My companion kept raving about Awfully Chocolate that it made it impossible for me not to try. We went about looking for an outlet but realised the one at Katong had closed and all that was left was an office above Everything with Fries (which is also great btw).
So we dropped by at the itsy bitsy outlet tucked away in a corner of Vivo City. The first thing that occurred to me was.. HUH two tables only? They only had two high tables and about 3 chairs per table. They had a nice glass counter display which lined two walls, making an L-shape so it was pretty cramped. But well it is a specialty shop and most places like this don't even have seats at all. And we were there for the ice cream so there is hardly a need for seats.
They had ice cream (1 flavour - HEI which means black), chocolate bars and chocolate cake and cupcakes for sale. The ice cream went for $3.80 for a single scoop, $6.20 for a double scoop and $11.80 for a pint. The chocolate cupcake was $4.90 and the stacked chocolate cake was $6.50 per 100g. Truffles were $13 for 100g.
They had iced water in a jug set aside for customers and provided plastic cups, so that even if you had to do a takeaway you could grab a cup of water, which is great.
So we got our double scoop ice cream from the cheery girls behind the counters and sat on the mall's seats just outside the store.
The ice cream was fantastic. It rich and creamy and I love the dark chocolate taste. Definitely not for sweet chocolate lovers. The spoons we had were really cute and perfect for spooning the ice cream into our mouths.
Since then, I've had it three times and am still lemming for it. :)
For the first time in many years, I ventured into Far East Plaza, known for its very fashionable stores and their wares. I hardly shop there as the clothes are rarely my style and I'm the sort to look for clothing suitable for work.
I stumbled onto this tiny shop tucked away on the entrance level (3rd floor). Small as it was it had plenty hanging on its racks. I took up some of the dresses and was amazed at the quality of the material used. The seams are also well done and the lining for each dress was well sewn.
My excited friend and I spent 3 hours at this shop trying on about 30 pieces of clothing. The salesgirl never once showed a face and volunteered more pieces to try. She gave her honest opinion when some dresses didn't fit too well and tried her best to understand our style, thus not pushing every single piece of clothing to us.
When some of the pieces we liked had an odd button or feature we didn't quite like, she offered to have them removed or altered for free. Any alteration (even tightening of waist areas) was offered for free. If it only required a shortening, it could be done immediately even.
What I liked most was the good quality for a reasonable price. One dress cost about $79 and cost me less than $70 after discount. I washed the dress when I got home and it didn't even require any ironing. Just hang straight and drip dry.
Another top I got cost $34 initially. The salesgirl noticed that there were some makeup stains on the white collar and she took the initiative to look for a new piece even when I didn't notice the stain. Then as there weren't any more pieces, she brought me a black one and told me that I still wanted the white one she would send it to the laundry and have it cleaned for free. How's that for service? That's not all. I told her that I could not afford the time to come down again any time soon and asked for a discount so that I could bring it to the laundromat myself. They agreed and let me have the blouse for $26 with an $8 discount which can easily cover the costs of having it washed.
When we left, it was really late and most of the shops at FEP were closed but they were still all smiles and actually called us by name. It's no wonder I saw a number of Tai-tais buying a large number of clothing from them within the time I was there!
I visit MANY online blogshops and this is definitely one of my faves.
There are SOOOooO many reasons why!
They update often. About twice a week.
Packages arrive well-packed and are prompt. I have not experienced any delays. I also have not gotten any defected pieces from them despite buying from almost every collection.
Each update is done by a different owner. They have 3 owners who all have different tastes and different styles! So the great part is that each update has its own style and there'll be something to suit everyone!
Prices are very reasonable and the quality is good! However, there are one or two pieces which have to be handwashed and I'm soooo lazy.
The owners are very friendly. And on top of that they are customer-oriented. Payments had to be done within 24 hours. But there was once when my pet was very ill and I had to bring my pet to the doctor they were very understanding and waited for me! They even asked about my pet after. :) So sweet right?
They were even featured in the Straits Times National Day edition!
If I can give this place less than 1 star I would.
My sister bought a package at this place 2 months ago but she didn't go for her manicure/pedicure. She figured that it's very near our home and my mom and I can use it which is why she bought the package. The package cost $800 and consisted of 12 full manicures and pedicures and some disinfecting balls.
Last week, I went, thinking that I deserved to relax. I sat down and the lady, Cecilia, started to work on my legs. Just minutes into scrubbing my feet, she started to sell me a special treatment which is suppose to be good for removing corns, which she claimed I had. I have been to so many salons and no one said that I had this problem. But anyway the treatment costs $200 and I wasn't sure if it was good so I refused.
