I-S Magazine December 5

Page 1

DECEMBER 5 – 18, 2014

Don’t despair just yet

# 6 6 7 | I N S I D E S I N G A P O R E | www.is-magazine.com

g n u o Y r e g n o L o N ore

ife l t h g ’s ni


an e ch


gap n i S f ce o a f ng

page 3

14 cover story

Do it for your country

The Twilight of Nightlife?

9 holiday special

12 nightlife

Christmas Markets


18 travel

26 fitness

Wow, Laos!

Ladies Who Lunge 28 digital

31 new restaurant

Gamer’s Playbill


32 drink

39 last word

Best Bourbons

Inch Chua

Multimedia Designer ‑ Photographer Mossy Chew Wenzhi Design Intern Chloe Guo

Editorial Managing Editor Mrigaa Sethi editor@asia‑city.com.sg

Advertising Director, Business Development Intan Agustina advertising@asia‑city.com.sg

Senior Writer Eimear Elkington Junior Writer Letitia Tandean Custom Content Editor Clara Lim Custom Content Writer Joyce See Editorial Intern S. Sakthivel Design Associate Art Director Beverly Chong Senior Designer Carmen Louise Ho

Senior Manager, Media & Marketing Shernan Plameras Executives, Media & Marketing Lee Wee Keong, Roderick Wong, Joy Yao, Swathi Raj Marketing Marketing Manager Silver Adrienna Ng marketing@asia‑city.com.sg

Marketing & Admin Assistant Geraldine Tan Finance Finance Manager Lynn Legaspi finance@asia‑city.com.sg Accountant Huang Huiping Group Directors Chief Executive Officer Gretchen Worth gworth@asia‑city.co.th Group Digital Director Greg Duncan gduncan@asia‑city.com.sg On the cover Zouk Cover by Beverly Chong

Designer Fishy Toh

Where to find us! Bangkok Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd 22/F, Silom Center 2 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02‑624‑9696 Fax: 02‑237‑5656 bkmagazine@asia‑city.co.th Shanghai shonline@asia‑city.com.cn

The Asia City Media Group

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Less reported in the news is the flipside of this reward scheme. Families whose babies fail to contribute to national pride by arriving prematurely in December will receive lumps of coal. “It’s just salt in the wound,” says one affluent young father, whose new baby arrived today, healthy but three weeks premature. “He’s going to take Chinese tuition and swimming classes from the age of two and is pretty much already a shoo‑in for Oxford. But I worry that he’s always going to feel inferior to those children who really made a difference to Singapore when it mattered.”

Who's in charge? Publisher & General Manager Ric Stockfis countrymanager@asia‑city.com.sg

Lumps of coal for babies arriving before SG50 Singapore — In an overwhelming mark of democracy at work, a whopping 20,000 presumably productive members of society took time out of their lives to vote on a matter of utmost national importance: what gift items will be given by the government to babies arriving in 2015, aka SG50, aka the mother of all birthday parties. To reward the apples of our nation’s eye and their dutifully reproducing parents, families with SG50 babies can expect to be abundantly showered with commemorative carrier slings, commemorative blankies, commemorative medallions and, most importantly, commemorative diaper bags.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Breeding for Greatness had little sympathy for unexpected hiccups in the gestation periods of human females. At a press conference earlier today, she said, “Premature birth may have been a valid excuse in the Middle Ages, but that simply will not do in our Smart Nation. We control the rain, for crying out loud. Not holding in your baby till 2015 is just plain sloppy.” Luckily, the commemorative gift scheme lasts for a year, and many families are looking to try their luck again. The affluent banker’s wife told reporters: “As soon as I get out of the hospital, I’d like to try again. Hopefully my next baby will arrive by September.” That’s right, lady! Do it again for Singapore.

entertainment & lifestyle

I‑S Magazine is published • 26 times a year by Asia City Publishing Pte Ltd., 211 Henderson Road, #14‑03, Singapore 159552. Tel: 65‑6323‑2512 • Fax: 65‑6323‑2779. Copyright ©2014 Asia City Publishing Pte Ltd. The title “I‑S Magazine,” its associated logos or devices, and the content of I‑S Magazine are the property of Asia City Publishing Pte Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. I‑S Magazine may not be distributed without the express written consent of Asia City Publishing Pte Ltd. Contact the Publisher for ad rates and specifications. All advertising in I‑S Magazine must comply with the Publisher’s terms of business, copies of which are available upon request. Printed by KHL Printing Co. Pte. Ltd., 57 Loyang Drive, Singapore 508968. ISSN 0218‑8872 MCI (P) 151/12/2013

bonus content, videos, photos



I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

daily updates on news and events


giveaways, updates, stories


latest news and trends


see what we’re up to


upfront Our biweekly study of the city’s burgeoning (and dying) trends

Giveaways Sarit Chaiwangsa

hot oR not

Hot: Foreign flagships

Congratulations to Chew Kim Kwang & Douglas Cheong for winning four adult admission passes each to Night Safari Singapore (worth $156).

Want to win some amazing prizes? Go to ismagazine.com/giveaways to find out more.

Not: Cute boutiques

Much as we at I-S ooh and aah over curated little boutiques, lately the city can’t seem to get enough of big brand flagship stores, everything from the soon-to-arrive Lululemon and its stretchy yoga pants to an experiential Decathlon sports store. William Murphy

Urban Data




Years a Singaporean man, known only as Mr. T, has lived and worked in the United States as an undocumented immigrant.

Signees on a petition to keep Julien Blanc, a pick up artist from dating company Real Social Dynamics, out of Singapore.

1,395 Hot: German vandals

Not: Teenage rebels


Two Germans were recently arrested for spraying a graffiti mural on SMRT trains in Bishan. We’re not condoning vandalism, but at least the German work was way more thoughtful than the loanshark-esque scrawls those teens did on the HDB roof landing a few months ago.

The number of individuals in Singapore with a net worth of US$30 million and above according to the Wealth-X and UBS World Wealth report 2014.

10 million Swipes everyday on Singapore-based dating app Paktor which has a strong following in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.

14 Flashfloods in Singapore so far this year according to PUB, the national water agency.

1 million Number of Malaysian blue earthworms at Siloso Beach Resort wormery used to convert food waste into organic fertilizer to use at the hotel.

Sources: The Straits Times, Today Online, channel News Asia

ob index

Hot: Bouncy theaters

Not: Concrete Theaters

We recently spied an inflatable theater that’s six meters tall, shaped like a dome and remind us of a bouncy castle. It’s named GoLi and it aims to bring theater to the masses. With the arrival of this curiously cool roving invention (set to bounce into Singapore next July), those old-school permanent theaters are looking so last year. If you haven’t heard of these local go-getters already, you’re about to. Lisa Maree Williams

aLMost FaMous

Patricia Toh, the young performer whose directorial debut Pretty Things, was nominated for Production of the Year and Best Director at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards 2013 is now at work on a new installation, Terra Cognita. Set to feature at the upcoming M1 Fringe Festival 2015, it explores life through walking. We chatted with her about life and death and her favorite local acts. What was your thought process behind Terra Incognita? I enjoy walking and a friend recommended a book, A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit. The rich tapestry she weaved for this daily act inspired me. I started to think


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

about the way I walk and the paths I choose both physically and metaphorically. I began to notice my habits and routines and questioned what happens if I take a different route. Your work touches on mortality. What have you learned about yourself in the process? I created this project as a way to confront my fear of losing mobility and of death. In the process I was researching and sitting alone in my room, and I thought, “What am I doing, I need to get out and live a little. I learned I am not as brave and adventurous as I imagine myself to be.” Who are some local artists you admire? I am quite a fan of local band The Observatory, their music has been good company. I also admire Ho Tzu Nyen for his expansive take on visual arts and performance. What’s your motto in life? Go everywhere; try everything. Joyce See

Charting the ups and downs of Singapore's openness, tolerance and freedom of expression NOV


The housing conditions of migrant construction workers keep dominating the headlines. Recently, the government halted the construction of temporary dormitories in 12 industrial estates, in an effort to move workers to purpose-built dorms, with proper facilities and better living conditions. Though this will mean higher operating costs for employers, the move addresses the squalid conditions foreign workers are sometimes made to live in. An issue recently highlighted after 50 workers were found to be living in two condo units during a spot check by a local migrant workers group.

Join us

be a part of i-s I-S Magazine is looking for fabulous people who love Singapore, lifestyle and publishing. Always bursting to tell people what hot restaurant/ concert/secret party they need to check out? Apply to be a web writer! Have a kick-ass mind for grammar rules and web traffic? We are looking for a web editor. Got an eye for amazing layouts and photos? Talk to our art team about being a graphic designer. Send applications to editor@asia-city.com.sg



This week you will mainly love your city for its...

transparent taxis

The LTA is stepping in to regulate third party taxi booking apps like GrabTaxi and Uber. The LTA aims to improve safety and ensure that all related charges are made transparent. It will also mean that the fees charged by these apps will remain comparable to those offered by traditional booking services. Oh, and sorry, the LTA also plans to eliminate tricks like bidding and pre-tipping, so that everyone will have an equal chance (that is, no chance at all) of booking a cab during those inconveniently timed rainstorms.

say what? The best comments on our most popular web stories Jesper Rull-Svenningsen Or you can just make the juice yourself. —on “All you need to know about juice cleanses” Shawn Ang I’m more concerned with function over form. —on “The lumbersexual’s guide to Singapore” Irvin Tan Oh wow, now it’s bohemian?! —on “Best restaurants and bars at Holland Village” Dato Seri Jack I need a bigger wardrobe first —on “Suit Supply” Be a part of the conversation at www. fb.com/ismagazine


The essential guide to what’s on in Singapore Send your events news to art@asia-city.com.sg, nightlife@asia-city.com.sg, stage@asia-city.com.sg



Dec 5

Dec 12

ART mr Roboto Ready for a trip down the uncanny valley? Prolific performance artist barry Freedland makes his Singapore debut with Dancing Drones, a trio of life-sized “robotic surrogates” programmed to interact with gallery-goers, in a bid to have viewers evaluate their relationship with technology. Dec 5-12. Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock Rd., 6694-3378, www. sundramtagore.com. Free.


FOOD & DRINK Foodie Four-way Four michelin-starred chefs with four distinct cuisines will be cooking up a storm at pop-up dining event 4XFour: mads Refslund of Noma, Henrik Yde of Kiin Kiin, Nathan Outlaw of Restaurant Nathan Outlaw and Rolf Fliegauf of Ristorante ecco. Although dinners do not include drinks, they have a range of wines and alcohol available for purchase. Through Dec 7. F1 Pit building, 1 Republic blvd., 6736-1458, www.4xfour.sg. $148-288.

Dec 7

NIGHTLIFE Steve this eve celebrating its 14th year as the island’s pioneering sunrise beach festival. ZoukOut promises two more days of crazy fun on Sentosa’s Siloso beach. Although early bird tickets are already sold out, don’t miss out on advance tickets starting at $128, as well as two-day festival passes starting at $208. See page 12 for our ZoukOut guide. Dec 12-13. Siloso beach, www.zoukout.com.

FAIRS Hello, Kitty bazaar



Dec 6

Dec 14

Goddess Purrzaar Festive market is a quirky pop-up affair that brings you all things feline-inspired with 34 vendors carrying everything from cat-inspired artworks to pet accessories, kitty dietary products, handmade jewelry and crafts, plus gourmet food and Asian brews (for the cat owners). There will also be new age doodads like crystals, healing oils, tarot and akashic readings. Dec 14, 11am. Kilo, 66 Kampong bugis, 6467-3987.

SPORTS Footie Fetish SUN


Dec 14

Dec 10

Fingers crossed by the time you read this the Singapore football team will have made it out of a tough Group b and will be preparing for their semifinal match in the AFF Suzuki Cup. be part of the Kallang roar and support their bid to retain the trophy they won two years ago. The final takes place over two legs on Dec 17 and 20. Through Dec 20, 8pm. National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub, 15 Stadium Rd., 6333-5000, www. affsuzukicup.com. $18-98..



Dec 6

MUSIC Perfect Pairing

MUSIC Wall of Sound

Uber-cute husband-and-wife folk-pop team Us The Duo shot to fame as Vine superstars with their six-second pop song covers. They’ve since recorded a full-length album of original songs and will play with local singer Gentle bones at their Singapore show. Dec 10, 8pm. Kallang Theatre, 1 Stadium Walk, 63487907. $58-98 from Sistic.

Headlined by instrumental post rock band Ovum from Japan, this shoegaze, post prog and ambient gig will also feature local acts Astreal, Anechois, Stellarium, Arajua and Yata. Dec 6, 5pm. The Substation Theatre, 45 Armenian St., 6337-7535, www. canopusdistro.com. $20-25.

