for both days.

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A writing desk with wobbly legs and uncomfortable wooden foldable chair is found in every room.

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These are trunk-style bedside tables that do not come with any drawers.  I found the uneven surface a little annoying with my water bottles toppling over in the middle of the night.  Do not let the kids play with the bedside lamps, or for any matter, other lamps in the room.  All the lamps and lights in the room come with LED light bulbs.  We noticed this especially for our bedside lamps.

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When we switched off, the LED light bulbs are still alight with just a little starry effect.  It is pretty to look at but come to think of it, it could be that the appliance is not grounded to earth, hence electricity still “leak” even when it’s off.

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This is after switch is off.

There is ample running space in each room.  To the far right, there is a comfortable and big day bed that is clean too.  We had an extra bed for kids even though we don’t need it.  But since payment is compulsory for additional child (with breakfast), we left it as a play area since I don’t allow my kids to play on the carpet floor in hotel rooms.  That door you see leads to the outdoor bathroom.

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Flanking both sides of the bathroom door are two cabinets which I honestly think that they are useless, both in looking good and in functionality.  The cabinet doors dragged on the floor when opening.  There are three latches to undo before I can open any door.  One of them houses a digital safe.  The other stores the kettle, some beverages and mosquito patches.

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My favourite part of the room – outdoor bath.  It is a relaxing and windy area for kids to water play when we take shelter from mid-day heat.  There is no bathtub but the shower area is pretty big for two kids to have some fun.  There were no creepy crawlies spotted throughout my stay, except for a handful of harmful black ants on the wall tiles and two tiny spiders.  Being in the “outdoors”, I found it quite scary if I had to visit the toilet in the middle of the night.  So I made sure the kids and I had our toilet break just moments before sleep.  One would never know if any insect or lizard would suddenly attack right?!  Hehehehe

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The shower area has a nice rain shower that entertained the kids during their bath time.

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The kids relished their water play time in the bathroom while we took shelter from the heat.  Before that, they were looking like this below even though they brought books and drawing paper.

The bathroom amenities.  Others like toothbrushes and sanitary bags are in the cabinets outside the bathroom which I only discovered during check-out.  No shaving blade nor comb is available.

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Both hubby and I loved the wash basin and tap for it’s nature-inspired look.  It is also connected to the heater.

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Each room is equipped with an umbrella and a portable rechargeable lantern for night walk, both of which I asked for since we got our keys but did not get attended to. I hope I don’t get charged for missing item 😕

My Favourite Part – Dining

Day 1 Dinner

We had BBQ right at the pavilion for dinner on our first night.  Since we booked the four tents together, we have the luxury of enjoying the common space within our family as well.

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We wonder why the pavilion is not sheltered though.  The decking of the pavilion is also quite flimsy and soft.  We are guessing that some guests would break a hole into the floor deck sooner a later during it’s lifespan.  One thing to note is that the concrete slabs in the common area outside our tent was loosely laid with large gaps in between.  The gaps were not grouted with cement.  We had such a torture looking out for the gaps at night, especially when we had our BBQ.  These gaps can easily cause a leg sprain or even worse, fracture.

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There were no street lighting on the pathway nor around the pavilion.  We hung our night lamps at the pavilion but couldn’t get enough lighting for our meal at the tables.  So we had to put the lamps on the table later and suffered glare from the lamps while having our meal even at it’s lowest power.

When I was allocated a BBQ delivery time of 8pm local time (means 9pm Singapore Time), I offered to start my own fire but the staff would not allow and told me it’s dangerous.  I found out why later when they managed to come over at 630pm.  Have I mentioned that customer service at the resort was excellent??  They used a pile of chemical starters over the charcoal and even the staff who lighted it was scared doing it.  Why?  Because they were issued with a small handheld lighter.  Of course dangerous la!!

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The BBQ menu is available in sets for 2 pax or 4 pax. We ordered 2 x 4-pax set at a cost of Rp 800k per set.  It worked out to be almost S$200 for 8 pax which in my opinion, is again costly for the amount and quality of food given but no choice since we are on holiday without much selections.  The food was well marinated and tasty.  There was no more beef for the night when we made our order (at 5+pm) but the lamb was delicious.  The serving was also just enough for my family of 8A3C considering that only 7A ate BBQ food and I only ate a handful (no appetite).

One set of 4-pax BBQ Set which includes 2 items of staple from below photo, a plate of fruits and salad each (Rp 80,000)

I would say that if you love Indonesian flavours, you’d find the BBQ enjoyable as well. The marinate is mildly spicy but the young kids would not like it. I had forgotten to request for non-spicy meal. 😦  Thankfully the kids have instant noodles.

Each 4-pax BBQ set comes with 2 staple – steamed rice/fried rice or fried kuehtiao/mee goreng.  We had a selection of everything since we ordered 2 sets but scurried to boil water for the kids’ instant noodles the moment we realized everything was spicy for them.

Day 1 Lunch

Lunch on Day 1 (during the long wait for our room) was pretty delicious and I would say the Italian cuisine was above normal standards and nicely presented too. Prices are all pegged to prices at Singapore’s cafes which is very expensive considering the location is in Indonesia.  -.-

Bolognaise (Rp 130,000)

Carbonara (Rp 130,000)

Hawaiian Pizza (Rp 170,000)

Bill for the above 3 main course items was about S$52 (exchange rate of 1:10,000 assumed for ease of calculation) and the bill went towards our daily room credit of S$80/room/night.

We also had our other meals at the resort since the room credit pretty much covers most costs.  I will just post some photos for your information.

Day 2 Lunch was comfort food from home – instant noodles, bread and canned sardines.

Day 2 Dinner

French Fries (Rp 40,000)

Nyonya Mee Goreng (Rp 90,000)

Day 3 Lunch

As we were not able to get late check out, we had to quickly order our lunch at closed the bill even before our meal was served.  This is because all expenditure is tagged to the electronic device issued for every room.  In a way, kind of a rush but after settling the final bill, we had 2.5hrs to leisurely enjoy our meal then got bored to death waiting for time to pass because our ferry back to Singapore departs at 330pm.

Creamy Garlic Mushroom (Rp 130,000)

Seafood Platter (Rp 230,000)

Seafood Platter (Rp 230,000)

Bora Fish & Chips (Rp 160,000)

Bora Fish & Chips (Rp 160,000)

I have no complains for every meal except my main course for departing lunch.  Though not expecting it to be served on hotplate, I totally did not expect my Tenderloin Steak with Baked Potato & Sauteed Onion would turn out looking like the photo below.  Oh well, no sauteed onions but fried onion rings – nevermind.  How about expecting steak but served minced beef patty?

Tenderloin Steak with Baked Potato & Sauteed Onion (Rp 245,000) - Now, what is wrong with this dish???

Tenderloin Steak with Baked Potato & Sauteed Onion (Rp 245,000) – Now, what is wrong with this dish???

I was totally not in the mood to wait any longer for my lunch since I was ravenous.  Hence, only complained to my hubby who was probably VERY HAPPY that I did not pick bones with the waiter.  -.-   The beef patty was pretty much edible, tasty though a little too salty.  But it’s not tough to bite into.  I simply found it ridiculous to call it a piece of steak.  Don’t bluff a someone whose head is ruled by the stomach!

Tenderloin Steak with Baked Potato & Sauteed Onion

Tenderloin Steak with Baked Potato & Sauteed Onion or Minced Beef Patty with Baked Potato & Fried Onion Rings?