Then with cream on my feet and stuff, she started hard-selling. She refused to continue, saying that if I top up my current package to the one with the corn treatment she can do it right away so that I can experience it right now. THE TOP UP COSTS $2000 ! And that was on top of my current $800 package! I couldn't budge cos my feet were dirty and she refused to continue, though she remained polite all the way. Finally when I said loudly I didn't want because I didn't have the cash for it she continued... not before insisting that I do the $20 scrub. I was so sick of her ranting then I agreed to the $20 scrub.
After having everything painted and my nail art done, I sat at the counter to have my nails dried... then Cecilia came back with a "MORE ATTRACTIVE" package which she claims that I can pay by instalments. She insisted that MY credit card can pay by instalments. Then came the 45 min lecture on why I should take up the package etc... More and more staff came to hound me.
Finally I relented. Only because I know my mom had a corn problem and I thought she could really use it. To say the truth... I was on the verge of tears. I kept saying no... kept saying that I needed time to think about it because it was so expensive... but they surrounded me and kept going on about it.
We went to the machine to pay by instalments... AND IT DIDN'T APPROVE! Can you imagine how embarrassed I felt when they said that loudly? It wasn't even my fault! Then they hounded me more and I paid a deposit of $400 for the package.
Only then did they let me go. The whole process... wasted 3 hours of my time. Have you ever had a 3-hour pedicure? Nope not even with a manicure.
When I was standing there making payment... I saw them do the same thing to an older lady. They hounded her.. until she was so irritated she pulled out her wallet, tipped it over to show that she didn't have any cash on her and didn't bring her cards. After that they left her alone... and I really mean alone as in there wasn't ANYONE serving her at all. They just left her there for about 20 minutes choosing colours and preparing her feet at all.
** the aftermath:
After leaving, I came to my senses. And I realised that they would hard-sell me, my mom and my sister things every time we went... I realised that I CANNOT take up that package. I went back and argued. The $400 cannot be refunded (which I expected) but it is now a credit on the old package which can be used for other things. After the package is up.. I WILL NEVER go back there again.
BTW, my nail polish chipped in 4 days. Faster than if I painted it myself. Sigh.
After hearing SOOOOoOoo much about Tao's for such a long time, I finally had the chance to step into Tao's! I was so excited.
Parking wasn't too much of a problem at Selegie Centre... however 3 hours cost us $10 . If it weren't raining so heavily when we arrived I reckon we would have parked elsewhere. The parking area was a little hard to find but easy (for the driver) to work her way about.
Because it was a weekday and it was just after lunch @ 2pm, the place was empty!! *happiness* We did make reservations though. I was told by my friend that reservations are a must if you wanted a weekend lunch/dinner.
They charge $19.80 (or was it $19.90) for a 6 course set lunch. I shan't dwell on the system they have here since everyone's talked about it.
We just went about picking whatever we liked from the menu.
I shall only comment on those I did taste. :)
Food ordered: Bacon & Mushroom Gratin, served with Toasted Bread This is an item we didn’t have a choice with in the menu. I’m not really a fan of gratin so I was a little hesitant. I didn’t quite take to the smell of the cheese they used for the gratin but it was generally alright for non-cheese lovers. A definite stay away if you dislike cheese though. The bread was heavenly. I LOVEEDDD it. I wished I could have more (it’s free flow) but I was afraid I couldn’t finish the rest of my meal. The bread was well toasted and can be eaten alone without the gratin at all.
Smoked Salmon Salad My choice. My companions had the Fruit Salad and the Prawn Roll though. Nothing fantastic about my salad though I had some trouble finishing it as I found the salmon a little too salty after a few bites. The serving was just right though.
Cream of Pumpkin I absolutely loved this soup. I was the only one not having the Shark fin one, which my companions raved about. But I loved the thickness of this pumpkin soup and the slight sweetness which made me finish it really quickly.
Grilled Snapper with Japanese Sauce This is my main complaint I think. I definitely regretted this choice. The snapper was unevenly grilled and charred on one end but fine on the other. There was so much sauce poured over it and it certainly didn’t help that it was too salty. In reality, the snapper was quite tasty on its own, after much cleaning away of the sauce. I liked the pumpkin mash served with the snapper though. I would definitely go for the flounder next time.
Ice Rose Apple Tea I like how the smell of the rose blended together with the taste of the apple in this one. And they even provided a fork for you to eat the apple. They serve their teas in this nice little pot with a tiny cup, so we had fun tasting each other’s tea.
Ice Summer Peach Tea I LOVE THIS TEA! I like the aftertaste of the peach!
Brownie served with ice cream Or should I say, ice-cream served with brownie? I finished it in 2 bites. Either my mouth’s big or… to give credit, the brownie is quite moist and not too dry. The nuts below should be cut up a little more so that it can be evenly distributed with each bite.
The total bill came up to $115 for 5 of us which is quite reasonable I guess. Topped with great service and smiles even though we were overstayers, it was a good experience after all.