I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

FILM cinema Old School The Singapore International Film Festival is back on our shores in December. Over 10 days the festival will host a series of international films with a focus on pioneering Asian cinema. Highlights from the festival are Unlucky Plaza by Ken Kwek, Red Amnesia by Wang Xiaoshuai and Winter Sleep by Nuri bilge ceylan. Through Dec 14. Various venues. www.sgiff.com. $12-25.

now STage


theater & dance


FESTIVE FLEAS Christmas markets to catch this month

Don Quixote Originally choreographed in 1869 for the bolshoi ballet, this 19th century ballet follows the pursuits of knight Don Quixote and his devoted squire Sancho Panza. It’s the Singapore Dance Theatre’s first full-length classical ballet in seven years, with staging by accomplished ballerina cynthia Harvey. Through Dec 7, 12pm. esplanade concert Hall, 1 esplanade Dr., 6338-0611, www. singaporedancetheatre.com. $30-70.

Monkey Goes west For the 11th edition of its popular year-end pantomime, theater group W!ld Rice presents a cheeky rendition of well-loved chinese classic Journey To The West, re-imagined in the context of modern-day Singapore. Starring theater veterans Lim Kay Siu, chua enlai and Siti Khalijah Zainal, and Sebastian Tan (of broadway beng fame) in his directorial debut. Through Dec 13, 7pm. Victoria Theatre, 11 empress Place, 6292-2695, www.wildrice.com.sg. $45-80.

comedy Dim Sum Dollies: The History of Singapore Part 2 This comic production will feature the irrepressible Selena Tan, Pam Oei and Denise Tan, who will present a caricature of Singapore from 1965. expect topics ranging from Kallang roars, Talentime scores, the Singapore River and even mas Selamat. Dec 11-23, 8pm. esplanade Theatre, 1 esplanade Dr., 6828-8377, www. dreamacademy.com.sg. $48-138 from Sistic.


Gillman Barracks Art and History Tour Volunteer organization Friends of the Museum’s guided tour of Gillman Barracks takes participants through its contemporary art galleries while narrating the colonial and post-colonial history of the former army barracks. Dec 13, 20, 4pm. Gillman Barracks, 9 Lock Rd. Free with registration EventBrite.

This exhibition by local photographer Pearl Gan features everyday images of people in cambodia, captured during her recent travels throughout the country. Gan is known for her emphasis on black and white and portraiture photography, aiming to reflect the soul and inner self of her subjects. Through Dec 7. elffin & elffin Gallery café, 29 Haji Lane, 9722-9982., elffinandelffin. co.nr. Free.


Dream Furniture Christmas Market

Dream Furniture Christmas Market The furniture showroom will transform into a lively christmas market with discounts, food stalls from Gastrogig, Island creamery, eastern Granola and The Great beer experiment, as well as gifts from The Attic Lifestyle Store, mmerci encore, Shop Wonderland and The Indiana Supply company. Dec 6-7, 11am. 456 River Valley Rd., 6235-0220, www.facebook. com/dreamintsg

Revisit your childhood with this J.m. barrie classic as it makes its Asian premiere featuring a 50-member cast of dancers, acrobats and magicians. expect a fresh take on well-known pop songs from the likes of Westlife and Robbie Williams. Through Dec 31, 3pm. Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, 6577-8888. $58168 from Sistic.

concerts I-S PICK Over, Through and Under by Laila Azra Known for her intricate abstract canvases, the Indonesian artist’s latest body of work is composed of 14 pieces which explore her personal, cultural and social roots. Influenced by abstract expressionist techniques, Azra’s artwork is characterized by bold, rhythmic lines and texture-rich details. Through Dec 28. Element Art Space, #02-13 Raffles Hotel, Raffles Hotel Arcade, 328 North Bridge Rd. Call 6883-2001 for more info. Free. www.elementartspace.com.

Reimagining by Philip Hemnell This Penang-based artist’s third solo exhibition acknowledges the rising openness to diversity in Singaporean society. eight pop art works are featured, borrowing classic cartoon imagery from the 1940s and 50s that reflect lifestyles and views on alternative sexuality. Through Dec 9. SPRmRKT, 2 mccallum St., 6221-2105. www.artdrive.com.sg. Free.


Tonstartssbandht The psychedelic rockers from Florida will be making a pit stop in Singapore as part of their Asian tour. made up of brothers edwin and Andy, the duo will perform their ethereal melodic tunes from their newest album, Overseas. Dec 6-7, 8pm. blu Jaz, 11 bali Lane, 62923800, tonstartss.peatix.com. $20.

The Lawn Bazaar This weekend event will have fashion, handmade crafts, artisan products and general knick knacks that make for good stocking-fillers. Aside from shopping, there will be activities such as henna painting, express nail manicures, tarot card reading and live music. Dec 6-7, 5pm. Chijmes, 30 Victoria St., 6337-7810, www.forfleasake.com The Chijmes Artisans & Craftsmen Market That’s not all for chijmes: the following weekend, it’s collaborating with local fancy grocer crateful and craft house The General company for a special market. There will be

Muse by Didier Lourenço Acclaimed Spanish artist Didier Lourenço will be having his first ever solo exhibition in South east Asia, which looks to pay homage to the mystery woman that inspired this series. Viewers are offered a look into her personality through the moments he captured on canvas. Through Dec 20. barnadas Huang Gallery, 22 Dempsey Rd., 66354707, www.barnadashuang.com. Free.

The Local People Night Market The Local People’s latest instalment will feature a huge range of handmade local products by indie designers, illustrators and artisanal food producers, plus local bands playing live music. This edition is also a collaboration with DbS, and those who sign up for DbS’ PayLah service can make cashless payment and get discounts. Dec 20, 5pm. Goldman Arts Centre, 90 Goldman Rd., 6342-5790. Three Blind Mice Flea Market This hugely popular flea market is back with a christmas theme and 180 vendors, with a focus on fashion and many stalls featuring items from blogshops like The Tinsel Rack, Young Hungry Free and Shop everyday People. Dec 20-21, 1pm, F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Blvd., 6884-6940, www.facebook.com/ threeblindmiceflea Festive Market at Gardens by the Bay Held beneath the Supertree Grove, this market is a mix of shopping and food stalls set in cute european wooden huts. Pick up gifts by Isetan christmas Village, Perfect Fit, Yankee candles and babyatt as well as food and drink stalls from brewerkz, chef on Wheels, Dean and Deluca and others. The market will also feature a pop up by Janice Wong featuring her famous edible installations. Until 21 Dec. Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr., 64206841, www.gardensbythebay.com.sg


Dreams of Desire

Tycho music promoter Secret Sounds Asia presents one of electronic music’s most prominent bands. Originally a solo project by San Francisco-born artist and producer Scott Hansen, Tycho now includes guitarist Zac brown and live percussionist Rory O’connor. Jan 15 2015, 8pm. Victoria Theatre, 11 empress Place, 6348-5555. $65 from Sistic.

over 30 local participating brands, as well as a range of craft workshops. Dec 13-14, 11am, CHIJMES, 30 Victoria St., 6337-7810, www. crateful.com.sg

Faces of Cambodia

Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

The Drums Since they last visited us, this Brooklyn-based indie pop outfit is now just down to a duo, consisting of Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham. They’re back in Singapore for a one-night only concert. They’ll be performing songs from their new album Encyclopedia, and hopefully a few of their earlier singles like “Let’s Go Surfing” and “Me and the Moon”. Dec 5, 7:30pm. Tab, #02-29 442 Orchard Rd., 6493-6952. $50-90 from EventClique.

Three Blind Mice Flea Market

Yayoi Kusama Dotty Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s latest paintings and fiberglass sculptures will be on show at Ota Fine Arts. Although they explore new territory, these pieces are aesthetically continuous with her signature “infinity nets” of endless polka dots. Through Jan 11. Ota Fine Arts (Gillman Barracks), 7 Lock Rd., 6694-3071, www. otafinearts.com. Free.

This solo exhibition by chinese artist Fu Lei features five large-scale oil paintings and a selection of drawings by the emerging painter. Fu’s works capture the notion of excess in today’s world, with plump figures and symbols that reference lust, gluttony and vice. Through Dec 30. Art Plural Gallery, 38 Armenian St. call 66368360 for more info. Free. www.artpluralgallery.com.

Begin…Begun Award-winning Hong Kong ad man and designer Alan chan exhibits his contemporary art pieces in his first solo show in Singapore; his body of work aims to bridge the rich imagery of ancient and historical china with modern aesthetics. The artist will be present on opening night. Dec 5-Jan 11. mizuma Gallery (Gillman barracks), 22 Lock Rd., 6570-2505, www.mizuma.sg. Free.

Da Vinci: Shaping the Future Don’t miss this exciting blockbuster featuring one of the world’s artistic greats. Da Vinci: Shaping the Future will showcase numerous original pieces from Leonardo Da Vinci’s personal collection. Expect to see 26 pages from the Codex Atlanticus, a notebook with important drawings and writings throughout the artist’s life, as well as interactive exhibits allowing an in-depth look into Da Vinci’s artistic and scientific pursuits. Through May 1 2015. ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Ave., 6688-8826, www.marinabaysands. com/museum.

FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I-S MAGAZINE


now Send your events news to events@asia-city.com.sg


FooD & DRink

by Letitia Tandean

Makan Makan at The Sultan eat a lot of food while helping a good cause. This fundraising event aims to help those in the Home Nursing Foundation with a food pop-up fest featuring local food folk like morsels, Keith crackling Roast, SPRmRKT and Hombre cantina. Dec 6, 11am. The Sultan Hotel, 101 Jalan Sultan, 6723-7101, www.giveasia.org/s/sl0so. $10.


internships and jobs. mentors will be on site to provide guidance, and there are public talks on tech startups. Dec 6-7. Le Danz, 222 Queen St., 6836-1941. www. hackatronasia.com. $10 from eventbrite.

Silkscreen Printing workshop This make-your-own-tote-bag workshop takes participants through the basic steps of designing, creating and printing using the block-out method of silkscreen printing. All materials are included in the cost; for more details or to register, contact Jay at jay@substation.org. Dec 13, 1pm. The Substation, 45 Armenian St., 63377800, www.substation.org. $83.35 including materials.


Julian Casablancas

Shouting Timbre

Have a Stroke

The Future is Here

Timbre, the popular live music venue, celebrated their ninth anniversary by expanding the existing Timbre @ The Arts House into House of Timbre (#0201 The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Ln., 6336-3386, www.timbregroup.asia). This complex now incorporates music venue barber Shop focusing on Latin and salsa on Thursdays, soul and swing beats on Fridays and blues on Saturdays. There’s also French restaurant OcF with jazz pianist and singer michaela Therese, as well as Timbre music Rehearsal, a fully-equipped studio.

The scruffy frontman of indie rock band The Strokes, Julian casablancas is coming to Singapore on Jan 10 with his experimental rock, seven-man side project Julian Casablancas+The Voidz and their debut studio album Tyranny with tracks like “Human Sadness” and “Where No eagles Fly”. Don’t worry, they’ll also do a selection of The Strokes’ hits and casablancas’ solo repertoire. Tickets go on sale Nov 24 on Sistic.

Next year, you won’t have to travel to malaysia to party at Future Music Festival—the dance and music event is moving to Singapore. The venue is still very hush hush, but we do know that it will be held on Mar 14-15 and will follow a familiar vibe with outdoor settings, multiple stages, bright lights and big stars. In case you didn’t know, it’s the largest music festival in the region and expects to attract 50,000 fans and 50 international and regional acts across eDm, pop, hip hop, indie and rock. Stay updated at www. futuremusicfestival.asia.

Penang Hawker’s Fare 22 of Penang’s hawkers convene to cook up a storm with unlimited servings of street food dishes like char kway teow, Penang prawn mee, Penang laksa, nasi lemak with nonya chicken kapitan, oyster omelet and more. End on a sweet note with desserts like ice kachang or chendol. Dec 12-Jan 1. white Rose Café, 21 Mount Elizabeth, 6737-0511. $25.80-28.80 on weekends.




One15 Christmas Boat Light Parade

Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore even if you’re not running, come out and support Singapore’s marquee running event, which comes with races for individuals, teams, the wheelchair-bound and kids, and covers most of marina bay and east coast Park. Dec 7, 5am. call 6643-9191 for more info. $20360. www.marathonsingapore.com.

Stepathlon Get fit at your workplace—this 100-day virtual race will see participants forming corporate teams of five and using Stepathlon’s pedometers to monitor their step count daily. email kunal.bhargava@stepathlon.com or visit the website to register. Through Dec 11. $70. www.stepathlon.com.


festivals Breakthrough: we Can! Arts Fest As part of Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARe)’s youth campaign We can!, which aims to eradicate gender-based violence among young people, this arts festival includes poetry readings, dance performances, interactive theater and a critical discussion on horror by Tania De Rozario. Dec 6, 11am. Singapore management University, campus Green. Free.