We don’t know what is what on the drinks menu.  But what we had was satisfying and refreshingly good.

My brother ordered some mango thingy (non-alcoholic) and we didn’t know the name.  Subsequent orders were all given by pointing to his glass. Hahhaa!

Some strawberries drink for the kiddos. I found it a little on the sweet side.

Some strawberries drink for the kiddos. I found it a little on the sweet side.

Daily Buffet Breakfast (Included)

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Manning the Live Egg Station with a happy face. That makes a happy morning for guests!

Our Little Adventure

http://www.treasurebaylagoon.com   F : Wow Experience at Treasure Bay

Guests have free access to the Crystal Lagoon.  Remember to bring along your own inflatables and water guns.  Safety vests are not provided for free-access play.  Pls bring along your own safety vests for the children if they are not able swimmers as the pool can be deep at the centre.  There are also no lifeguards on duty.

There were also a few large-sized inflatable floats like this below that is free to play.  Check out further below for the Giant one at the paid area!

The Canopi Resort tied up with WOW Experience at Treasure Bay to host most of it’s land and water activities at it’s Crystal Lagoon.  The games and activities are not cheap though.  Charges can also be charged to room through the electronic tag mentioned earlier.  Guests not staying at The Canopi, Bintan are able to access the activities with cash payment made directly to the operator.  There is another public building at the far left end from The Canopi reception where the public can access WOW Experience.  In a way, security can be compromised should the public stray from their activity area and walk the entire distance around the lagoon to trespass into the Glamps.

Anyway, here are just SOME of the activities available below.  I’d be spoilt for choice if I were to be given free access to everything – to row, paddle, jump, glide or fly?

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So many awesome-looking floats waiting to be rented for hourly play. I am targeting to get one for my new house later this year. ❤

Jetovator, anyone adventurous enough??

Jetovator, anyone adventurous enough??

Outdoor Trampoline / Volleyball game

Outdoor Trampoline / Volleyball game

Outdoor Trampoline / Volleyball game

Outdoor Trampoline / Volleyball game

Play on this giant inflatable float below is chargeable by per hour per pax access.  For 3 pax, it costs an estimate of SGD25 for an hour of play.  This play is joined up by several inflatables using velcro straps to secure them together.  Do be careful with the kids in order not to get accidental cuts.  It’s best to also wear full-body swim wear for protection.

Giant Watersports Park

Once payment is made, participants are to go through a briefing and to wear safety vest throughout the entire duration of play.

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This is the most boring ride in my opinion – a cruise in the Crystal Lagoon??  I don’t see any price list though and this boat is quite an active site throughout my stay.  My hubby said it’s for the lagoon maintenance crew.

The price list for water sports to share :-

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For other land sports and activities, refer to the price list below.

Activity

Mangrove Eco-Tour

Aside from enjoying the Giant Watersports Park and free access at the lagoon daily, we also made an effort to bring the kids for a Mangrove Eco-Tour.  My hubby and I last visited Bintan more than a decade ago.  Our memories of the Bintan mangrove tour remains fresh all these years.  It was that enjoyable to be amongst nature.  Even though now that they no longer switch from the outboard motor to the battery-operated motor when we moved deep into the river source, the mangrove area is still pristine and clear waters can be seen at all times.

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Getting ready for a pre-tour briefing by our tour leader.  There were no children-sized safety vests available and the little ones had to make do with these.  It is compulsory for every participant to put on a vest as well.  Rental of vests is included in the charge for the tour and no extra payment is needed to be made.

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Our tour guide was very friendly.  Together with the boatman at the back, both of them struck friendly conversation with my family, attempt to name the swamp animals in Mandarin, and repeatedly spotted snakes for us to see.  They also pointed out the types of plants available on both sides of the river.  Introduction to their home environment is nothing scientific but they used their local knowledge to the best of their ability.  The kids enjoyed their guided tour as well.

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These snakes were just hanging in the canopy above our heads as we cruised under.  It’s a good thing that they are asleep during the day!  Yes the reptiles were this close above us.

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Python

The common black mangrove snake is venomous and mildly dangerous.  There were so many of them!

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Black Mangrove Snake

We saw a lot more fishes and creatures but not so much of crabs and mud lobsters though.  As the fishes were small and boat was just cruising by, I could not take a good photo to share.

The mangrove tour costs SGD25 for adult and SGD15 for children after discount, payable in Rupiah and directly to the operator.  Yes, for our group of 6A3C, we were automatically given a discount though we would have “blur-blur” paid in full had they not offered.

We did our tour early in the morning at 9 am.  The sun was constantly in our eyes on our way into the river source and it was quite glaring especially when we want to spot creatures.  Maybe late afternoon slot at 4 pm would be perfect to enter the tour with sun from the back and exit the tour with sun in the face (but comparatively faster speed).  Do be careful with your hat flying off as the boat will speed along the start/end of tour.

The tour lasted for about 45 min on the river.  Give it a total of about 1.5 hours to complete the experience from resort and back to your room.

General Experience

Casting aside minor issues and the expensive costs for a holiday so near to home, my family spent a great rejunevating weekend at the The Canopi with 2 nights of stay.  Although fully booked, we hardly see any other guests at all except during meal times.

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There were not much things to do after night fall.  The kids spent some time blowing bubbles at the waterside after dinner.  And we basically go to bed at usual hours after a round of movie in the comfort of our bed.

Surprisingly, there was not a single mosquito, sandfly nor gnats of sorts throughout my stay.  Not at the resort, nor the mangrove.  When it comes to insects attack, I’d be the first to know.  Trust me.  The place is very well kept and maintained with a worker raking the sand around the side of the entire lagoon starting from early in the morning.

Parking at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal

Parking is charged at max of $20 per day for cars parked at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal.  It totalled $48.56 for our car parked from Fri ~ 10am til Sun ~ 545pm.  Compared to taking a cab from west side of Singapore, it is the most economical option for my family since hubby refused to take the 2-hr MRT ride with the young and our luggages.  If you are coming from the other parts of Singapore, perhaps it might be cheaper to take the cab like what my sister did.

This is not a sponsored post.  My family paid for everything we enjoyed.  Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon!

~ SAys! Shirley :)

 

{Review} KidsFest 2016 | Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns

KidsFest 2016 I Believe In Unicorns

We were finally back at KidsFest 2016 after a long wait.  Having caught a few fantastic productions like The Tiger Who Came To TeaHorrible Histories Vile Victorians and three memorable times of Gruffalo since KidsFest was first introduced in 2012 (our blog had not started yet then, haha!), we attended Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns with full confidence and expectation of a raving good show today.

KidsFest 2016 I Believe In Unicorns

The children (including myself) were totally captivated by Danyah Miller’s story-telling which brought best-selling children’s author Michael Morpurgo’s treasured story to life.  It was an enchanting show presented to celebrate the joy of stories and books.

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Presented by Olivier Award nominated Wizard Presents, this intimate show is set in a library full of books that hold more than stories within their pages.  It is a tale of the power of books, and the bravery of a young boy called Tomas.

Do you love the library?  Well, Tomas hates reading and going to school, but his world is turned upside down the day he meets the Unicorn Lady in his local library….

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Danyah Miller artfully captured the attention of the audience and wowed all of us with a special 3-minute wildly-imaginative live drama of an adventure to Mars.  Inputs from the audience, no less.  I shall leave out the details since every show would have a different treat.  This reminded me of The Fantastical Story Factory we caught last year.  Talented, really.

