Saturday, November 23, 2013

Equarius Hotel @ Resort World Sentosa, Singapore

On our wedding anniversary, dear hubby booked us into one of the hotels in Resort World Sentosa. Equarius Hotel has impressively large 51 sqm deluxe rooms with a touch of modern luxury decor. The price was rather reasonable, slightly below SG$300 including tax for a 51sqm deluxe room. It was on offer with huge discounts on On any other weekends, the same room with breakfast is going to cost at least SG$500.

The hotel offers free shuttle connecting all other hotels in Resort World, thus it's rather convenient. Hop on and get off at Michael Hotel to go to Universal Studio or get off at Hard Rock Hotel for some boozes and live band at night. The free shuttle operates from 10am till 10pm (extended till 12am for weekends), with every 15 minutes intervals.

The impression was good until we checked in. The front desk staff at the reception was a chinese lady. She wasn't smiling and she was rather harsh in her tone when asking dear hubby for his I.D. Since it was only 5 minutes to 11 in the morning but the hotel standard check-in time is at 3pm, we left our luggage at the concierge and wandered off to Universal Studio.

When we returned to the hotel (close to 6pm) to collect the room keys and our luggage, the reception couldn't find our room that we have checked in earlier. And she wasn't apologetic at all. We waited about 15 minutes throughout the process of 'finding us a room' and there wasn't a single apology from the staff. Coincidentally, another hotel guest who was checking-in at the next counter, was also facing the same problem. Apparently, she had checked in earlier in the morning, and she has been allocated 2 rooms right next to each other as per her request. When she returned to the hotel to collect the rooms keys, the reception gave her 2 different rooms located on different floors, separating her room from her family's. The last sentence I heard from her to the hotel staff was "This is the beginning of my holiday and you sure know how to ruin it!"

The next morning, we went for the complimentary breakfast and I found that the restaurant staff wasn't well trained. I was having my first serving of toasts halfway when I decided to get myself some juice. Upon returning to the table, everything on my table was cleared, including the cutlery! I went over to get more food and asked the staff for another set of cutlery. The staff, who was a middle aged chinese lady, replied me in Singlish (Singaporean English), "Your table don't have knife and fork ar? Where you sit??"
I pointed at my table and upon seeing the empty table, she continued, "Wait, wait... I take for you." It was kind of funny to hear it coming from a 5 star hotel staff. I wasn't feeling mad or anything but unfortunately, the few incidents are telling me that Equarius Hotel is not up to the 5 stars standard in terms of service level.

Reception & lobby area
Hotel bar
Blue pools and private cabanas
The Deluxe Pool Suite with direct pool access
View from our room's balcony
Brown Equarius Hotel building overlooking the Dolphin Lagoon.
We were lucky to catch the dolphin in action.
Dolphin Lagoon offers Swim with the Dolphins Package at SG$170 per pax.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jumbo Seafood Chilli Crabs in Singapore

The famous gigantic chilli crab.
Its claw is almost the size of my palm!
Scallop partially wrapped in crunchy deep fried yam ring.

After almost 12 months living in Singapore, finally, I managed to try the famous chilli crab! One gigantic crab weighting 1.6kg shared by dear hubby and me. It was more than enough if you ask me. We were so stuffed at the end of the meal.

This whole 'must-try chilli crab' is a hoopla, in my opinion. It doesn't taste as good as people say, well at least to me. Perhaps, it's due to the fact that I was born and raised in Penang for 17 years, my Penang tastebuds are a tad too fussy. Moreover, I dislike the fact that we were allocated 75 minutes (from the moment we're seated on our table) to finish the meal, including waiting time for our orders to be served.

Nevertheless, chilli crab gravy goes well with man tao (chinese plain bun made out of flour), either fried or steamed. I prefer the fried ones. It has more flavour, and it's crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

We also ordered the recommended scallop with yam as appetizer. A must try for yam lovers like me, of course. Sweet and savoury combination in a platter, a small serving comes in 6 pieces.

The bill came up to SG$146 for a 1.6kg chilli crab, 6 pieces of scallops, 6 pieces of man tao and 2 drinks. It's inexpensive for a standard seafood meal in Singapore but, if I do a currency conversion to ringgit, phew.... it's sure expensive. At that price, I can have a seafood feast back in Malaysia.