We are Farmers

This Singaporean documentary photographer grew up on a farm in Punggol. Her latest exhibition chronicles her own family’s three generations of farmers through photos dating back to the ‘60s. We caught up with her and chatted about a rural childhood and her thoughts on the future of farming. what are some of your fondest memories growing up on a farm? I never ran out of games to play, places to explore and cousins to do all of those things with. I remember huddling onto a van driven by one of my grand uncles every morning. He would drop us off and pick us up after school. It was also a lot about community living, an aspect that I miss greatly now. what is the future for farming? I feel that there should always be room for local produce, especially in a land-constrained country

like Singapore. We can’t stick to the traditional way of farming but have to constantly innovate and find solutions that can overcome our limitations. I think urban farming is a great idea. It brings life back to the city and helps reconnect with mother Nature. what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about farming? Probably the biggest misconception here is that it no longer exists in Singapore. Also maybe people think of farmers as simple folk who engage mainly in manual labor. The truth is, a lot of farmers I met in Singapore, including my own family, are very enterprising and inventive. who are some of your photography heroes? At the moment I love looking at works from chinese photographers like Luo Dan, Yan ming and Zhang Xiao. They spent years working on their projects and because of that, their works are compelling and pretty epic. I admire their dedication.

we Are Farmers will be showing from Dec 10-23 and Jan 2-12 2015 at Objectifs Gallery, 56A Arab Street, 6293-9782. Free.


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

Life Behind the Lens with Loke Hong Seng Local veteran photographer Loke Hong Seng, best known for capturing street scenes in 1970s Singapore, presents this talk on photography, from the technicalities of composition and the film medium, to its quasi-ritualistic aspects and its humanity. Email info@arnoldiiartsclub.com to register. Dec 13, 4:30pm. Yeo workshop, 1 Lock Road, 6734-5168. Free.

Anime Festival Asia A three-day festival of Japanese anime and pop culture, complete with performances by J-pop stars and a parade of cosplayers. This year’s edition is going to be (literally) 50% bigger, with new additions like the first Niconico Kunikaigi (internet culture festival) outside Japan. Dec 5-7,10am. Suntec Singapore International convention & exhibition centre, 1 Raffles blvd., 63372888, www.animefestival.asia. $13-428.

classes & workshops Hackatron Asia This 32-hour tech hackathon features real-life challenges for developers to tackle; the winners of these challenges stand to win prizes like gadgets, money, even

Luxe yacht club Oneº15 marina club is organizing a flotilla of festively lit-up boats, which will sail from the marina to Sentosa boardwalk then back again. The most extravagantly bedecked boats (theme: A Tropical christmas on the Waters) get to win cash prizes, which are awarded at the closing party on Dec 13. For those not loaded enough to own a yacht, charter boats are available for decoration and participation in the parade. Dec 6, 13, 6pm. ONe°15 marina club, 11 cove Dr., 6305-6988, www.one15marina.com. $25-100.

Night at the Museum: The Great Escape The latest player in the whole “escape room” trend is Asian civilisations museum, which will be transformed into a puzzle-filled zone. While solving these puzzles, players can also learn about the secrets of the museum and the history of ancient objects. Plus, there will be free screenings of Night at the museum and Night at the museum: battle of the Smithsonian. Dec 12-13. Asian civilisations museum, 1 empress Place, 63327798, greatescapeacm.peatix.com. $18-25.

Mystica Night Safari transforms into a theme park with activity stations and roaming mascots. Visitors are challenged to complete a quest with the help of a map, and the first 200 “explorers” to complete the quest can redeem a gift. Happens every Fri and Sat evening. Through Dec 20, 5:30pm. Night Safari, 80 mandai Lake Rd., 6269-3411, www.mystica.com.sg. $39 (child and adult prices, respectively).


dj gigs Zouk Presents Attagirl! Nights with Jaydah and Cabbit A party to celebrate women and women DJs, Jaydah and cabbit take over the decks and spin their brand of popular electronic music. There are also guest appearances by the local dance music scene. Dec 5, 9pm. Zouk Winebar, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988, www. zoukclub.com. Free.

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now PARTY ROSTER 5 must-see acts at this year’s ZoukOut Singapore’s biggest night out is just around the corner, with a who’s who of the DJing world. Here is our essential list.


Zouk Soundsystem presents Yves V and Gelab


Belgian dance music DJ and producer Yves V has some of the biggest names like Basto remixing his tunes. Spinning at clubs like Nikki Beach and Pacha, he puts an electro-trance spin to dance music hits like “Sonica (Running on a Highway)” and “CloudBreaker”. Dec 6, 10pm. Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-33. www. zoukclub.com.


The Revenge supported by Brandon P & Shigeki Producer The Revenge has become one of the leading names in dance music with his remixes and reworks including tracks like “vorderman” and “Sunkist” as well as LP Reekin’structions where he experimented with tracks from Johnny Adams and The Joneses. Dec 5, 10pm. Kyo, #B102 Keck Seng Tower, 133 Cecil St., 6225-6001. $20-25. www.clubkyo.com. Steve Angello

Para//el Presents James Zabiela (UK) This Southampton DJ-producer creates some pretty hot tech house beats remixing the likes of Sasha and Royskopp. He’s spun at places like Kazantip and Exit Festival with hits like “Blame” and “Perseverance”. Dec 5, 10pm. Velvet Underground, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $28-33. www.zoukclub.com.

International Music Summit After-Party DJ superstar Paul Oakenfold headlines the first edition of the International Music Summit afterparty in Singapore. With a career spanning over three decades, Oakenfold has held the world’s number #1 spot in DJ Magazine’s 100 Top DJs, and worked with popular artists such as Madonna and U2. Dec 11, 10pm. Attica, #01-03 Blk. A Clarke Quay, 3 River Valley Rd., 6333-9973. 40 including one drink. www.attica.com.sg.

Chill Sessions

Martin Garrix

Above & Beyond

MARTIN GARRIX The baby of the bunch, this 18-year old is making waves in the EDM world. Best known for tracks like “Animals” and more recently, “Wizard”, this boy wonder is ranked fourth in DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs. Plus, the Dutch teen is quite the looker. (Not that we’re cradle-robbers.) Go if you: Want to fangirl someone more hardcore than One Direction and love jumping and fist-pumping all night long. ABOVE & BEYOND Don’t be fooled by the lack of hair on this English electronic dance trio. They’ve stood the test of time since getting together in 2000. Consistently ranked on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJs, they’ve got a unique brand of dreamy tunes mixed with sing-a-long, beatheavy anthems. Go if you: Have been a long-time fan but also love the more downtempo but ethereal approach their dance numbers have.

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This ever-popular Boat Quay pub celebrates the festive season with a night featuring vinyl records playing Motown and Northern soul tunes. Headlined by soul music fancier and record collector Leonard Harbottle. Dec 6, 8pm. The Penny Black, 26/27 Boat Quay, 65382300. Free.

10 Years of Hyperdub ft. Kode9 & DJ Spinn

Richie Hawtin

NoPartyHere’s latest non-party is headlined by Scottish DJ Kode9, who spins 2step garage, jungle and drum’n’bass with hints of jazz, funk and house; and Chicago-based DJ Spinn, who takes inspiration from ghetto house, disco, juke and ghetto-tech tunes. Together, the two DJs have been at the forefront of some pretty experimental musical genres. Dec 6, 10pm. Canvas, #B1-01/06 The Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Rd., 6538-2928, www.canvasvenue.sg. $28-35 with one drink.


4th Rendezvous with French Cinema The fourth edition of this film festival features a special tribute to actress Juliette Binoche, whose latest movie Clouds of Sils Maria was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. There will be 16 films screened in total, with screenings held at the Alliance Française de Singapour, Shaw Lido and The Cathay Cineplex, as well as a special photo exhibition as part of the festival which features black and white photographs from the Cannes Film Festival in the 1950s. Through Dec 7. Various venues, 6344-2953, www. rendezvouswithfrenchcinema.sg. $11-13.

On The Bowery Notable American director Lionel Rogosin’s 1956 film is a scathing, realistic drama about life n New York City’s Bowery neighborhood. Despite having won many awards and being a significant influence on modern cinema, the film itself is quite rare and difficult to procure. Dec 7, 4pm. The Substation Theatre, 45 Armenian St., 6337-7535, www.substation.org. $5.

Nicky Romeo

RICHIE HAWTIN This English-born Canadian electronic DJ is a bit of an outlier with his minimal techno beats, but he’s got plenty of festival experience after gracing stages like Ultra Miami. He’s also been a huge influence on Detroit techno’s second wave music scene. Go if you: Like consistent beats and minimal sounds. The man’s not one for vocals.

ZoukOut runs Dec 12-13. Siloso Beach, Sentosa, www.zoukout.com. $128-$388. LETITIA TANDEAN

Stay in the Loop


The Holidays are A-Coming—Christmas Soul Sensation

STEVE ANGELLO This dude is famous as one-third of Swedish House Mafia, but on his own he’s still a tourde-force. With summery-sounding anthems like “Show Me Love” and “Everytime We Touch”, he’s got perfect beach rave music. Go if you: Love sitting on your boyfriend’s shoulders wearing neon and just can’t even handle Swedish House Mafia’s split. NICKY ROMERO This Dutch DJ and producer is an EDM mainstay who has collaborated with David Guetta, Tiësto and Calvin Harris to create adrenaline-pumping festival tunes like “Toulouse” and “I Could Be the One”. Go if you: Are serious about EDM because he regularly delivers goosebump-inducing beats.

This offbeat rooftop party eschews the usual alcoholfueled shenanigans in favor of trippy chillout music, psychedelic art and lasers, live acro yoga performances, plus free tapas. Dec 6, 7pm. Zsofi Tapas Bar, 68 Dunlop St., 6297-5875. Free.

A Jazzy Christmas featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff Hip hop and R&B legend Jazzy Jeff (you might know him from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) headlines this (not actually jazzy) Christmas party at Ku De Ta, supported by resident DJs Ya5th, Suren, Deepak and Styluxtakut. Email rsvp-sg@ kudeta.com to purchase limited presale tickets. Dec 20, 9pm. Ku De Ta, Marina Bay Sands, 1 Bayfront Ave., 6688-7688, www.kudeta.com. $38-48.

Trus’Me and Mikail supported by Norman C and Kavan Two DJs collaborate for a night of dance music. While Manchester-based DJ Trus’Me has soul-driven roots in techno and house music, Hong Kong-born Mikail has had stints in Rome, London and Berlin that lend to his unique blend of house, techno and electronic sounds. Dec 6, 10pm. Kyo, #B1-02 Keck Seng Tower, 133 Cecil St., 6225-6001, www.clubkyo.com. $20-25.

Best of First Take Watch the future of Singaporean film at this monthly screening of new local short films followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers. The selection of screenings this month is a retrospective of audience favorites throughout 2014, such as Evelyn Tan’s The Last Shoe. There will be a voting session for the top 3 shorts of the year as well. Dec 14, 2pm. 6496-5000, Lasalle College of the Arts, 1 McNally St., www.substation. org. Free.

Scum Cinema presents: Ninja Scroll The Society for Cult and Underground Movies’ (SCUM) latest screening is of the stomach-churning 1993 anime by Japanese director Yoshiaki Kawajiri. It follows samurai Jubei Kibahami as he journeys through a blood-spattered, demon-infested ancient Japan. Ages 18 and up only, thanks to its copious gore and violence. Dec 20, 8:30pm. The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, 6332-6903, ninjascroll.peatix.com. Free, but reservations close on Dec 18, 6:30pm.

cover story

party on WIth clubs downsizing and some closing, Singapore’s nightlife scene is headed in an interesting direction. By Nick Measures Zouk


t’s been a rather tumultuous time for Singapore’s clubs. Zouk only just survived and Butter Factory is upping sticks early next year. But on the flip side, there’s also been a host of new venues opening, offering a real mixed bag of clubbing experiences from re-imagined spaces to decadent discos.

Q&A Phil Poon, Director at Massive (Fenix, Empire, Bang Bang)

As we gear up for the party season, we take a look at the current scene, spot some trends in the latest club openings and ask the industry’s big players to tell us about the future of partying in Singapore.

What changes have you seen to the scene in the last year? It used to just be the big clubs but there’s been a definite shift to smaller venues. That’s not just because real estate is hard to come by, but also that the big DJs have become a lot more expensive, so there’s been a shift towards more intimate venues. The market is definitely more educated as well. As a result there are now more clubs catering to interests that are less mainstream, more specific.

Bang Bang

Luxe Lounges It don’t mean a thing if ain’t got that bling Altimate

Bang Bang


Arguably the first in a new wave of high end clubbing options to open this year, Altimate really raised the bar, and we don’t just mean the fact that it’s perched on the 61st floor of One Raffles Place. Run by the same people behind 1-Altitude (just upstairs) expect lots of LED lighting, sweeping views and a hefty cover charge to match the VIP status. International guest acts play alongside resident DJs like Funkman and Leonard T, previously seen at Zouk KL. Plus, it’s where we hosted our Readers’ Choice Awards earlier this year. 61/F One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place, www.1-altitude.com.

Opened in August. this snazzy nightclub took over the space formerly known as Mink and Royal Room. The club is pretty bling, boasting a state-of-the art L Acoustics sound system, a 45m high-resolution LED wall and a gilded cage in the center of the dance floor. Not surprisingly it pulls in a high flying crowd attracted by the focus on EDM, and chart hits and fun themed nights. Pan Pacific Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd., www.bangbang.sg.

Another club looking to tap into the luxe end of the nightlife market, this three-story pleasure palace is designed by nightlife veteran Sharma Das and fashionista Andrew Carver (also behind Dom Lounge at MBS). With a dance floor on the first floor, a members-only second floor and a chill rooftop bar it caters to most needs and offers plenty of different themed nights covering every musical taste from techno to R&B. #02-01 79 Circular Rd., www.chateaux.com.sg.