In the one-hour show, we were treated to plentiful audience interaction and visual treats with special lighting effects over simple background.  At times, it felt almost like a magic show with props popping out of books.  When the houses in the village burned down one by one, I was affected for a brief moment over the sudden sadness.  And I could almost feel Danyah’s tears when she narrated about how her dad risked saving a treasured book and withstood beatings without giving up the book until he was able to hand it to her.

KidsFest 2016 I Believe In Unicorns

And of course, the show ended with the Unicorn story, the very intriguing story that enthralled Tomas (and all of us).  The very magical one that ensured stories are followed by stories, literally – you’d get what I mean when you watch it for yourself.

An enchanting and interactive production, Michael Morpurgo’s I Believe in Unicorns, which won an Argus Angel Award for Artistic Excellence at Brighton Festival, sparks imagination in both young and old. We challenge you not to believe in unicorns after joining Tomas’ spellbinding journey.

Many of us hope that our kids can grow up to love books as much as we do.  Unlike when we were young, there is now a lively visual arts scene in Singapore where the kids can get watch their favourite stories come to life.  So don’t miss this!  It gave Jiejie a chance to start picking up the set of stories by Michael Morpurgo which I have stocked for her last year during a book buffet sale – something different from the adventure / fantasy genres she’s been indulging in.  Ever since I read out loud the entire story of “I Believe In Unicorns” for the kids, she has been spotted fervently reading through book after book.  It all just happened within a week!  There could be really something magical about the Unicorns ❤

We received tickets for purposes of this review.  No monetary compensation was received and all opinions remained our own.  All photographs belong to SAys! Happy Mums and KidsFest Singapore, unless otherwise stated.  Please ask for permission should you require to use any of them.

Thanks for joining us at SAys! Happy Mums!  All photos unless otherwise stated are copyright of SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley & Audrey 🙂

About KidsFest! 2016 I Believe in Unicorns

KidsFest 2016 I Believe In Unicorns

When:  Thu, 4 Feb 5pm | Sat, 6 Feb : 3pm & 5.15pm| Sun, 7 Feb :  10am, 12.15pm

Where: SOTA – Drama Theatre @ 1 Zubir Said Drive Singapore 227968  (Map)

Who: Recommended for children aged 6 and above & their families

Duration: Approximately 55 minutes with no interval

Ticket Price : S$62, S$52, S$42 (excludes SISTIC charges) 

For more information, visit http://www.kidsfest.com.sg.

Tickets available through:  SISTIC Website | SISTIC Hotline (65) 6348 5555 | SISTIC Authorised Agents islandwide

This Yong Tau Foo Stall at Lucky Plaza ~ My Favourite Cafe

Two weekends ago, YH recommended this must-order mushroom and meat balls at Lucky Plaza’s Yong Tau Foo (YTF) stall.  As a Hakka, I normally don’t patronise the typical YTF stalls at food courts.  The majority of them are too sub-standard.  I love more of the traditional kind with a savoury gravy and fried stuffed brinjal, bittergourd and chilli with mixture of minced meat and fish.  Sorry, no tou foo for me though.  Weird?  Simply because I don’t really fancy the taste and smell of soya beans products.

Since YH and I share the same foodie passion, I gamely take his words and tagged along.  Boy!  Atypical of a true blue Singaporean, I knew I must be in for a good treat when upon arriving, I saw long Q of about 15 pax waiting to pick their selection.

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While Khim was queueing up, the kids ran about and I tried to chope a table, only to be told by the aunty that I cannot look for a table right away.  I must wait for my turn to place order, after which I would be guaranteed a table.  Wow, ok!!  -.-

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Every item is 60 cents each, with a minimum order of 7 pieces.  All the other items are standard of a YTF stall – beancurd, kang kong, broccoli, tomato, fishballs, etc.  They all look very fresh as turnover was high during peak hours.  What everyone went for, was the huge braised mushrooms (PALM-SIZED) and crispy fried meat balls – true to what YH said.  Not one or two pieces each, but many!  Thankfully for the lady behind us who asked for a new tray of mushrooms, we were able to pick up the largest of them all when it was our turn.

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The seemingly innocent mushrooms packed a punch!  Soft, flavourful, and full of juice.  This photo is not representative of the entire lot.  These are the left behinds from the patrons in front of us and are the smaller ones. The real biggies are enormous to the size of about 8cm diameter. Same price!  Don’t blame me if you don’t see palm-sized ones when you’re there.  >.<

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Their signature fried meat balls are about the size of Tako balls.  They are crispy on the outside while the inside is full of soft minced meat.  I thought that it is quite pricey for a meat ball this size.  But they were really good!

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True enough, we were almost immediately allocated a table to ourselves after we placed our order.  Order placing was quite stressful and a hurried affair since there’s a long line behind.  That explains my shaky photos too.  Our food quickly arrived though!

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The amount of bee hoon / kueh tiao was shockingly little.  They went well with the fragrant oil and probably some soya sauce mixed into the kueh tiao I ordered.  Chilli and sweet sauces were separately served (thank goodness!).  Though not enough carbo, the delicious mushrooms and meat balls more than made up for it as everyone left feeling full.

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My delicious bowl of YTF, the kind that I can eat everyday and won’t get sick of.

Lucky Plaza Yong Tau Foo

What didi picked for himself – he can’t resist tomatoes!

Our table of 2A3C shared 4 bowls and 3 cups of barley.  Total bill was $36.50.  Pretty pricey eh?  Good food – worth it!

Despite the pricier meal (for everything is small portion), I returned for it again the following week (just on Friday) with my parents along for lunch at 3pm.  On my second visit, about the same 4 bowls without drinks.  Total bill was $22.50.  I was not able to comprehend the large price difference.  But glad that it’s not always this expensive??

Lucky Plaza Yong Tau Foo

This tray of mushrooms looked better? Even so, they were not as large as what I found on my first visit.

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The kids’ upsized order on second visit. I literally skipped dinner that day after finishing everything they can’t finish. -.-

Lucky Plaza Yong Tau Foo

To conclude, this is a photo of 3pm lunch crowd.  Although less busy, there was a constant flow of customers during the hour.  The kopitiam was less busy but still, non-stop business!  Meal time was less stressful at off-peak hour.  Otherwise, be prepared to be signalled off the moment you seemed to have finished your meal.  😦

Lucky Plaza Yong Tau Foo

Photo collage from my mama!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you’ve read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley 🙂

About My Favourite Café

Bugis Cube
470 North Bride Road #02-10 S408936 (Map)

Lucky Plaza
304 Orchard Road #06-46/47 S238863 (Map)

Opening Hours: 9am – 6pm Daily

 

{Review|Giveaway|Code} asciencebox Science Experiment Subscription

Do you grapple with science as a subject or are clueless about imparting science-related general knowledge to your little ones?  Children’s curiosity is highly triggered by touch & feel, part of our five senses that help them learn better.  Through hands-on experience, children actually pick up information faster and it also helps to set the foundation for them for future revisit.

We recently come across asciencebox subscription.  It is essentially a convenient set of hands-on experiments delivered on a monthly basis, much like magazine subscription service.  If you’ve been too busy to structure a science learning programme at home, asciencebox subscription will come in useful to help you to engage with the children through simple trial and exploration.