Jumbo Seafood has 5 outlets in Singapore and 1 outlet in Shanghai. The one that we dined in is at Riverside Point. Reservation is advisable, unless you love lengthy queues.

30 Merchant Road # 01-01/02
Riverside Point, Singapore 058282
Tel : +65 6532 3435
Lunch : 12pm – 3pm (last order at 2.15pm)
Dinner : 6pm – 12am (last order at 11.15pm)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Human vs. Robot @ Ho2T Playland, Katong V Singapore

Human vs. Robot theme playground - the entrance
More play area underneath the padded stairs
Human vs. Robot combat area! Balls for shooting are all over the place.
The 'dark room' illuminated with LED lightings to create an outer space feel for the kids while they bounce up and down.
Girly fun! Tall Barbie mansion with a rooftop jacuzzi, a baby doll and her cute lil' crib, mini kitchen and grill set complete with utensils, miniature cleaning set (mop, brush, vacuum cleaner) for domestic goddess in the making!
Books and more toys!
Parents, opt to chill with fine Italian cuppas at its Ho2T Cuppa House or choose from a variety of snacks and titbits available for purchase at the counter. If you have older kids who may be too 'grown up' for play land, head over to Ho2T Weekend (right next to the play land) for some Art, Invention or Robotic classes available from SG$ 45 - $75 per hour (non-member price).

Katong V (Ho2T is on level 3)
30, East Coast Road, #03-09/12
Singapore. 428751
Contact: 66354704 /

Entrance Fee (for non-member price): 
Weekday (3 hours play)
Above 2 years old: SG$25
0-2 years old: SG$12

Weekdays (1 hour play)
Above 2 years old: SG$18
0-2 years old: SG$8

Weekends & Public holidays (2 hours play)
Above 2 years old: SG$30
0-2 years old: SG$15

Weekends & Public holidays (1 hour play)
Above 2 years old: SG$20
0-2 years old: SG$10

Membership (7+2 play)
Above 2 years old: SG$154
0-2 years old: SG$70

Membership (5+1 play)
Above 2 years old: SG$110
0-2 years old: SG$50


  • Great selections of toys for different age groups.
  • Well organised play areas and divided play sections.
  • Chill out area for parents to enjoy drinks and snacks at an affordable price.
  • Relatively small area and cramped up space.
  • Not enough space to park the strollers inside. 
  • One accompanying adult to one paying child only.
  • Only 1 staff handling the whole play land.

CT's rating:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Safety & cleanliness: Singapore - 1, Malaysia - 0

Sometimes I just wished my home country is as safe as Singapore, where I can allow my kids to roam free without the fear of being kidnapped if I turn away for a few seconds. I remember some time ago in Malaysia, a toddler in a stroller was carried away by a kidnapper while the mother was in the midst of a purchase. The stroller was just next to her. Luckily, the attempted kidnap failed because the mother turned her head just in time and saw the man carrying her child. She screamed and the man dropped the child before fleeing. A police report was lodged but no arrest was made. Apparently, the cctv footage was too blur to identify the kidnapper.

In Malaysia, crimes are soaring high and the police can't do anything about it. I'm not saying Singapore is totally crime free but at least I have the assurance that the police forces here are much capable of doing their job. And criminals know that! It makes a huge difference in the (actual) crime rates between these 2 neighbouring countries.

Also, most of the time, I wished my home country is as clean as Singapore, in terms of physical cleanliness and corruption wise. Both are areas that only God knows when it will happen (or it might never at all by looking at the chronological list of events that are happening currently).

Whenever we are back in Malaysia, there are a list of no-nos. Walking out is a no-no (fear of snatch theft). Bringing the kids out to the park on a sunny day is a no-no (fear of pedophile). Driving out alone at night is also a no-no (fear of mat rempits). Others include shopping in a crowded mall (fear of kidnappers), taking a cab (fear of cab driver rapist), taking a train (fear of molester), and last but not least, using a free public toilet (it's so darn dirty, you rather hold it in till you're home!). Talking about public toilets, Jakarta has the best with first class service (the cleaner will sanitize toilet seats after every usage!).

Dear hubby was offered a citizenship in Singapore but he turned it down. Why? Simple. We still love to live in Malaysia regardless. We are, afterall, Malaysians. And... where else can we find good nasi lemak bungkus at a fraction of the price found in Singapore?