How have the crowds changed? People are more discerning, so our clubs now play more EDM and hip hop. I think the crowd might also be getting a little older. Altimate


What do you see happening in the next year? Unfortunately, I do see more clubs consolidating and some having to shut down due to increasing costs. On the flip side we’ll probably see more festivals and events, as they make it financially viable to bring in the big DJs. We’ve also definitely noticed that more events are mixing music with something else like sport—for example, like Illumi Nation.

cover story Q&A Sofie Chandra, Head of Events, Zouk


Nightlife Hubs Offering it all under one shiny roof Empire


Initially meant to be Vogue club, this place blurs the definition of what you call a club, yet it boasts top DJs and state of the art audio and visuals. Sat atop of the complex 50 Raffles Place, it also happens to serve up some pretty special views over the city. It’s actually part of a big complex that also includes Sear Steakhouse, Angie’s Oyster bar and an as yet unopened Japanese restaurant so you can enjoy dinner, drinks and a little dance all under one expensive roof. 45 Singapore Land tower, 50 Raffles Place, www.50rp.com.sg.

Opened this month, cloud has opted to take the clubbing scene in to the shopping heartland with a suitably swanky location. Downstairs the bistro-bar focuses on comfort food and cocktails served in a funky space complete with a graffiti sprayed bar by local artist, Zero. Upstairs is the Ultralounge, which follows the same tongue in cheek approach to the decor featuring a furry wall and a series of quirky art pieces commissioned from local artists. The music promises to cover all the bases from electro-house to hip hop. #01-01,Pacific Plaza, 9 Scotts Road, www.cloudsg.sg

What changes have you seen in the local nightlife scene? The scene continues to be very dynamic with the consistent opening of new clubs. There has also been the sprouting of new bars, along with food offerings as a recent trend in the past two or three years. Aside from that, we have seen a sudden increase in festivals and concerts being held in Singapore. Have the club-goers changed? One thing we have noticed is the peak partying hours are getting later. For instance even on Wednesdays, the crowd peaks at 1am. We also notice that clubbers today are generally more well-travelled and exposed. What have you got planned for the near future? We are planning a series of events under the SG50 umbrella, culminating in a Zouk Arts and music Festival in August 2015. Zouk has always served as a platform for our local fashion designers, artists and musicians, and we want to showcase of the best in our local scene. Zouk members bar will also be going through a major renovation come December. Stay tuned for very exciting updates.


New for Old


Renames and refits for old favorites Attica


We’re not sure quite how they did it but the decade-old Attica managed to undergo a complete transformation this year, despite never actually closing. The good or bad news (depending on if you’re a fan) is they’ve stuck to the tried-and-tested formula of chart toppers, but the interiors have undergone a major transformation with new light installations, a floating DJ booth and two new VIP platforms. The interior courtyard has a new bar area and bar Rose is a terrace area out front is another new addition. #0103 Blk. A Clarke Quay, 3 River Valley Rd., www.attica.com.sg

Another new venue rising from the ashes of a former club (the decade-old Home club), canvas has brought something a little fresh to the scene. In collaboration with the team behind bangkok’s bed Supperclub, it looks to blend art (by day) and club (by night) together under one rather minimal roof. It offers a mix of cutting-edge and commercial big names, curated by a solid team of Home club regulars. #B1-01/06 the Riverwalk, 20 Upper Circular Rd., www. canvasvenue.sg

PARty ROStER Clubbing Calendar

What changes have you seen over the last year? Well, there are definitely a lot more collectives and people doing their own thing, which is great as it brings more diversity. There’s a growing number of people who want something different, who want alternatives. How would you rate the current scene compared to the past few years? I’m an optimist. I always think it’s better than before and there is always room to be even better. Canvas

ZoukOut The daddy of them all is back and after the dramas of this year we have a feeling that Singapore’s ultimate dance party is going to be bigger than ever. The line up includes trance trio Above & beyond, the hip-hop influenced Loco Dice, eDm legend Nicky Romero, dubstep pioneer Skrillex, DJ-showman Steve Aoki and one-third of Swedish House mafia, Steve Angello. Dec 12-13. (For more info, see page 8)

Paul Oakenfold


Alyysa Kokilah, Experience Innovator at party collective Super O

I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

International Music Summit If you didn’t already know December sees Singapore become the first Asian city (in your face HK) to host this global eDm industry event. While that involves workshops and talking you do also get the chance to do some dancing at the summit After Party as lead delegate Paul Oakenfold takes over the decks at Attica. Dec 11-12. Attica, #01-03 Clarke Quay, 3A River Valley Rd. $40.

Super O Open Air The collective behind the popular Warehouse series, Super O Season is going to be getting involved with the 2015 Art Fair, in its own special way. The venue is still top secret but it’s going to be an all-day affair with activities ranging from a mixology garden, workshops on urban farming, theater performances, art events and a silent disco. There’s also an eclectic line up of DJs including The Field and Scharre from cologne’s renowned label Kompakt. Jan 17. www.super0. sg. From $65.

What do you see happening in the next year? We are in the midst of prepping for Super 0 Open Air which is our first pop-up boutique festival. It’s a much bigger undertaking, with a lot more focus on art, design, culture and lifestyle. In the same way, we can expect to see more festivals and music events in 2015. However, this influx should hopefully not lead to festival fatigue too soon with inflated ticket prices, productions costs and more, as has happened in Australia, UK and europe.


Holidays, hotels and insider travel news


Northern Retreat

Luang Prabang in Laos offers culture and relaxation in a picturesque riverside town. By Eimear Elkington

Night market

Mekong River


lthough well known for its myriad golden temples, Luang Prabang also offers a host of other treats, from colonial restaurants and charming cafes to breathtaking natural wonders. Monk receiving alms

Eat Luang Prabang is quiet and low-key, which makes it a great spot to enjoy lots of long lunches and indulgent dinners. Start with the many cute French bakeries around town, most sporting colonial architecture. Le Banneton (Sisavang Vong Rd., across from Wat Sop Sickharam temple) has so many travellers lounging outside eating crusty baguettes you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in Paris in the summertime. The Lao coffee is thick, strong and, like Singapore Kopi, served black or with sweetened condensed milk (from 12,000 LAK($1.90)). Obviously you need to sample some traditional Laos food during your visit, which has similarities to both Thai and Chinese cuisines. Grab a spot on the wide wooden balcony at restaurant and cooking school Tamnak Lao (Sakkaline Rd., +8 56 7125-2525, www.tamnaklao.net), order up some say ua kway, a traditional spicy Lao buffalo sausage (35,000 LAK/$5.60) and ask for a pot of their jeowbong—an intense green chili dip that packs a serious punch. For dinner, head to relaxed, openair Misaiphon Restaurant (Phu Vao Rd., +8 56 7121-2888) to catch a performance of traditional Laos dance and music. Try the whole fish with herbs (55,000 LAK

ESSENTIALS GETTING ThERE Thai Airways (www.thaiairways. com) flies to Luang Prabang via bangkok six times a week (prices start at $573 for a return).

Tamnak Lao

($8.80)), which is perfectly moist and cooked in a fragrant mix of peanuts, lime and lemongrass. If you really want to push the boat out enjoy the town’s French cultural legacy with a meal at fine dining restaurant L’Eléphant (Vat Nong, +8 56 7125-2482, www.elephant-restau.com). The setting is open, elegant and airy, the food rich and flavorsome and the wine list one of the most extensive in town. Try one of the set menus (from 127,000 LAK/$20) for items like coq au vin and tarte tartin with warm apple, mango and pineapple.

Save the Date Boun Khao Chi This temple festival is held during the third moon of the lunar calendar. It’s quite a site to see worshippers circumnavigate the town’s temples and make offerings to monks. Feb 3 Lao New Year Falling in April, the local, much calmer version of Songkran lasts three days and involves water ceremonies, processions and feasts—without as much drunkenness. April 14-16 Rocket Festival This fun festival involves people gathering in fields to launch miniature, homemade rockets in the air in an attempt to make rain. Expect booms and plenty of revelry. Early May More information at www.tourismlaos.org.


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

Tangor Bar and lounge

Drink Luang Prabang is so chill it borders on sleepy so you’re hardest partying will probably be sipping a quiet beer. Your best bet is along Sisavang Vong Road near the center of town. Tangor Bar and Lounge (Sisavang Vong Rd., +8 56 71260761) is a chill expat hangout with dark lighting, soft jazz and a wide veranda, while Coconut Garden (directly across the road) serves Lao food and cold drinks in an open courtyard space dotted with palm trees and white umbrellas. Just remember the local curfew means bars start winding down around 11pm and close at 11:30pm on the dot.

VISA Singaporeans don’t need a visa for stays of up to 30 days. citizens from most other countries can get a visaon-arrival for US$30 (you’ll need a passport photo). check at www. visahq.sg. CuRRENCY The official currency in Laos is the Laotian Kip (LAK) but the majority of shops and businesses will accept Thai baht or US dollars. ExChANGE RATE $1 = 6,231 LAK

Do Luang Prabang is set along the mighty Mekong River so make sure you get out on the water with a boat trip. A standard 2-hour tour costs US$40-50 ($52-65) (depending on your bargaining skills) and should take in the thousands of Buddha images stored in caves at Pak Ou. It also usually involves a stop off at

Tad Kuangsi Waterfall

Wat Visoun

Haw Kham

Temple Tour Wat Visoun It’s the oldest temple in the city, a huge stone structure surrounded by lush gardens. Sisavang Vong Road Wat xieng Thong One of the country’s most important temples, attracting monks from all over Laos. Khem Khong Road Wat Sop Sickharam It’s beautiful and highly ornate with gold detailing located right in town. Sakkaline Road haw Kham The city’s royal palace is over 110 years old and has some French colonial touches. Sisavang Vong Road





View from Phousi Hill


one of the small villages along the way, to visit local markets and sample some homemade whiskey. Another worthwhile adventure is Tad Kuangsi waterfall around 30km south of Luang Prabang and (about US$20 ($25) return in a taxi). After a short walk through the forest you’ll hear the sound of crashing water before you see the breathtaking three-tiered falls. If you can spare the time bring swimmers and take a dip, the water is crystal clear and refreshing. Those looking for souvenirs should head to the daily night markets from 5pm on Sisavang Vong Rd. A welcome departure from the usual tacky tourist tees and key rings, these higher-end markets have locals selling silver and beaded jewelry, patterned ceramic kitchenware, local art and ground Laos coffee beans to take home. There’s also a great range of hawkers selling everything from fresh juices and pancakes to barbecued meat skewers. If extra time presents itself, just wander the town’s picturesque streets which snake between traditional wooden Lao homes, faded colonial guesthouses and golden temples. For a bird’s eye view climb to the top of Phousi hill and its mountaintop temple. It’s a bit of a trek (comfy shoes and mosquito repellent are recommended) but the panoramic views make it a great spot for sunset.

Insider travel tips




Le Palais Juliana Hotel

Stay We stayed at the swanky Le Palais Juliana hotel (Chao Phetsalath, +8 56 7126-0417, www.julianahotels.com) a gorgeous resort-style property outside of town with rooms overlooking the pool and gardens. Prices start from US$189 per night ($243). For something more central, Villa Santi (Sakkarine Road, +8 56 7125-2157, www.villasantihotel.com) is a beautiful colonial building with wide open rooms and shuttered windows in the heart of the temple district, making it a good spot to catch the early morning alms giving. Prices start from US$128 per night ($165).

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One Night in Bangkok


For your next trip, here are the newest it spots to eat, drink and dance. By Asia City Editorial Studio Lam

10am: Swedish brunch The star of the third outlet of Bangkok’s stylish coffee bar, Rocket S49’s (1/F Grease Building, Sukhumvit Soi 49, +662 662-6637) star is their cold brewed coffee, aptly named Rocket Fuel (THB105 ($5.95)). Food wise, this place serves up Scandinavian classics like gravlax (house-cured salmon) on dark rye (THB300 ($11)) and Swedish meatballs (THB330 ($13)) served with gravy, mashed potato, berries and pickled cucumber.

2pm: Molecular Thai for lunch osha (99 Wireless Rd., +662 256-6555), the Bangkok outpost of the 17-year-old


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014


Thai restaurant chain from San Francisco, is a must-visit. Helmed by Iron Chef regular Thaninthorn Chantrawan, they mix up classic Thai flavors with advanced molecular techniques. Must-tries include the hearty massaman lamb shank (THB550 ($21.89)) and the explosive Volcanic Beef (THB1,500 ($59), which combines seared wagyu beef with king basil, chili-jam and a slow-cooked egg yolk.

7pm: Michelin-starred dinner Michelin-starred chef Henk Savelberg, formerly based in the Netherlands, has set up his eponymous restaurant in Bangkok (G/F Oriental Residence, 110 Wireless Rd., +662-252-8001)—his first venture outside

Europe. The menu includes fillet of veal filled with goose liver (THB2,450 ($97)) and wagyu beef tartare and egg yolk boiled in herb oil (THB1,250 ($49)).