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Last week when school closed due to the haze, we took out our set of asciencebox and it provided us a good few hours of entertainment and bonding time.  Through the various experiments applied in learning about last month’s theme – LIGHT, the kids had lots of delightful time at home despite being cooped at home from the haze.

All That You Will Need – In A Box!

Monthly asciencebox is all about science and fun!  The kit makes use of fun for children to understand the basics and complexities of science by letting them learn through experiments.

Asciencebox was conceptualized to provide all the materials you would need for children to tinker around with their hands, explore and test.  Each themed set comes with all the equipment and parts needed to complete each mini project.  I did not have to go digging for scissors, straw or masking tape in order to start a session.  Each box consists of 3 to 4 theme-related experiments and comes individually wrapped in ziplock bags.  Inside the box is also a booklet consisting of a brief introduction of the topic subject followed by the step-by-step instructions for all the experiments found inside the box.

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Themetic Study

Asciencebox currently carries a few topics ranging from electric circuitry, forensics, sound, colours and light.  The available range and more information can be found here.

Kids friendly

The manual comes with colourfully illustrated instructions and easy to understand explanations.

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Even though asciencebox is targeted at children between the age of 5 to 8 years old, I personally feel that the first two pages of topic introduction is too in depth for 5-6 year olds.  Initially, Jiejie could not understand much after reading through.  As for didi, he had equally lot of fun helping jiejie with the craft-making and playing with the completed project.  However, it helped me greatly and refreshed me with the correct terms to use when sharing with the kids.  This is when I stepped in to break down the topic into bite-size information at a level that the kids would understand better.  While reading textbooks and memorising formulae only makes them retain the information for some time, the memory of learning through an experiment will ensure the memory stays on forever!

Easy Instructions

The booklet includes easy to understand instructions that the children can follow accordingly.  There are also not too many steps involved which suits the little ones nicely because of their relatively short attention span.

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Family Bonding

Through fun, the children not only learned but also had an amount of precious time spent with me.  We could not stop after starting the first experiment and went on to complete everything in the box within a full day (meal and nap times excluded).  I got didi to read the step-by-step instructions, also a very good chance to brush up on his reading skills.

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Here they are, two pairs of hands each doing a little part to make the craft work more fun.  For siblings who will tend to fight and prefer to own their own set of tools, asciencebox has the option of SIBLING ADD-ON PACK where an extra set of everything will be packed into the subscription (at additional cost of $15.90, only for 1 extra add-on pack).

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There are 3 experiments in last month’s box working with LIGHT matter.  They chose to work on the Camera Obscura which reflects an inverted image when light enters a small pin hole opening.  I have forgotten about the basic principals of film photography until I come across this experiment again.  The kids had a wacky time looking at everything that is upside down.  They also discovered focal length and distances unknowingly but I did not elaborate since I feel it’s not at their level yet.  I promised them that they can bring out their Camera Obscura when we are outdoors again.

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As they were the ones who did the entire assembly of the Camera Obscura on their own, they ended up with a not-so-flat projection surface.  Despite so, it did not affect the projected image alot as can be seen from the photo below.  Too bad that our “only” view outside of the window are some more blocks of flats.  If only we can be outside at the park or playground, kids can view upside down trees, slides, or cars, etc.  That would be so fun!

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Inquiry

The Camera Obscura provided any opportunity for the children to start asking WHY.  They did not understand why the images would be upside down when they thought they were looking through the camera.  The experiment helped to promote their curosity and questioning about things and how stuff works.  I took the opportunity to explain to them about light path crossing each other when they entered the small opening into the obscura camera.  They don’t seem to understand the reasoning behind it as light is an intangible topic.  Nevertheless, it certainly has set an impression and when they are ready for the topic in primary school, they will be able to understand more.  I will also be revisiting Aurelia Tan’s Science Graphic Novel on Heat & Light with them after the school exams are over. 

Innovate

Asciencebox provides direct hands-on experiences and invites observation, exploration and investigation.  When something failed to work, they go around trying to find out what went wrong.  In the experiment to make colours combine into white, the Colour Wheel was made use of.

When finally they found out that by not letting the marble sit right into the hole in the middle of colour wheel, they prevented the wheel from spinning on the marble because a bigger surface created more friction and stopped it from spinning.  With my help to materialize their discovery, we jointly made another attempt to spin the colour wheels such that the colours combine together and appeared to be white.

From the simple-looking Colour Wheel experiment, it actually hit two birds with one stone.  Isn’t it brilliant?!

I love that asciencebox subscription allows kids in the age of 5-8 years to delve deeper into the amazing world of science with simple-to-assemble home experiments.  The kids certainly wanted more and are looking forward to receive their next box of surprise!
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Reasonably Priced

Single boxes retail at the price of $32.50 each.  If you are unsure of a commitment, it is a good chance to get a box to try out whether it works for your family.  Expect to receive your box within 3-5 working days depending on the mode of delivery.
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Single Boxes
Once you get addicted to the convenience of instant edutainment without pulling your hair, go ahead and make the commitment.  At pretty attractive prices of $28.50- $29.90 per month for a regular subscription of 3 or 6 months, it indeed saves a lot of hassle and procrastination at our end.  For subscriptions, you can expect to receive your first box within 3-5 working days depending on the mode of delivery.  For subsequent boxes, they can be expected around the middle of the month.
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SubscriptionDiscount Code

For fans of having science fun with the children at home, here’s a discount code (below) to share which entitles a 20% discount at asciencebox.  The discount code will be valid till 31st October 2015 which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the benefits.  Shipping is free within Singapore and will be delivered via SingPost standard mail.  For prevention of loss mail, simply top up for registered post or courier delivery.  

Simply quote SAYS20 at check out.

<<< GIVEAWAY >>>

In the meantime, thanks to our sponsor at asciencebox, we have a giveaway set of asciencebox to ONE (1) lucky reader!
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Giveaway

To take part and qualify, please make sure ALL the following steps are completed:

1) COMMENT on this blog post stating your Child/Children’s age, Facebook Name and your email address.

2) LIKE SAys! Happy Mums and asciencebox on Facebook.

3) LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post with the caption “Tag @Friend A Tag @Friend B Tag @Friend C Tag @Friend D Win a set of @asciencebox @sayshappymums”.  Do set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 13th October 2015, Wednesday at 11.59PM.
  • Prize collection would be sent by normal mail upon provision of winner’s address.  SAys! Happy Mums and sponsors will not be responsible for lost mail.
  • Prize is fixed and sponsored by asciencebox, has no monetary value and cannot be changed to another item.
  • The Winner will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 48 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck!

Thank you for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you enjoy reading our blog, please follow us on Facebook or Subscribe to our newsletter (banner on the side bar) for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley 🙂

About asciencebox

asciencebox logo

Asciencebox is the brainchild of a mother of two.  Yew Soo aims to provide the opportunity for children to experiment, explore, test, and play, yet at the same time learn about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments.  Asciencebox idea was hence born to provide “all the materials” needed for children with an opportunity “to think with their hands” and to encourage curiosity and inquiring in children.  In the process of doing so, it makes science fun and easy while providing an opportunity for family bonding at the same time.

Web | Facebook | Instagram

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[Updated 22 Oct ’15]

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Thank you all for the support and so sorry for the delay in winner announcement.  Congratulations to our winner for a one-month subscription of asciencebox.  We hope you and your children will enjoy the tinkering.   We will be in touch via email soon.  ❤

Winner

[Updated 22 Oct ’15]


 

 

{Review} Swensen’s | New Breakfast Delights To Start The Day

Swensen's Breakfast

Looking for a hearty breakfast this coming weekend?  Reward yourself with a relaxing breakfast while spending quality time with your family and friends while you are at it.