10pm: Drinks at Studio Lam On trendy, industrial-ish Sukhumvit Soi 51, new bar Studio Lam (+662 261-6661) promises global beats and quality drinks. Named after famed local DJ Maft Sai’s radio podcasts, the place focuses on adventurous nightly DJ sets and live music. The space looks pretty basic, with remnants from the old Japanese restaurant here before, but the star of the show is a specially designed custom tube sound system to pump out jams for the makeshift dance floor.

12am: Secret late-night party Located behind the long-standing Nunglen Bar (Ekamai Soi 5/1, +6694 414-9266), do Not disturb is a vintage hotel-themed club specializing in EDM from local DJs as well as live bands. It has 10 fake doors to keep visitors guessing as to the real entrance and an interior divided into the different zones of a hotel. The bar is a bit pricey on first glance, but bottles come with free-flow mixers all night. If you need to fuel up, there’s a yakiniku bar upstairs, Kukkuuk, which has a cactus garden-like rooftop balcony.

escapes Send your travel news and promotions to travel@asia-city.com.sg

ESCAPE ROUTES with Joyce See

Away Koh Kood Resort


Hanok houses in Korea


February. If you’re the active holiday type, there’s also a marathon happening in the same period. What’s more, there are two new Starwood hotels slated to open in the coming months. You can keep an eye on all the happenings on the country’s newly launched Visit Bhutan website (www. visitbhutanyear.com).

Beach Away Want a really remote beach getaway? Why not try the Away Koh Kood Resort (43/8 Moo 2 Baan Klongchao, +668 7136-4036, www.awayresorts.com) situated in the Gulf of Thailand close to the Cambodian border. A real island retreat you’ll find luxurious ocean facing bungalows and unspoiled beaches. Plus, they’ve got a new promotion that includes a two night stay, round trip ferry from Trat (the closest airport) to Koh Kood and covers all meals. Rates start at THB4,530 ($177) a night for stays at their Duplex Bungalow and is valid until Mar 31, 2015.

New Northern

Good news if you’re heading to Chiang Mai this winter as there’s a number of funky new venues to check out. Gastrobar Myst (55 Moo 5, Huay Kaew Road, +666 1512-6768) has just taken over the rooftop space on popular Maya Mall and focuses on fancy cocktails all topped up with liquid nitrogen. Meanwhile, Bann Khang Wat (opposite Wat Ram Poeng, +669 0056-9042) is a new craft focused community mall made up of just ten vendors selected for their ethical, community focused business approach. BHUTAN

Ticket to Happiness For a historically isolated country, Bhutan is really starting to emerge from the mist. For starters, there are a bunch of big festivals taking place, including their first ever international art and film festival (www.bhutaninternationalfestival.com) in


Calling Cairns Lesser known than the cafés of Melbourne or the surfer beaches of Sydney, Cairns situated in the Northern tip of Queensland has plenty going for it. Not least as the jumping off point for most trips to one of the natural wonders of the world: the Great Barrier Reef. It will soon be easier to discover it for yourself come May 30, 2015 as SilkAir (www.silkair.com) will be starting direct flights from Singapore to Cairns set to depart every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. KOREA

Back In Time Really immerse yourself in the local culture during your next trip by staying in a hanok, one of those charming wooden homes you’ve always seen in the background of Korean dramas. The Korean Tourism Organization has a handy list (www.english.visitkorea.or.kr) of certified hanok houses. Many of these former homes are hundreds of years old, yet most have been carefully renovated with modern comforts like TV and Westernstyle toilets, alongside authentic touches like antique furniture, paper-pasted windows and wooden sliding doors.

The InsIder’s GuIde To

Kuala Lumpur

Unmissable events, shopping, dining and attractions. Plus handy maps!


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

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The latest openings and hottest trends in Singapore

GROOMING Close Shave Hipster beard lovers, delight. MÜHLE has just launched its specialist collection of razors and wet shave brushes in Singapore. Hand-crafted in Germany, the brushes use fine badger hair (for its water absorbency apparently) encased by porcelain handles, and come with super-sharp razor blades and organic shaving soap—to take your grooming ritual up a notch. Prices start from $80 for single razors and brushes to $230 plus for shaving sets, and the colors get a cool update from your grandpa’s preferred hues. Available from Sultans of Shave, #02-01, 11 North Canal Road, 6222-0201, www. sultansofshave.com.

SHOPPING Naughty or Naiise

Local clothing, homeware and accessories boutique Naiise is having a Christmas pop-up market until Dec 24. There will be food stalls and seasonal menus from The Cajun Kings, Park Bench Deli, Morsels, Burnt Ends, Artichoke and Kith Cafe, as well as products from over 150 local and international designers including The Blend & Press Co, La Bruket, Hej Juni and Weekend Worker. There will also be DIY wrapping stations so your purchases can go straight under the tree. 72 Dunlop St., 6702-3248, www.facebook. com/Naiise.


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HOME Buck the Norm

If you’re looking to freshen up your home with something a bit more unique this festive season, check out local design boutique Studio Norm. Its new range of furniture and home accessories blends sharp edges with clean flowing lines to create contemporary, borderline futuristic pieces like the Triangle Coffee Table (pictured, $1,200) and the tree inspired Branch Vases ($140). Check it out at #0307 North Star @ Ang Mo Kio, 7030 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, 6280-9233, www.studionorm.com.

TEcH The Wheel Estate Market

Cyclists in Singapore will be happy to hear there’s a new app to help make upgrading bikes easier. Togoparts.com is a community marketplace that lets you list, search and trade new and used bicycles, both online and now though the new app. It’s just launched in Singapore and has mountain bikes, road bikes and hipster fixie bikes, as well as a wide range of bike parts and accessories for purchase—cyclists rejoice! Available for both Android and iOS.

Deck the halls with a touch of Lime Celebrate with Lime’s treasure trove of festive goodies that will put you and your loved ones in the cheeriest of moods. Savour the flavours of the season with buffets available from 12 December 2014, featuring Yuletide favourites such as Honey Baked Ham, Roasted Turkey and more. Play the perfect host with succulent roasts and sweet treats including the limited edition Durian Mousse logcake from our takeaway booth. For all your festive indulgences, connect with us at +65 6809 8899 or email lime.prsps@parkroyalhotels.com Festive Buffet Lunch and Dinner Available from S$68++ from 12 to 30 December 2014 Christmas Buffet Lunch and Dinner Available from S$68++ on 24 December 2014 and from S$78++ on 25 December 2014 New Year’s Eve Buffet Dinner and Countdown Party Ring in 2015 with a celebratory buffet dinner available from S$118++ or join our countdown party at 10pm for an indulgent “all-you-can-drink” liquid buffet with oyster bar and canapés, available from S$108++ New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch Available from $138++ on 1 January 2015 Gourmet Gifts and Sweet Delights Ease the stress of entertaining with succulent roasts and sweet treats including the limited edition Durian Mousse logcakes, available from 1 to 25 December 2014

Lime Restaurant and Bar PARKROYAL on Pickering, a PARKROYAL Collection hotel 3 Upper Pickering Street, Singapore 058289 us on facebook.com/parkroyal.pickering

FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE


island fITNESS

No Man’s Land

Ditch the man-sweat at these womens-only workout classes. By Eimear Elkington Weightlifting classes

Ballet-themed exercise

In the Lift Like a Lady class you’ll come to grips with gym equipment like barbells and dumbbells in a calm space with nary a meathead to be found. The classes are all about toning, learning new skills and increasing strength. How much: Classes start from $30/30 minutes and $40/hour. Where: #01-03 137 Telok Ayer St., 6222-4766, www.level.com.sg.

Sky Pilates has infused dance and core pilates to create an intense women’s ballet barre (hand rail) workout. The sessions use the barre itself with a series of dance and balancing positions to increase tone, strength, control and concentration. It’s a multi-level class so you don’t have to be a former principal. How much: 1 trial foundation class for $35, $50 thereafter. Where: #09-01 Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Rd., 6100-7597, www.skypilates.com.

Aerobics and dance fitness Amore has a bunch of women-only classes based on aerobics, strength training and various forms of dance. There are choices like belly-dancing inspired abdominal workout Belly Blitz; Cardio Latino, featuring Samba, Rumba and Jive moves set to Latin music; and Stretch Fit, a calming flexibility workout similar to yoga. How much: Sign up online to get a fitness pass to try one class for free. Where: #05-18 Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1, 6789-8822, www.amorefitness.com.

Core workouts Breathe Pilates offers classes specifically designed to target the back and pelvic floor muscles, as well as traditional preand-post natal classes. Try the Gyrotonic pilates which combines elements of yoga, dance and Tai Chi to work your entire body, increase strength and heighten the range of motion in your joints. How much: Prices start from $55 for a single session. Where: #13-02 Parkway Centre, 1 Marine Parade Central, 9835-5683, www.breathepilates.com.sg.

A full womens-only gym Singapore’s first all-women gym has six studios around town, all with bright minimalist interiors. Many of the classes offered are from the Les Mills workout series, created by a four-time olympian. Options include circuit training and pilatesstyle workouts as well as Vivafit HIIT, a 30-minute high-intensity group training class. How much: A three class pack to check it out starts at $38. Where: #02-24 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, 62263630, www.vivafit.com.sg. Level Studio

Sky Pilates

NEW PLAcE Motorwerks (The colony) The buzz: The flagship in Ubi is an established spot for riders and the motorcycling community in general. Now this cycle supply and lifestyle store has opened a second shop closer to town in Kampong Glam. The vibe: Imagine if your cool rider friend turned his spacious studio into a shop. There’s wooden shelves of merchandise along the walls, but in the middle of the floor is also a tufted leather couch, a Persian rug and a metal trunk for a coffee table. (On top, of course, are magazines like August Man and their in-house riding journal). On our last visit, they were blasting Bob Dylan, circa “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and we weren’t sure whether to browse or kick back with a beer. The goods: They carry all sorts of shirts, shoes, padded jeans and other apparel for the motorcyclist (or wannabe) lifestyle, from American brands like Obey and Deus Ex Machina. We

love the awesome vented riding jackets by Tocano Urbano and the Iron & Resin t-shirts (from $69) that will appeal to Harley fans (they say things like “Take the Long Way Home”). They also have a massive display of visors and vintage-y helmets from Bell, including the retro-chic Custom 500 ($167)—great for that Vespa you’re thinking of getting—which, aside from some technological improvements, has exactly the same design as it did 60 years ago. There’s even a small display of men’s grooming products from the likes of JS Sloane and Imperial, from $30. Why we’ll be back: To pretend we own a Hog. Plus their range of accessories (like Gulf gas station mugs and sunglasses) and their in-house line of bags are pretty cool, even if you usually take a bus.

751 North Bridge Rd., 6341‑7660, www.fb.com/motorwerksasia. MRIGAA SETHI


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Got Game?

The top console titles hitting shelves late 2014. By Kanin Srimaneekulroj Assassin’s Creed: Unity

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Release Date: Nov 3 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC) Developer/Publisher: Sledgehammer Games/ Activision The pitch: The usual twitch-shooting fare Call of Duty aficionados know and love, thrown several decades into the future, where soldiers wear highly advanced “exo-suits” (not unlike the one Matt Damon wore in the film Elysium). Oh, and Kevin Spacey stars (via motion capture). Why you should get it: The hugely popular multiplayer mode has arguably set the standard for all modern first-person shooters. But the latest edition’s futuristic exo-suits should make the campaign equally exciting, thanks to abilities such as invisibility, a grappling hook and a jetpack, to name a few.

Grand Theft Auto 5: Re-mastered Release Date: Nov 18 (PS4, Xbox One) Developer/ Publisher: Rockstar North/Rockstar Games The pitch: Set in the coastal city of Los Santos (basically Los Angeles), GTA 5 follows the everyday shenanigans of three criminals. Originally released in 2013 for PS3/XBOX 360,

this re-mastered edition for new-gen consoles still features the typical open-world madness that comes with all GTA games, supported by plenty of offensive comedy and satire both in the cut-scenes and the game. Why you should get it: Robbing a minimart with an aircraft carrier never gets old.

The Crew Release Date: Dec 2 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) Developer/ Publisher: Ivory Tower/Ubisoft The pitch: Part racing game, part role-playing game, this car-PG (get it?) is a massive, multiplayer online game where your crew goes on a road trip across the US. And by massive, we mean the map covers all of the United States—and takes three hours to cross. Why you should get it: The Crew puts you in a persistent open-world, letting you jump in and out of races whenever you want. The game also sports an upgrading system that turns your cars into characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn be customized to fit each player’s gaming style.

WWE 2K15 Release Date: Nov 18 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360)

Developer/Publisher: Yuke’s Media Creation/ Take-Two Interactive The Pitch: The latest entry in the annualized WWE 2K franchise comes with all the glossy graphics you’d expect from a new-gen game. In fact, the faces of the wrestlers are among the best in videogames. The PS4 and XBOX ONE versions also sport a robust wrestler creator, allowing you to customize the looks and move sets of your own unique fighter before pitting him or her against WWE legends such as Hulk Hogan. Why you should get it: It feels more like a simulator than an arcade game. It’s outrageously good for parties, too.

Pro-Evolution Soccer 2015 Release Date: Nov 11 (PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC) Developer/ Publisher: Winning Eleven Productions/ Konami The Pitch: Formerly known as Winning-Eleven, PES 2015 is the latest entry in the popular soccer game franchise. This newest addition does away with the many criticisms brought forward by fans of the series, and returns to the responsive controls and tight maneuvers that turned the series into a videogame powerhouse. Why you should get it: Just watching the trailer, with shiny new graphics befitting the power of the new consoles, gave us goose bumps.

Assassin’s Creed: Unity Release Date: Nov 11 (PS4, Xbox One, PC) Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft Studios Pitch: Set in Paris during the French revolution, Assassin’s Creed: Unity puts you in the shoes of Arno Victor Dorian, a young man caught between the Assassins and the Templars, two secret organizations vying to manipulate the revolution. The game is all about moving quickly, stealthily and slitting a lot of throats. Why you should get it: Not only do players parkour their way through the streets and rooftops of Paris—impressively recreated on a 1:1 scale—but they can do so with a group of up to three other friends. Then there’s the ability to display over 5,000 characters on screen simultaneously: crowds that have their own agenda, such as rioting or storming a prison.

fASHION Q&A Daniel Boey The veteran Singapore fashionisto recently launched a tell‑all memoir about his career, The Book of Daniel: Adventures of A fashion Insider. Here he tells us (just some) of the gossip. Tell us a bit about your new book. It’s a fashion adventure that spills the beans on the good, the bad and the bitchy side of a glamorously unpredictable industry. What have been the highs of your career? There have been many highs—from helping to


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develop the concept for the inaugural Singapore Fashion Festival to helming Singapore Fashion Week and working internationally on various Fashion Weeks. And the lows? There have also been many lows, both in the fashion as well as the entertainment arena—unscrupulous clients, backstabbing b******, insecure creatives, diva designers, egos to contend with (mine included), folks who disappear with unpaid bills and industry in-fighting, all of which I’ve discussed in the book.

How is Singaporean fashion doing? The Singaporean aesthetic is constantly evolving. Many people seem to be leaving their typical Singaporean “uniform” of shorts and flip-flops behind and embracing fashion more. Most have mastered the art of beating the heat while staying stylish. What is next for the Singapore fashion scene? I have extremely high hopes for our fashion scene. Locals seem to be more receptive towards our fashion designers and a key factor is that the Singaporean brands are starting to target the younger customers who are creative, free-spirited

and want to stand out from the crowd. Street wear is definitely starting to pick up here among the local brands (like Mash-Up, Yesah, Reckless Ericka and Revasseur) and the youths love it. Daniel Boey’s book is $50, available from Kinokuniya, #04‑20/20B/20c Takashimaya Shopping centre, Ngee Ann city, 391 Orchard Rd., 6737‑5021, www.kinokuniya.com.sg. EIMEAR ELKINGTON

Send your news to style@asia‑city.com.sg

STYLE NOTES with Eimear Elkington

Chainless Brain

Label Junkie Hot on the heels of Zalora, online shopping portal Lazada has launched its own in-house label, LZD, with a range of clean silhouettes and cool fabrics. All the items are incredibly cheap so feel free to churn and burn. We particularly like the metallic-toned slim fit jeans ($31) and the acid-wash denim midi skirt ($17). The refreshed online fashion section also includes new UK brands Rock and Religion, Dead Lovers and Neon Rose, as well as boho-chic label Free People from American fashion giant Urban Outfitters. Shop online at www.lazada.sg.

All Under Control New local clothing label controlled commodity has launched with a cool, streamlined range of men’s shirts and tees. The style is fuss-free and borderline utilitarian, with straight cuts, prominent pockets and a muted color palette. We like the range of basic crew cut cotton t-shirts with a washed vintage look. Prices are affordable, with tees starting from $18 and shirts from $49; available on controlledcommodity.com.

A-head of the Curve It’s hard not to occasionally dabble in the whole bohemian-bourgeois look. And now local online store chainless Brain has just released a range of handmade headpieces perfect for a swanky cocktail party or a Prohibition-themed soiree. We particularly like the bronze-hued Pink Feathers ($42) headdress and the tribal-themed Gypsy Warrior headband ($45). Check out the full range at www.chainlessbrain.com.

iPhone Fashion We hear the new iPhone 6 has a more shatter-proof screen, but even still, you’re going to want to keep your new baby shiny and scratch-free. To do it in style, try the new Ted Baker iPhone 6 case collection, featuring a colorful tango of floral prints and English country scenes. The cases themselves are also durable and thin, keeping the streamline look of your phone. Starting from $49 at EpiCentre stores, such as #02-321/322 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Blvd., 6238-9378, www.tedbaker.com. Ted Baker

BUY SPY Glambue It’s the time of year again when we dust off our pretty table settings in preparation for the flood of festive dinner parties. If you’re looking for tableware that’s a little different, check out Glambue, a newly launched range of eco-friendly bamboo bowls and table utensils. We like that the brightly colored pieces tread the fine line between rustic charm and modern chic.

Prices range from $20‑$40, available from the Glambue facebook page, www. facebook.com/glambue. EIMEAR ELKINGTON FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE



The inside scoop on Singapore’s drink and dining scene

rEopENING Inner Sanctum After it shuttered in July, we were uncertain of the fate of popular Greenwood restaurant Shelter in the Woods (22 Greenwood Ave., 6466-6225, www.shelterinthewoods.com). Luckily it has just relaunched with London-trained Japanese chef Masashi Horiuchi in the kitchen cooking up rustic European food. Expect more family-style dishes with their in-house rotisserie dishing out roasted suckling pig ($35) and pâté en croûte ($18) made with veal, pork, foie gras, mushroom and pistachio.

rAMEN Oodles of Noodles

Just in case you needed another ramen restaurant to check out, Circular Road is now home to takumen (66 Circular Rd., 6536-4875, www.sg.takumen.com), a casual place that brings together six popular Japanese ramen brands. There are bowls of noodles from Honda Shoten (from $15.90), a Fukuoka brand with tonkotsu-based broth; Ramen Hajime (from $14.90) hailing from Osaka and serving creamy chicken soup ramen; and Sakutaya (from $16.90) known for its thick chicken-pork broth mix and oval-shaped noodles.


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tApAS Foodie Lair

The bistro-bar concepts have been super popular recently. Den (29 Boon Tat St., 6220-0629, www.den.com.sg) is one, a European-style bistro by day and a tapas-wine bar by night that has replaced Bartini Kitchen. Mandatory hipster décor (suitcases and Peranakan-style tiled floors) aside, there’s coffee from Aussie’s Vittoria Coffee and dishes like pork belly carbonara ($13) and polenta truffle fries ($7). Plus, the CBD location makes it great for a quick lunch fix or an after work wine bar before hitting up more serious cockail bars in the neighborhood.

xMAS DESSErtS Tablescapes

Complete that Christmas dinner table with some festive sweet treats. Pan Pacific’s pacific Marketplace (L/F Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Blvd., 6336-8111, www.panpacific.com) has a range of desserts like crunchy hazelnut chocolate Yule log cake ($60), Christmas plum pudding ($30) and spice Christmas chocolate truffles with aniseed, cardamom, caraway and nutmeg ($28 for a dozen). You can order up to Dec 24, and it’s available for pick up until Dec 25.


oNlINE ShopS


Stock Markets

There’s grocery shopping and then there’s grocery shopping. These web-only specialty shops stock items you’re unlikely to find at your local supermarket. By letitia tandean

What’s the focus: Selling all locally-made, small batch items, this is the place to find all sorts of jams, sauces, juices, sodas and even mugs. In our basket: Mofo Chili’s Dodge the Bullet ($10). Sister duo Monica and Foi’s powerful and piquant chili sauce is made with a blend of fresh chili, onions, oil, salt and is preservative-free. pro tip: “Slather and marinate selar kuning (yellowstripe cad) fish with the chili and bake it,” says Chef Sufian Zain of Restaurant Ember.

Sampan Catch

www.sampancatch.com What’s the focus: This fish farm located off Pulau Ubin sells locally-sustainable fish like barramundi. Everything’s plucked fresh from their fenced sea paddocks. In our basket: Mangrove Jack ($15.80. From the same family as the crimson snapper, this fish has a more tender, moist, flaky and mild-flavored flesh. pro tip: Forget about deboning and filleting, slap this on the grill whole with some citrus and fresh herbs.



www.batch.sg What’s the focus: Curated by food writer Debbie Yong, this site is all about seriously artisanal products: stuff like milk-derived Black Cow vodka, raw cacao chia seed clusters from Bruneus and unique ceramics from an arts school graduate. In our basket: Balsamic Jam from Labyrinth ($12). The jam is actually a part of their much-loved bread and jam with olive oil snow combo that’s served as a starter. pro tip: “It can go with bread or pancakes, but my personal favorite is with cheese and crackers as it’s more unusual than fruit jams and quince,” says Debbie.


www.hamperly.com.sg What’s the focus: Online wine retailer eWineGallery looks to dabble in gourmet, Italian-focused hampers containing everything Italian, from pastas to oils to wines.

Lazy Fruits


Mofo Chilli


In our basket: Festa Gourmet ($128). It comes as a boxed package, so you can’t buy individual ingredients. But this one has five items including two wines, focaccia bread, pasta sauce and pasta penne. pro tip: “I’d whip up a gourmet meal with these ingredients. Cook some minced beef until brown and crisp then add the pasta sauce with some pesto. Mix with grated mozzarella and put it in the oven. When it’s done, eat it with rose wine,” says Carlos Montobbio of Anti:dote.


www.zairyo.sg What’s the focus: This specialty Japaneseonly grocers offers rare finds like fresh uni trays and wagyu striploin alongside bottled seasonings and noodles. In our basket: Ikura ($72). This sashimigrade salmon roe is flown from Japan and used in sushi, chirashi bowls and sashimi platters. pro tip: “Go for something non-traditional and add ikura on top of a cracker with cheddar cheese,” says Howard Lo of Tanuki Raw and Standing Sushi Bar.

What’s the focus: Sourcing both seasonal and common fruits from all over the world, they have everything from kooky finds like Vietnamese chiku fruit to staples like Fuji apples and bananas. In our basket: Passion fruit ($3.90 a punnet). This seasonal fruit from Indonesia is bursting with a combination of tart and sweet flavors. pro tip: Make your cocktails more luxurious by “shaking with passion fruit seeds and rum,” says Alastair Tan of D.Bespoke (see page 35).

Foodie gossip

Get weekly updates on new restaurants, bars and events at is-magazine.com/newsletters

NEW rEStAurANt Fuku the buzz: Singapore’s first fugu-centric restaurant serves up the seasonal, reputedly deadly puffer fish all year round, and looks to incorporate all the different parts of wild and farmed fugu in all dishes, even the drinks. the vibe: What you expect from a traditional Japanese kaiseki restaurant. The space is zen and minimal with some neatly arranged stones at the entrance, lots of dark wood and Japanese lacquer art. There are three private rooms seating up to 30 with sunken floor seats. the food: First things first, this is Singapore so there’s pretty much zero chance this fugu could kill you. The farmed fish they use at certain times of the year are bred without their toxic organs and all the pufferfish are shipped here already cleaned and filleted. They’re served up kaiseki-style with set menus ranging from the six-course Ebisu ($150) to the nine-course Wild Fugu set ($580) with dishes like fugu sashimi served with chives and spicy radish, and fugu hot

pot using fugu bones and deep-fried fugu karaage. If you tire of fugu, then there are some additional options, like a wagyu sirloin shabu shabu ($150) and a la carte dishes like lightly-grilled salmon with avocado ($20) and chawanmushi (egg custard, $25) to supplement the kaiseki sets. the drinks: Again no surprises, here, there are beers (from $8), sakes (from $90/bottle), umeshus ($10/glass), whisky (from $18/glass) and wines (from $11/glass). Don’t miss the Hiresake ($25), a cup of hot sake that’s flambéed with dried fugu fin to give it a smoky aroma. Why you’ll be back: We must confess we’d like more of an element of thrill when feasting on fugu but the meat itself actually has a pleasant texture and doesn’t taste too overpowering. This place could appeal to those who like to eat firm but not too fishy sashimi and you could always scare a date by bringing them here.

14 Mohamed Sultan rd., 6235‑8216, www.fugu‑fuku.com. open daily 6‑11pm. LETITIA TANDEAN FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE





The Halia


Yuletide Yumminess

The most exciting Christmas brunches, dinners and buffets. By letitia tandean Arossa Wine & Grill This Italian-Japanese restaurant is dishing out six courses of dishes like burrata cheese with Sicilian tomato jelly and basil grissini; pannacotta and spinach with Hokkaido hairy crab; and roasted pigeon with red wine sauce. $100. Dec 24‑25. #02‑01 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Square, 6636‑2951, www.arossa.com.sg

East 8 New York Fusion Tapas + Bar This modern bistro-bar has an alternative take on Christmas with a five-course dinner and sake pairing. On the menu

are items like baked lobster dynamite with mushrooms and ebiko caviar paired with Junmai Ginjyo sake; and braised bourbon short ribs with rosemary mash paired with Junmai Daiginjyo sake. $75 for dinner, $100 with sake pairing. Dec 18‑24. 10 Coleman St., 6338‑8289, www.east‑8.com

Edge They do great spreads at their buffets, and for most of the month of December, they’re also doing platters of honey and pineapple-glazed gammon ham, Christmas terrines, crispy spiced pork knuckle and a traditional roasted turkey. $78 on SunTues, $88 on Wed-Sat.