Are you aware that Swensen’s breakfast menu has expanded?  The breakfast menu is available on weekends and Public Holidays from 8am to 11am, and is available at all outlets except Bukit Panjang Plaza, City Square Mall, ION and Plaza Singapura outlets.  Swensen’s serves eight (8) all-time favourites and NEW breakfast creations to kick start a great weekend for the adults with American classics such as pancakes, omelettes, eggs, sausages, toasts.  Typical of Swensen’s traditional practice to cater to the little ones, there are also three (3) Kiddie Corner sets to delight them.

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Each breakfast set comes with a complimentary cup of coffee or tea and a glass of fruit juice (apple or orange) for kid’s set.  Additional top up / upgrade of beverages is also available upon request at prices between S$1 to S$2.50.

"Making Coffee" for dad.

“Making Coffee” for dad.

Triple Cheese Toasties (S$11.90)

The sourdough bread spread with a medley of cheese in three (3) layers makes a heartening breakfast that is full of flavour.  The kids loved the Triple Cheese Toasties too, especially jiejie who loves cheese in any, every form.  Served with a side of creamy mushroom that actually tasted like chunky cream of mushroom soup, two (2) cheese sausages and a cup of coffee/tea, this made a pretty filling meal.  My hubby and I shared this set and the below Salted Egg & Honey Toasties between us.

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Salted Egg & Honey Toasties (S$6.90)

This is supposedly meant for diners who prefer something light or have extra serving to share around.  However, I would make this Salted Egg & Honey Toasties my main course next time.  Can you imagine having salted egg dish early in the morning??  The two slices of thick cut Japanese toast bread (very soft!) is browned just nicely on the grill (not deep-fried) and luxuriously spread with salted egg & honey butter cream, Swensen’s new creation.  Instead of being heavy on the stomach, it actually tasted light as both the salted egg and butter were not gelard at all.  I even finished the extra topping of it to spread with my sausages – that is how greedy I am when it comes to delish food!  Every bite is addictive with a mix of sweet and salty flavour.  Trust me, you would want to go for second helping!   Honestly, I would still rave about this even if I have to pay for it.  Swensen’s should just add extra sides and make this a full-fledged main course.

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For the little ones, Swensen’s has also prepared two different selections of Kid’s Meal such as Simply Pancakes and Mini Good Morning Sunnies to perk them up for the weekend.

Kiddie Corner ~ Simply Pancakes (S$7.50)

How do you order kids’ portion when dining out?  In my family, we would always order two (2) different kids sets or 1 adult set + 1 kids set, then half everything for both kids to share.  Simply Pancakes, as the name suggests, is made with vanilla buttermilk.  The thick and fluffy pancakes are served with homemade honey butter cream, two (2) cheesy sausages and a cup of apple/orange juice.  For $7.50, I think this is a healthier option than a fast food meal.

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Kiddie Corner ~ Mini Good Morning Sunnies (S$8.50)

Served with two sunny-side up eggs with wobbly egg yolks just the way I love, this is a simple breakfast for the kids to kickstart their weekend.  This set is similar to others, with two (2) cheese sausages and a cup of creamy chunky mushroom on the sides.

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As mentioned earlier, the kids each had a good mix of breakfast selection with three half pancakes, one sunny side up, two cheese sausages and half cup of creamy mushroom.  Not to forget their favourite cup of cold juice!  Here’s having some fun over dressing their pancakes with the syrup.  They have the full control over the quantity of syrup they wish to add.  Afterall, there’s only so much of the syrup that a kid can eat considering that the mini jug is so cute.  Therefore I loosened it since it’s weekend.

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The empty plates SAys! it all.

The empty plates SAys! it all.

What do we do after a satisfying breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning?  Read of course!  With the latest Sea Quest story books from the Shop-Till-U-Drop books warehouse sale we went to recently.  These are 2 titles out of 5 cartons in my family.  ❤

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We are thankful that the restaurant staff did not bother us for overstaying after our meals as the retail shops at Marina Square Mall was not open yet.  We had a peaceful and well-serviced breakfast.  Thanks to Swensen’s and all the staff at Marina Square branch for the great service.

Kiddie Corner for Lunch & Dinner

The popular Swensen’s Garden Kid’s meal for lunch and dinner is still available.  Still remember that cute spade?  Do check out our review of the on-going menu with the cute spade that won over the hearts of many kids (and mummies too)!

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Senior Citizen Promotion

We thought this promotion below is excellent as it allows senior citizens to dine in at Swensen’s on weekdays between 2.30pm to 5pm.  Seniors eat at half price off the menu applicable to Main Courses, Baked Rice, Pasta and Outrageous Sundaes categories.  Limited to 1 order per customer.  Do ask your parents to bring along their NRIC or Senior Citizen EZ-Link Card for verification upon ordering.  Valid for dine-in only.  Not valid on eve of and on public holidays and special occasions.  Not valid with other promotions, vouchers and Swensen’s bonus points accumulation in the same bill.  No splitting of bill/table.  Other terms & conditions apply.

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20% off Promotion ❤

Another SG50-related promotion at Swensen’s that works out to be 20% off bill!  It’s no wonder long train of patrons waiting for a table can be spotted recently!  Yes, even on weekdays.

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My family always returns to Swensen’s for various reasons from the food to the warm service.  Being a family restaurant that serves a wide range of food and delectable sundae selections to cater to everyone, we almost always have our family birthdays associated with Swensen’s before we started blogging for the restaurant.  With the above 20% promotion, it is no doubt that we will be making use of the discount very soon.

Swensen’s SG50 Moon Gems Review & Giveaway

We are running a giveaway for one (1) box of Swensen’s Moon Gems.  Join us now for your chance to enjoy four (4) delish flavours from Swensen’s all-time favourite ice cream selections.

Swensen's Moon Gems

Swensen’s SG50 Moon Gems Mooncake Collection is priced at $35.80 (inclusive of GST) for a box of 4 (with choice of flavours).  Available from now til 27 September 2015 at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets.  No pre-orders are required.  For convenience, online order is also available at Swensen’s website.

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon!

Disclaimer : We were invited to the above media tasting held at Swensen’s Marina Square, for the launch of July’s revamped menu.  No monetary compensation was received.  And as usual, all opinions are our own.  All photos belong to Swensen’s unless otherwise stated.  Pls do not reuse without permission.

~ SAys! Shirley 🙂

About Swensen’s Singapore

Swensen's Moon Gems

 

 

 

 

A household name in Singapore, Swensen’s is synonymous with sweet memories of good times spent with loved ones.  Swensen’s first arrived in Singapore with the opening of a 200-seater restaurant at Thomson Plaza in 1979, and has since won the hearts of many with its warm, unpretentious ambience and a casual atmosphere. Over the years it has developed to become a restaurant chain offering not just ice cream, but fun and friendly casual-dining with a wide selection of hearty food, desserts, beverages, ice cream cakes and takeaway novelties.  Today, Swensen’s has expanded to over 20 full-service restaurants serving an all-day menu of food and ice cream sundaes, and continues to bring people together for hearty meals and shared memories.