East 8 New York Fusion Tapas + Bar

Dec 1‑23. 3/F pan pacific Singapore, 7 raffles Blvd., 6336‑8111, www.panpacific.com

The Halia at Botanic Gardens Great for groups this 13-course, four-person deal includes roast pumpkin with herb ricotta; open turkey pie with petit pois, spinach, asparagus and truffle; and the curiously named wagyu gunpowder with spring onion mash and red wine sauce. $290 for four people. Dec 1‑Jan 1. 1 Cluny rd., Ginger Gardens, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 6476‑6711, www.thehalia.com

Jöel Robuchon Restaurant Have an extra decadent Christmas at the 26 Michelin-starred chef’s restaurant, with signatures like Le Caviar Imperial with fresh lobster jelly; Le Homard, roasted lobster in a sealed cocotte with black truffles and chestnuts; and Le Bar, steamed fresh sea bass and langoustine with caviar. $250 for four courses, $525 for eight courses. Dec 24‑25. 1/F hotel Michael, resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, 6577‑6688, www.rwsentosa.com

Osia Modern cuisine with Australian influences rather complements our tropical Christmas. Expect dainty plates like black salsify with emulsion, scallop brandade and black truffle; foie gras on banana, Madagascar vanilla and Jamaican rum; and poached Atlantic cod with sea urchin porridge and trout roe. $125 for four courses, $150 for five courses. Dec 24‑25; 31; Jan 1, 2015. Festive Walk, resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway, 6577‑6688, www.rwsentosa.com

The White Rabbit For a quick Christmas lunch during the workday, this Dempsey institution has a seasonal set lunch with dishes like smoked venison tartare with poached eggs; foie gras parfait with fried potatoes and pickled vegetables; and mushroom and truffle ravioli with savoy cabbage and shiitake miso broth. $48 for three courses, $55 for four courses. Dec 2‑31. 39C harding rd., 9721‑0536, www.thewhiterabbit.com.sg

For lots more dinner deals over Christmas and New Year’s, download our Holiday Guide 2014 at is.asia‑city.com/app

tAStE tESt Small‑batch Bourbons Basil hayden’s 8‑years old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Booker’s 7‑years old Bourbon Whiskey


up Whiskey lowdown: This 80-proof bourbon dating back to 1796 is made with a traditional corn-based approach. We say: This beeswax-colored elixir is quite floral at first with hints of jasmine. We can detect notes of vanilla with lots of punchy spice. It’s easy-drinking (relatively speaking) with a sweet and long finish. Advice: Nice on the rocks. Get it: $28/shot at Bitters & love (36 North Canal Rd., 6438-1836, www.bittersandlove.com).


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lowdown: A strong 127-proof bottle with 63% alcohol, this brand is young but uses a classic barrelled method. It’s bottled straight from the barrel, so it’s unfiltered. We say: The deep golden brown color and woody maple syrup nose is enticing, but it’s astringent and harder to drink neat, despite the caramel and tobacco notes. Advice: For newbies, it’s best in a stiff cocktail. Get it: $17/glass at the Beast (17 Jalan Klapa, 6295-0017, www.thebeast.sg).

Knob Creek 9‑years old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey lowdown: This distillery is found along the same creek as Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home and is a characteristic turn-of-the-century bourbon. We say: The copper amber color is attractive but we struggled with the TCM-like first whiff. The taste, though, is caramelized and woody with just a hint of fruit. Advice: Better mixed in a cocktail. No wonder bartenders use it to make Old Fashioneds. Get it: $24/shot at Bitters & love.

Baker’s 7‑years old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Winner lowdown: Hand-bottled at 107-proof, this is pretty potent stuff. The distillery named after Baker Beam of the Jim Beam family uses a mix of jug yeast and oak barrels to create its distinct taste. We say: It’s not the prettiest or deepest color, but the subdued vanilla nose and the syrupy and caramel taste is comforting. It’s rounded and smooth with a pleasantly oily quality. Advice: Great with orange zest. Get it: $17/glass at the Beast. LETITIA TANDEAN

Eat All You Can


Kkongdon Korean Barbeque’s All-You-Can-Eat deal has tons of good options and is great value for money. The place: Great for large groups and casual lunches. The decor is kept sleek and modern with wooden tables and chairs and the occasional pop of wall art. Each table comes with a grill and vent—classic Korean barbeque set-up and no smoke in your hair. The deal: The session lasts for 60 minutes from the time you order your first meats, so you can always order more. It starts at $19.80++ (Mon-Thu) and $24.90++ (FriSun) per person. The spread: The deal includes a variety of marinated meats like bulgogi chicken, spicy beef and pork. A 30-day aged New Zealand sirloin is also part of the menu. Experiment

with three aromatic barbeque sauces like ssamjang, garlic ssamjang and onion sauce to slather on your grilled meats. The extras: They don’t skimp on the sides either, with free flow kimchi, gyoza, Ddeobokki (Korean rice cakes), steamed rice and fresh fruits. If that’s not enough, sign up for a la carte menu add-ons at special prices with dishes like healthy ginseng chicken soup ($13), pork belly kimchi stew ($9), their signature kimchi pancake ($8.80) and even Chum-Churum soju ($19.90/bottle). Why you'll be back: The prices are great, the vibe is fuss-free and we appreciate the higher-end NZ meat options.

#B1-01/02 Marina Square, 6 Raffles Blvd., 6336-2580, www.kkongdon.com.sg. Open daily 11am-10:30pm.

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FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE


eats Send your food news to food@asia‑city.com.sg

NEW AND NOTED with Letitia Tandean

The Prawn Star

Angie’s Oyster Bar

Libation Nation

Just when you think the cocktail scene is slowing down; two more bars will have opened by the end of the year. Kuvo (2/F Orchard Shopping Centre) is a three-in-one concept with a wine lounge, bespoke cocktail bar and Western restaurant. Haji Lane also has a casual addition with longplay (4 Haji Ln., 8693-1453) a vinyl record-only bar serving beers, wines and cocktails.

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I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

The ever-popular Duxton Hill just doesn’t seem to run out of dining steam. We feel competition for the recent hit Pince & Pints coming on, with the cheekilynamed locavore seafood joint the prawn Star (21 Duxton Hill, 6323-3353). It takes its cues from local zi char flavors with ingredients sourced from a nearby market and dishes like lobster poutine and king prawns in a vermicelli claypot. Across the road is Alba 1836 (28 Duxton Hill, 6222-2048, www.alba1836.com), a fine dining Italian restaurant and wine bar serving up decadent food like Milanesestyle red Sicilian prawns in a crust of yellow polenta on black ink risotto with stracchino cheese and sea urchin.


Yuletide Delights

If you’ve got your Christmas feast all planned out and just need to end it on the right sweet note, look no further. Joël robuchon restaurant (Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway. 65776688, www.joel-robuchon.net) has a log cake made of yuzu and spicy ginger cream studded with strawberries, while Nassim hill Bakery (#01-03 Tanglin Post Office, 56 Tanglin Rd., 6835-1128, www.imaginings.com.sg) does snowball pecan cookies made with vanilla, toasted pecan bits and icing sugar. Order ahead.

Diamonds in the Sky

Perched on the 45th and 46th floor of the Singapore Land Tower, 50rp (50 Raffles Place, www.50rp.com.sg) is a hot new lifestyle destination that lumps together three restaurants and a intimate club-lounge Empire overlooking Marina Bay. While Sear (#45-01/02) is a modern American steakhouse, Angie’s oyster Bar (#45-01) is a cozy bistrobar with oysters, seafood platters and champagne. The top floor is reserved for teikoku, a yet-to-open Japanese izakaya offering small plates and sake with boutique sake pairing menus.

luNCh DEAl D’Bell the deal: The modern Indian resto-lounge has a new three-course set lunch menu for $15. With both Indian and Western dishes. There’s a choice of five starters like soup of the day and masala aloo tikki, a crispy potato cake filled with green peas masala. Mains include fish moilee, Pollock fish fillet stewed with coconut and curry leaves; and the addictive paneer jalfrezi. Each comes with yellow lentils, basmati rice and plain naan. Desserts include badam kheer, a rice pudding with fresh milk and almonds; and walnut brownies. Why it’s worth it: As far as CBD lunches go, it doesn’t get much cheaper at $15 for three courses. The luxurious space is a great respite from the heat and has some piquant reinterpretations of Indian dishes. lunch available Mon‑Fri 11:30am‑2:30pm. 43 North Canal rd., 6536‑4046, www.dbell.sg LETITIA TANDEAN


NEW BAr D. Bespoke

Hit the SweetSpot

Marina Bay Sands’ bakery is rolling out all kinds of decadent Christmas treats the buzz: First things first, Bukit Pasoh’s new cocktail bar has got Ginza celeb bartender Daiki Kanetaka, who struts about in white double-breasted suits and deploys surgically precise techniques while underlings hand him bottles. If not for the drama, come for the focus on sherry, Armagnac and calvados. the décor: The small space only seats 28 people with 14 bar seats. Everything’s decked out in dark wood paneling, tufted leather chairs and handcrafted metal pendant lamps. There’s even a made-to-order retail shop at the front selling bar wares like glasses, tea caddies and bamboo flower pots. the drinks: Despite the fortified spirit focus, it’s still a bespoke cocktail bar, and individualized creations start at around $27, with a minimum spend of $60. It also has sherry tasting flights (from $25) where

you get to taste four or five. For something lighter, go for the Thienot Champagne (from $27). the food: Not much aside from a small plate of dried nuts and fruits like raisins, almonds and dried tomatoes, as well as a leg of jamon Iberico de Bellota ($40) which sits at one end of the bar. the music: Muted jazzy tunes waft around the hushed room. the crowd: Pretty selective and elite. You won’t find any raucous types looking for a quick and easy drink. Why you’ll be back: You’ll be hardpressed to find another bar in town that transports you straight to Ginza. Plus: did we mention the dandy bartender?

2 Bukit pasoh rd., 8141‑5741, www.facebook.com/dbespoke. open Mon‑Sat 6pm‑midnight. LETITIA TANDEAN

The deal: Wherever you order your Christmas party turkeys and hams, when it comes to dessert, the selection at SweetSpot® ranges from a handcrafted chocolate tree to traditional-with-a-twist Yule logs and Christmas hampers. The goods: Expect classics with an extra shot of decadence. There’s the chocolate chestnut church Yule log, with dark chocolate mousse, candied chestnut cream and hazelnut biscuit crunch. For a more tropical flavor, there’s also the mascarpone cheese mango Yule log (both $65) with light mascarpone cheese mousse, mango compote and jelly sandwiched between lady finger sponge. If you’re looking for a pièce de resistance

for the table, there’s the sculptural signature chocolate Christmas tree ($65) made with candied almonds, toasted coconut flakes and chocolate ornaments. There are gift hamper options ($185), too, with a Champagne bottle, macarons, pralines, cranberry-ginger nougat, chocolate-covered nuts and homemade chestnut-milk chocolate spread. Why it’s worth it: Everything’s handmade and decorated to perfection. Plus, you can’t go wrong with traditional treats and decadent hampers for Christmas, perfect as gifts for family and friends. Brought to you By

Available Dec 1-Jan 1, 7am-10pm. Marina Bay Sands Hotel Lobby Tower 3, 10 Bayfront Avenue, 6688-8588, www.MarinaBaySands.com/SweetSpot

FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE


eats rEStAurANt rEvIEWS Chicken Up! HHHHH Korean. #01‑01 48 tanjong pagar rd., 6327‑1203, www.fb.com/chickenup Tanjong Pagar teems with casual places of the Korean chicken wing variety. But nowhere gets a queue like Chicken Up. At dinner time, you’re looking at a 45-minute wait before you speak to a human: there’s a touchscreen podium to get in line and you get a text when your table is ready. (To be fair, the humans do a valiant job once you’re actually seated.) If you are willing to go to these lengths for a food fetish, read on. The grub is technically sound: the meat is allegedly marinated for twelve hours and then cooked using the venerated Korean double-fry method. The exterior is crunchy, the inside moist, pleasantly juicy; and it’s not overly sauced. The sauces themselves are not much to write home about, though. But if you think you have more discerning taste buds than us after a deceptively light watermelon soju punchbowl ($30)—or if you’re a small group—get the buffet ($25 per person) where they bring out a piece each of three varieties such as YangNyum (coated with a sweet-spicy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds) and soya. Avoid the forgettable non-essential dishes like the starchy Andong chicken stew (comes with the buffet or $48 for two people) and the tofu salad ($12). All in all, fried chicken nerds and large, drunken groups will enjoy this place. We might just be getting too old for the whole clucking circus. open Mon‑Sat 5:30pm‑2am, Sun 5:30pm‑midnight. $

inITALY HHHHH Italian. 38 Craig rd., 6423‑0918, www.initaly.asia. There’s certainly no lack of Italian food in Singapore and it’s easy to get lost in the fray. This homey Italian restaurant, with its rough stone walls and leather booth seats is a solid option for the neighborhood (though, sadly, not much more than that). The rustic menu is full of simple, comforting dishes elevated by ingredients you can’t find in a home kitchen and everything comes in generous portions. Go straight for the ravioli di ossobucco in gremolata ($28), a simple dish of homemade veal ravioli, saffron sauce, chopped lemon rind, parsley and garlic. It’s hearty, cooked perfectly and bursting with creamy flavors from the well-braised veal jus. The cream burrata cheese ($28) with parma ham, heirloom tomatoes and capsicum chutney is also a solid, fuss-free starter option. While the signature orecchiette Barilla ($28) leaves us wishing for a little refinement, it comes with a well-balanced porcini mushroom sauce and crispy parma ham that’s comforting if a bit too filling. Overall, it’s a pretty solid bet when you’re having a pasta craving, with only a few off notes. Service can also be pretty slow (we’ve had to ask multiple times for a bread basket) even when the place isn’t that crowded. Expect simple classics here, but no fireworks. open Sun‑thu 12pm‑2:30pm, 6pm‑10:30pm; Fri 12pm‑2:30pm, 6pm‑midnight; Sat 6pm‑midnight. $$


Forget it Only if you're stuck in the neighborhood A pleasant dining experience More than just great food, tell your friends Not to be missed

price Guide $ Less than $40 $$ $40-$80 $$$ $80-120 $$$$ $120-200 $$$$$ $200 and up

Price per person, including one drink, appetizer, main course and dessert. Prices do not include bottles of wine unless stated. New restaurants are not reviewed within three months of their opening.

Reviews are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants. Reviews are included at the discretion of the editors and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.

Recently reviewed by I-S BAM! tapas & Sake “We were sceptical a year ago of yet another place doing fusion tapas but the interesting, value-for-money menu and the bustling open kitchen here make this a solid option.” HHHHH pho Stop “but the real draw here, we think, is not the food but ThebarAbove on the second floor, which has a similar decor and lots more warm wood, a lovely outdoor patio and a list of martinis all priced at $10.” HHHHH


I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014



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Turkey Ham Garden Salad Tel: 6276 0862 Fried Cajun-Spiced Chicken Wings 1 Harbourfront Walk VivoCity #03-07A Mixed Sausage Platter with Sauteed Onions Singapore 098585 Roasted Cardingford Potatoes with Seasoning Striploin of Roasted Beef served with Black Pepper Dressing Rosemary Lamb Fillet served with Red Wine Dressing Grilled Cajun Chicken Skewers with Shallots, Bell Peppers and Pineapple Honey-Barbecued Spare Ribs Complimentary Bottle of Noblesse Cabernet Sauvignon

4-5 PAX / $198++ FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014 I‑S MAGAZINE


FREEwILL ASTROLOGy YOUR HEALTHIER MEAL DAILY Revitalising and Wholesome Meals at Foodology Fresh The URA Centre, #01-02 Singapore 069118

SOUP QUICHE SALAD MUFFIN SANDWICH TART WRAP Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm


SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22‑Dec 21): With both symbolic and practical actions, Sagittarius-born Pope Francis has tried to reframe the message of the Catholic Church. He’s having public showers installed for the homeless in Vatican City. He has made moves to dismantle the Church’s bigotry toward gays. He regularly criticizes growing economic inequality and keeps reminding politicians that there can be no peace and justice unless they take care of poor and marginalized people. He even invited iconic punk poet Patti Smith to perform at the Vatican Christmas Concert. You now have extra power to exert this kind of initiative in your own sphere, Sagittarius. Be proactive as you push for constructive transformations that will benefit all. CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): The limpet is an aquatic snail. When it’s scared, it escapes at a rate approaching two inches per hour. If you get flustered in the coming week, Capricorn, I suggest you flee at a speed no faster than the limpet’s. I’m making a little joke here. The truth is, if you do get into a situation that provokes anxiety, I don’t think you should leave the scene at all. Why? There are two possibilities. First, you may be under the influence of mistaken ideas or habitual responses that are causing you to be nervous about something there’s no need to be nervous about. Or second, if you are indeed in an authentic bind, you really do need to deal with it, not run away. AQUARIUS (Jan 20‑Feb 18): Science-fiction novelist Philip K. Dick has been one of my favorite authors since I discovered his work years ago. I love how he reconfigured my mind with his metaphysical riffs about politics and his prophetic questions about what’s real and what’s not. Recently I discovered he once lived in a house that’s a few blocks from where I now live. While he was there, he wrote two of his best books. I went to the place and found it was unoccupied. That night I slept in a sleeping bag on the back porch, hoping to soak up inspiration. It worked! Afterwards, I had amazing creative breakthroughs for days. I recommend a comparable ritual for you, Aquarius. Go in quest of greatness that you want to rub off on you.

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I‑S MAGAZINE FRIDAY, DecembeR 5, 2014

Week of Dec 5 © 2014 Rob Brezsny

PISCES (Feb 19‑Mar 20): Do you enjoy telling people what to do? Are you always scheming to increase your influence over everyone whose life you touch? If you are a typical Pisces, the answer to those questions is no. The kind of power you are interested in is power over yourself. You mostly want to be the boss of you. Right now is a favorable time to intensify your efforts to succeed in this glorious cause. I suggest you make aggressive plans to increase your control over your own destiny. ARIES (Mar 21‑Apr 19): The National Science Foundation estimates that we each think at least 12,000 thoughts per day. The vast majority of them, however, are reruns of impressions that have passed through our minds many times before. But I am pleased to report that in the coming weeks, you Aries folks are primed to be far less repetitive than normal. You have the potential to churn out a profusion of original ideas, fresh perceptions, novel fantasies and pertinent questions. Take full advantage of this opportunity. Brainstorm like a genius. TAURUS (Apr 20‑May 20): I enjoy getting spam emails with outrageous declarations that are at odds with common sense. “Eating salads makes you sick” is one of my favorites, along with “Water is worse for you than vodka” and “Smoking is healthier than exercising.” Why do I love reading these laughable claims? Well, they remind me that every day I am barraged by nonsense and delusion from the news media, the Internet, politicians, celebrities and a host of fanatics. “Smoking is healthier than exercising” is just a more extreme and obvious lie than many others that are better disguised. The moral of the story for you in the coming week: Be alert for exaggerations that clue you in to what’s going on discreetly below the surface. Watch carefully for glitches in the Matrix. GEMINI (May 21‑Jun 20): Every one of us, including me, has blind spots about the arts of intimacy and collaboration. Every one of us suffers from unconscious habits that interfere with our ability to get and give the love we want. What are your bind spots and unconscious

habits, Gemini. Ha! Trick question! They wouldn’t be blind spots and unconscious habits if you already knew about them. That’s the bad news. The good news is that in the next six weeks you can catch glimpses of these blocks, and make a good start toward reducing their power to distort your relationships. CANCER (Jun 21‑Jul 22): Now and then, it is in fact possible to fix malfunctioning machines by giving them a few swift kicks or authoritative whacks. This strategy is called “percussive maintenance.” In the coming days, you might be inclined to use it a lot. That’s probably OK. I suspect it’ll work even better than it usually does. There will be problems, though, if you adopt a similar approach as you try to correct glitches that are more psychological, interpersonal and spiritual in nature. For those, I recommend sensitivity and finesse. LEO (Jul 23‑Aug 22): What feelings or subjects have you been wanting to talk about, but have not yet been able to? Are there messages you are aching to convey to certain people, but can’t summon the courage to be as candid as you need to be? Can you think of any secrets you’ve been keeping for reasons that used to be good but aren’t good anymore? The time has come to relieve at least some of that tension, Leo. I suggest you smash your excuses, break down barriers, and let the revelations flow. If you do, you will unleash unforeseen blessings. VIRGO (Aug 23‑Sep 22): In 1662, Dutch painter Rembrandt finished The Oath of Claudius Civilis. It was 18 feet by 18 feet, the largest painting he ever made. For a short time, it hung on a wall in Amsterdam’s Town Hall. But local burgomasters soon decided it was offensive, and returned it to the artist to be reworked. Rembrandt ultimately chopped off three-fourths of the original. What’s left is now hanging in a Stockholm museum, and the rest has been lost. Art critic Svetlana Alpers wishes the entire painting still existed, but nevertheless raves about the remaining portion, calling it “a magnificent fragment.” I urge you to think like Alpers. It’s time to celebrate your own magnificent fragments. LIBRA (Sep 23‑Oct 22): You now have a special talent for connecting things that have never been connected. You also have a magic touch at uniting things that should be united but can’t manage to do so under their own power. In fact, I’m inclined to believe that in the next three weeks you will be unusually lucky and adept at forging links, brokering truces, building bridges and getting opposites to attract. I won’t be surprised if you’re able to compare apples and oranges in ways that make good sense and calm everyone down. SCORPIO (Oct 23‑Nov 21): In 1989, Amy Tan birthed her first novel, The Joy Luck Club. Her next, The Kitchen God’s Wife, came out in 1991. Both were bestsellers. Within a few years, the student study guide publisher CliffsNotes did with them what it has done with many masterpieces of world literature: produced condensed summaries for use by students too lazy to read all of the originals. “In spite of my initial shock,” Tan said, “I admit that I am perversely honored to be in CliffsNotes.” It was a sign of success to get the same treatment as superstar authors like Shakespeare and James Joyce. The CliffsNotes approach is currently an operative metaphor in your life, Scorpio. Try to find it in your heart to be honored, even if it’s perversely so. For the most part, trimming and shortening and compressing will be beneficial.

last word

Inch chua The former Allura band member has seen it all—from battling depression to shameless self-promotion in LA to dogsitting and writing in New York. Three years after she first moved to the US, the 26 year-old singersongwriter is back to promote her new book. Here, she tells Joyce See about playing on a bus and wanting to record on a four-track in Ubin. I wanted to be just like my older sister when I was younger. She was a ballerina so I also went to ballet class. On the first day the ballet teacher called me a clumsy hippo and told me that I didn’t belong. I was really crushed.

My life works in seasons. When I was in New York, I was writing my book, Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea. So I would babysit dogs while people were away on vacation. It was really fun because I got to do what I wanted to do and play with puppies.

The process of how I get to the song is important. If it’s an authentic experience to me, I believe it will be authentic to someone else. If I am as honest as possible with what I want to write, as genuine with my intentions, it will work out fine.

My real self‑discovery started happening at 14. I just realized I couldn’t be my sister. If I’m not her, who am I?

Everyone told me, “This is going to be it,” when I was in LA. And when it wasn’t, it was a huge disappointment. People judge you by how you look, the car you drive, by what you do. I was a little sucked into it all because I thought that’s how the biz works.

I’m speaking with The Artists Village and hopefully they’ll let me have a slot as their Artist-In-Residence on Pulau Ubin. I want to live there for three months and write a record on four-track with a guitar orchestra.

I’ve definitely contemplated suicide. I had a really bad period when I was 16-17. I was studying fine arts back then and I was suffering from depression. It’s a great medium In Singapore, even for expression, but it definitely if you tank, they’re caused my mind to go into a bit of a downward spiral. still going to clap. Music has saved my life in many ways. I felt it was the medium for me to get my mind back to a sane place. From then on, it was just something that I naturally gravitated to. I’ve never had a day job but I’m paying my bills and taxes so I’m happy. I think that’s an achievement in itself, the day I was able to sustain myself financially with my own music. I’ve really enjoyed being nomadic over the past three years. I essentially packed my bags and left to pursue my music in the United States. I didn’t know anybody there. I was in Los Angeles for two and a half years and New York for the last six months.

You almost have to be shameless [in LA]. You really have to put yourself out there. You can’t be apologetic for what you want to do, which is challenging because in Asia, humility is so important. Over there, you need to pull off this tightrope act of humility and confidence. In Singapore, they are not going to yell or give you an overwhelming response even if they thought you were amazing. It works to your advantage, though, because even if you tank, they’re still going to clap. You’d better write songs every day if you’re a songsmith. I do believe that craft needs to be practiced. I’m not the kind of musician that just goes, “It’s all feelings man.” I’m probably 95% hard work and 5% luck.

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ThaT’s Tha ThaT ’s wha whaT she said


I do miss home and I feel like Singapore has so much to offer. I am almost a little embarrassed that I never explored Singapore enough. I’m really excited about playing on the Bandwagon bus [at Urbanscapes in Malaysia]. It’s about time someone in Singapore did something as fun as this. I am a total girl. I love a good cheesy rom com. One of the cheesiest ones that no one really knows is Serendipity. I hate The Notebook, though. That’s the kind of romance a guy writes for a girl. I’m an introvert. If I could, I’d just sit at home and watch Netflix all day, hang out with one other person and that’s it. But I signed up for this, so I don’t get to complain. I have to do it.


by Kathy macleod

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