Web | Facebook | Instagram

Swensen’s Outlets

Opening hours (unless otherwise state):  [Weekdays] 10.30am-10.30pm | [Weekends & PH] 8am-10.30pm

Ang Mo Kio Hub @ #B1-25/26 | Tel: 6481 4316
Bedok Mall @ #01-77 | Tel: 6844 9759
Bukit Panjang Plaza @ #03-04 | Tel: 6892 0319
Causeway Point @ #02-08/09 | Tel: 6894 2086
Centrepoint (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-52 | Tel: 6733 6461 (Opening hours: [Mon-Thu] 10.30am-9.30pm | [Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH] 10.30am-10.30pm)
Changi Airport Terminal 2 @ Mezzanine Level, Arrival Hall North | Tel: 6542 8219 (Opening hours: 24 Hours)
Compass Point @ B1-28/29 | Tel: 6384 5187
City Square Mall @ #03-37/38 | Tel: 6509 6280 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Clementi Mall @ #03-31/32/33 | Tel: 6659 2151
E! Hub @ Downtown East @ #02-121 | Tel: 6584 5716
IMM @ #01-111 | Tel: 6566 7554
ION Orchard @ #B1-31 | Tel: 6884 5967 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
JEM (Earle Swensen’s) @ #03-11 | Tel: 6734 7712 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Junction 8 @ #01-39 | Tel: 6252 6229
Jurong Point @ #B1-64 | Tel: 6795 2187
Marina Square @ #01-206/207 | Tel: 6338 7256
Nex Mall @ #02-07/08 | Tel: 6634 4072
North Point @ #01-16/17 | Tel: 6754 1944
Parkway Parade @ #B1-33/34 | Tel: 6346 1886
Plaza Singapura @ #03-23 | Tel: 6837 0650 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Tampines Mall @ #03-30 | Tel: 6781 5489
The Seletar Mall @ #02-11/12 | Tel: 6702 3640
The Sun Plaza ~ Opening in July 2015
Thomson Plaza @ #03-23 | Tel: 6454 8502 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
VivoCity (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-117 | Tel: 6272 3306 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
West Mall @ #02-05 | Tel: 6898 9281

<3 A family that dines together, stays together. <3

❤ A family that dines together, stays together. ❤

Sweet Celebrations with Swensen’s SG50 Moon Gems & A Lighted-Up Lantern Box

Swensen's Moon Gems

{Review+Giveaway} CELEBRATING MID-AUTUMN WITH SWENSEN’S SG50 MOON GEMS

It’s that time of the year again!  Aside from solving Chinese riddles *read – Googling*, lantern-carrying *read – fire-playing* and drinking good quality Chinese tea, how else do Singaporeans celebrate the occasion?  Shirley used to bake her own salted egg-yolk mooncakes and have snowskin moonie parties with her close friends.  But there was no time for the interests since last year when travelling to school took up some time.  This year will be worse(!) when jiejie’s school turned single session.  >.<

Aside from gifting family and friends with traditionally baked or chilled snowskin mooncakes, there has always been one other option – the frozen ice cream snowskin mooncakes!! This year, Swensen’s Singapore has introduced six (6) novel ice cream mooncake flavours that pay homage to the nation’s 50th milestone with its Merlion emblem, packaged in a lantern box that can be lighted up with the accompanying LED lights.  Kids can simply turn on the switch when they wish to carry it around.  But rest assured, this lantern DOES NOT come with eeEEeEE oOOrrRrrh eeEEeEE oOOrrRrrh…… Chinese music.  So parents can be rest assured that your ears will be AT PEACE.  You know, right?!

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Featuring all-time family favourite ~ Yam flavoured Swensen’s Moon Gems

Mid-Autumn festival is rolling around, and Swensen’s has the perfect seasonal offering for annual, warm familial gatherings whilst basking under the pale moonlight.  In celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday, the much-anticipated SG50 Moon Gems mooncakes feature the iconic Merlion emblem to top off the festivities, in reminiscence of how far Singapore has come in the past five decades, and come encased in a beautiful Lantern Box complete with LED lights and batteries.

With the marking of new milestones, comes a brand new pastry skin recipe for the SG50 Moon Gems ice cream mooncakes that promise to deliver happiness with the improved texture.  Swensen’s latest ice cream mooncakes feature six delectable options that celebrate some of Singapore’s most popular local flavors.  In keeping with Swensen’s passion to innovate and surprise with new offerings, the family restaurant introduces three flavors that will be sure to please – Crunchy Milo, Lychee Dreams and Yummy Yam.  Fans of their quintessential mooncake range can revel in familiar, all-time-favorites like the Durian Royale and Sticky Chewy Chocolate.

Swensen's Moon Gems

Swensen’s SG Moon Gems Mooncake Collection

Crunchy Milo (*NEW*)
As local as Singaporean flavours go, bite into the Crunchy Milo mooncake that features the rich malty taste of Milo filled with plush marshmallows and crunchy almond. Definitely the choice flavor combination in honor of Singapore’s 50th birthday.

Yummy Yam (*NEW*) ~ Shirley’s favourite
Back by popular demand, Swensen’s signature Yam ice cream returns with its beckoning, all-familiar taste and texture. The aroma and sweet, creamy taste is a definite crowd pleaser and will have you reminiscing of the good old days.

Lychee Dreams (*NEW*)
Get invigorated with the light refreshing taste of the sweet, fragrant translucent white flesh of lychee blended with Swensen’s Lychee ice cream. The unforgettable taste is the stuff of dreams.

Sticky Chewy Chocolate ~ Audrey’s favourite
This Mid-Autumn, fall in love again with the all-time best-selling Swensen’s signature Sticky Chewy Chocolate ice cream. Wrapped in our soft pastry skin, this rich chocolaty goodness will linger in your mouth with every bite.

Durian Royale
Behold the King of Fruits is back! Get ready to savour the rich pungent flavors of D24 durian ice cream. But be warned, this aromatic flavor will keep you coming back for more.

Strawberry Fields Forever ~ Jiejie’s favourite
Reminscent of Singapore’s eternal summer days, Swensen’s creamy strawberry ice cream mooncake is abound with fresh ripe strawberries from the sweetest harvest.

Mooncake PR 3r

Yummy Yam (*NEW*) & Strawberry Fields Forever

Who said moon cakes are supposed to be eaten when the moon is up?  With the weather this hot and the kids at home these two days due to PSLE Oral Exams, Shirley and kids just couldn’t wait to taste the Yam-flavoured icecream moon cake straight after photo-taking.  What was supposedly meant for dessert after lunch became the appetiser.  So sorry to hubby who didn’t get to taste the sweet delight and the chewy snow skin.  Wahhahahah   >.<

Price and Availability

Swensen’s SG50 Moon Gems Mooncake Collection is priced at $35.80 (inclusive of GST) for a box of 4 (with choice of flavours).  Available from 14 August 2015 to 27 September 2015 at all Swensen’s and Earle Swensen’s outlets.  No pre-orders are required.  For convenience, online order is also available at Swensen’s website.

Credit Card Promotions

  • ANZ, BOC, Citibank, Diners, HSBC, Maybank, OCBC, Standard Chartered Bank, and UOB cardholders can enjoy an early bird special of 15% discount before 15 September 2015 and a 10% discount thereafter till 27 September 2015.
  • Swensen’s Cool Rewards & Kids’ Club members can enjoy 20% early bird special before 15 September 2015 & 15% discount thereafter till 27 September 2015.

[Ended]<WIN SWENSEN’S BOX OF MOON GEMS WORTH $36>[Ended]

Giveaway

To take part and qualify, please make sure all the following steps are completed:

1) {Compulsory} COMMENT on this blog post with your Facebook Name and your email address (for contact purposes in case you win).  Tell us 2 of your favourite ice cream flavour from Swensen’s Moon Gems selections.

2) {Compulsory} LIKE SAys! Happy Mums  and Swensen’s Singapore on Facebook.

3) {Compulsory} LIKE and SHARE this Facebook post with the caption “Tag @Friend A  @Friend B  @Friend C @Friend D @Friend E  @SAys Happy Mums is giving away a box of Swensen’s Moon Gems!”.  DO set your post to PUBLIC so that we are able to verify your entry.

4) {Not Compulsory}  It helps us track your entry easier ~ Leave a comment on the Facebook post. Simply comment DONE!  🙂

5) {Optional + 1 Chance}  We’d love to have you joining us on Instagram!  Follow@sayshappymums for insta-moments and let us know your Instagram Handle.  ❤

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway ends 31 August 2015 at 10.00AM.  Prize must be collected by 6 September 2015 before restaurant closes.
  • Prize is fixed and cannot be changed to a different item.
  • Winner(s) will be notified by the email provided under the blog comments and must reply within 24 hours, failing which, a new winner will be drawn, without notice.
  • This giveaway is open to Singapore residents only.
  • Incomplete entries will be disqualified without notice. Decisions are final and no changes/disputes will be entertained.
  • All information is solely collected for the purpose of this giveaway and we will not send unsolicited emails to your inbox unless you have opted to subscribe to us (on the right!).
  • This giveaway is in no manner associated with any social media accounts except our blog.

Best of luck and share the love! 🙂

[Edited 01 Sep 15 ->]

WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT

Congratulations to Spencer!  You will be hearing from us very soon!

Swensen's Moon Gems

[<- Edited 01 Sep 15]

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon.

~ SAys! Shirley & Audrey 🙂

About Swensen’s Singapore

Swensen's

 

 

 

 

 

A household name in Singapore, Swensen’s is synonymous with sweet memories of good times spent with loved ones.  Swensen’s first arrived in Singapore with the opening of a 200-seater restaurant at Thomson Plaza in 1979, and has since won the hearts of many with its warm, unpretentious ambience and a casual atmosphere. Over the years it has developed to become a restaurant chain offering not just ice cream, but fun and friendly casual-dining with a wide selection of hearty food, desserts, beverages, ice cream cakes and takeaway novelties.  Today, Swensen’s has expanded to over 20 full-service restaurants serving an all-day menu of food and ice cream sundaes, and continues to bring people together for hearty meals and shared memories.

Web | Facebook | Instagram

Swensen’s Outlets

Opening hours (unless otherwise state):  [Weekdays] 10.30am-10.30pm | [Weekends & PH] 8am-10.30pm

Ang Mo Kio Hub @ #B1-25/26 | Tel: 6481 4316
Bedok Mall @ #01-77 | Tel: 6844 9759
Bukit Panjang Plaza @ #03-04 | Tel: 6892 0319
Causeway Point @ #02-08/09 | Tel: 6894 2086
Centrepoint (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-52 | Tel: 6733 6461 (Opening hours: [Mon-Thu] 10.30am-9.30pm | [Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH] 10.30am-10.30pm)
Changi Airport Terminal 2 @ Mezzanine Level, Arrival Hall North | Tel: 6542 8219 (Opening hours: 24 Hours)
Compass Point @ B1-28/29 | Tel: 6384 5187
City Square Mall @ #03-37/38 | Tel: 6509 6280 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Clementi Mall @ #03-31/32/33 | Tel: 6659 2151
E! Hub @ Downtown East @ #02-121 | Tel: 6584 5716
IMM @ #01-111 | Tel: 6566 7554
ION Orchard @ #B1-31 | Tel: 6884 5967 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
JEM (Earle Swensen’s) @ #03-11 | Tel: 6734 7712 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Junction 8 @ #01-39 | Tel: 6252 6229
Jurong Point @ #B1-64 | Tel: 6795 2187
Marina Square @ #01-206/207 | Tel: 6338 7256
Nex Mall @ #02-07/08 | Tel: 6634 4072
North Point @ #01-16/17 | Tel: 6754 1944
Parkway Parade @ #B1-33/34 | Tel: 6346 1886
Plaza Singapura @ #03-23 | Tel: 6837 0650 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Tampines Mall @ #03-30 | Tel: 6781 5489
The Seletar Mall @ #02-11/12 | Tel: 6702 3640
The Sun Plaza ~ Opening in July 2015
Thomson Plaza @ #03-23 | Tel: 6454 8502 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
VivoCity (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-117 | Tel: 6272 3306 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
West Mall @ #02-05 | Tel: 6898 9281

Disclaimer : We were sponsored a box of Swensen’s Ice Cream Mooncakes for purposes of this review.  No monetary compensation was received.  And as usual, all opinions are our own.  All photos belong to Swensen’s unless otherwise stated.  Pls do not reuse without permission.


 

If you have not gotten enough moon cakes, hop on over to our review for

Thye Moh Chan Handcrafted Traditional Teochew Mooncakes

 

{Review} ALL NEW Garden Kid’s Meal at Swensen’s

Swensen's Garden Kid's Meal

In a continual effort to refresh it’s menu to excite and educate the little ones, Swensen’s introduced an all-new selection of Swensen’s Garden Kid’s Meal with effect from 1st Jun ’15.

Swensen's Garden Kid's Meal

K can’t wait to check out what’s in her garden of Fish ‘N’ Chippies!

Children can expect to dig into their favourite entrée, the irresistable must-haves corn-in-cup as a side, and a choice of their preferred beverage, all at an affordable price of only $9,90!  The two all-new and wholesome additions to the usual mouth-watering main course delights are Chick ‘N’ Rice and Beef ‘N’ Rice.  Potted thoughtfully in a cheery garden holder together with a cute spade, it is no wonder that both K & R have been looking forward to the dinner at Swensen’s earlier this week!  With a selection of 6 delectable options this year, the pickiest kids will not be able to resist discovering the garden of delights in store for them.

Swensen's Garden Kid's Meal

Beef ‘N’ Rice is a delight of grilled beef and fresh veggies served on a bed of rice with corn-in-cup.  For chicken lovers, the Chick ‘N’ Rice offers grilled chicken and teriyaki sauce served on a bed of rice with corn-in-cup.

Inclusive in the Swensen’s Garden Kid’s Meal, children also get to exercise their power of decision-making by tailoring their meals with a drink to select from classic soft drinks, or beverages like Orange Juice, Apple Juice, or the newly-added Iced Milo.  Here, R decided on his favourite Spaghetti Twirlies ~ Spaghettis in meaty chicken bolognaise sauce with corn-in-cup and served with Apple Juice.

Swensen's Garden Kid's Meal

It’s tough to pose for photo when there’s a garden of delights to discover out there!

Kids can also indulge in an innovative new concoction, the Milo Ice-Cream Dirt Pot – proven to be a hit amongst ALL the children present for the media tasting session.  A sundae consisting of Milo ice cream covered with Milo powder, decorated with a gummy worm, strawberry and parsley, children will be given a spade to discover what’s hidden underneath all that ‘soil’.  How cool is that!  Once again, Swensen’s has hit all the right buttons in their kid’s menu.  As part of the meal, this iced cold bucket of delight can be relished at an additional $3.90, which has a usual price of $5.90 (a-la-carte).

Swensen's Milo Ice Cream Dirt Pot

Milo Ice-cream Dirt Pot ~ Can you spot the worm in the pot?

Prefer a more classic dessert?  Kids can enjoy the Coit Tower Junior at an additional $2.90, or a la-carte at $4.90.

Swensen's Coit Tower Junior

Coit Tower Junior ~ A junior tower of Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream, strawberry and chocolate fudge toppings, fresh banana slices and almond bits.

While the kids are trawling through their own backyard of excitement, my hubby and I found it a joy to be eating peacefully.  My hubby ordered Pesto Salmon ($16.90) for his mains.  I have always wondered how to cook such a thick fillet of salmon without letting the fish dry up.  There was only once when i achieved soft and moist meat at the insides, but then it wasn’t thoroughly cooked right at the centre.  After I sent it back to the frying pan, the meat at the outside dried up again.  It’s tough to be a home chef!  *cries*

Swensen's

Swensen’s Healthier Choice (Pesto Salmon) ~ Grilled Salmon topped with pesto sauce, served with mashed potatoes and vegetable of the day.

Swensen’s Pesto Salmon is classified under their deliciously healthy treat category and specially prepared with lower calorie count in mind.  We found the mash potatoes to be a little to dry though.  It would have been best if there is additional gravy for the mashed potatoes.

As for me, I followed my instinct and ordered my usual all-time favourite at Swensen’s.  There were not many occasions at Swensen’s that I remember without having ordered their Crayfish Pasta ($17.90).  The fresh whole crayfish, crabsticks and succulent fish fillet pieces tossed together in a flavorful tangy tomato sauce never fails to work up my appetite to finish the entire portion.

Swensen's Crayfish Pasta

With a big portion of serving for both kid’s meals, plus the beverage and Milo Ice-cream Dirt Pot, both hubby and I expected that they will barely be able to finish their food and hence we did not order additional sides and drinks to go with.  I was actually eyeing their Milo ice-cream in Dirt Pot!  Too bad I don’t get to eat their wormy   >.<  It was really cute to be eating ice cream with a spade though ;p  Not only did the kids found it filling to finish their main course (with corn-in-cup), they also tried to reserve more stomach space just because they spotted a free-flow of marshmallow at the Chocolate Fondue -.-

Swensen's Dessert Buffet at Ion Orchard

The delight on her face having fun playing with chocolate fountain and then eating her marshmallows.

Introducing Swensen’s EXCLUSIVE OUTLET with a All-You-Can-Eat Dessert & Pastries Buffet section, Swensen’s at ION Orchard, has catered to dessert lovers with a large section of the entire restaurant that serves almost 50 different premium ice-cream flavours with more than 40 types of toppings to go with, an assortment of about 10 different selection of cakes and pastries, and two chocolate fondues filled with abundance of strawberries, profiteroles and marshmallows.

Swensen's Dessert & Pastries Buffet

An impressive 50 different ice-cream flavours available exclusively at Swensen’s ION Orchard ~ which flavour would you choose?

Swensen's Dessert & Pastries Buffet

Swensen’s Dessert & Pastries Buffet

For as little as $13.90 (weekdays) and $14.90 (weekend), both prices with food orders, diners at Swensen’s can expect to be treated to a free flow extravaganza of sweet delights to end off the meal with.  Note that the mention of food orders excludes soups, sides and salads.

Both K and R couldn’t wait to reconnect with their new toys the next day.  Here we have R cutting bits of grass for his gardening pot while K (not in the picture) went around getting stationeries and coloured paper for him.  He has unknowingly picked up the scissors and ended up cutting 2 pots full of grass and soil!  I am so tempted to “confiscate” 2 of the spades for ice cream time at home!

Swensen's Garden Kid's meal

So, for those who don’t know yet, yes these pots and spades (together with the mini garden diorama) from the latest Swensen’s Garden Kid’s Meal can be brought home after your meal.  Just ask the staff for a plastic bag to bring them home with!  😉

About Swensen’s Singapore

A household name in Singapore, Swensen’s is synonymous with sweet memories of good times spent with loved ones.  Swensen’s first arrived in Singapore with the opening of a 200-seater restaurant at Thomson Plaza in 1979, and has since won the hearts of many with its warm, unpretentious ambience and a casual atmosphere. Over the years it has developed to become a restaurant chain offering not just ice cream, but fun and friendly casual-dining with a wide selection of hearty food, desserts, beverages, ice cream cakes and takeaway novelties.  Today, Swensen’s has expanded to over 20 full-service restaurants serving an all-day menu of food and ice cream sundaes, and continues to bring people together for hearty meals and shared memories.

Web | Facebook | Instagram

Swensen’s Outlets

Opening hours (unless otherwise state):  [Weekdays] 10.30am-10.30pm | [Weekends & PH] 8am-10.30pm

Ang Mo Kio Hub @ #B1-25/26 | Tel: 6481 4316
Bedok Mall @ #01-77 | Tel: 6844 9759
Bukit Panjang Plaza @ #03-04 | Tel: 6892 0319
Causeway Point @ #02-08/09 | Tel: 6894 2086
Centrepoint (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-52 | Tel: 6733 6461 (Opening hours: [Mon-Thu] 10.30am-9.30pm | [Fri-Sun, Eve of PH & PH] 10.30am-10.30pm)
Changi Airport Terminal 2 @ Mezzanine Level, Arrival Hall North | Tel: 6542 8219 (Opening hours: 24 Hours)
Compass Point @ B1-28/29 | Tel: 6384 5187
City Square Mall @ #03-37/38 | Tel: 6509 6280 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Clementi Mall @ #03-31/32/33 | Tel: 6659 2151
E! Hub @ Downtown East @ #02-121 | Tel: 6584 5716
IMM @ #01-111 | Tel: 6566 7554
ION Orchard @ #B1-31 | Tel: 6884 5967 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
JEM (Earle Swensen’s) @ #03-11 | Tel: 6734 7712 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Junction 8 @ #01-39 | Tel: 6252 6229
Jurong Point @ #B1-64 | Tel: 6795 2187
Marina Square @ #01-206/207 | Tel: 6338 7256
Nex Mall @ #02-07/08 | Tel: 6634 4072
North Point @ #01-16/17 | Tel: 6754 1944
Parkway Parade @ #B1-33/34 | Tel: 6346 1886
Plaza Singapura @ #03-23 | Tel: 6837 0650 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
Tampines Mall @ #03-30 | Tel: 6781 5489
The Seletar Mall @ #02-11/12 | Tel: 6702 3640
The Sun Plaza ~ Opening in July 2015
Thomson Plaza @ #03-23 | Tel: 6454 8502 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
VivoCity (Earle Swensen’s) @ #02-117 | Tel: 6272 3306 (Opening hours: 10:30am-10.30pm)
West Mall @ #02-05 | Tel: 6898 9281

Thanks for joining us on SAys! Happy Mums.  If you liked what you read on our blog, please follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.  We hope to see you back again soon!

Disclaimer : We were invited to the above media tasting held at Swensen’s ION, Orchard, for the launch of this year’s Swensen’s Garden Kid’s Meal.  No monetary compensation was received.  And as usual, all opinions are our own.  All photos belong to Swensen’s unless otherwise stated.  Pls do not reuse without permission.

~ SAys! Shirley 🙂