Adventure, baby!

Singapore

SMOKE SHACK: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Telok Ayer, Singapore

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

So after my Bodytec workout, I was looking for calories to put back in. Hey, a good workout deserves some kinda reward, right??

I was poking around the area and, wahey! Stumbled upon Far East Square. Within the ground floor alley (I love how it’s made to look like vintage shophouses), there were lots of little eateries and Smoke Shack, a sandwich shop, caught my eye.

 

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

Their menu features 8 sandwiches, and that’s it. All seemed fairly similar to me, so it took me ages to decide!

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

I always declare “I don’t like sandwiches”. But that’s because I rarely find sandwiches made well. Here’s what impresses me in a sandwich:

  1. It has to be warm. I just can’t stomach cold sandwiches (soooo boring!)
  2. The bun has to be fluffy and soft. Crusty hard rolls are a no-go for me. I don’t like gnawing away like a beaver does on wood.
  3. The insides have to be moist. A dry sandwich is a crime!
  4. The meat has to be absolutely tender. Nothing worse than taking a bite, and having ALL the meat drag out because it’s too tough for your teeth to cut through. Ugh!

So how does Smoke Shack’s Roast Beef ($11) stack up?

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

This, my friends, is PERFECTION. I was really stunned that such a gorgeous sandwich existed. It looked good, and it tasted good. Oh my, it really really tasted good!!

The bun was so fluffy and fresh and soft and warm. That alone already made made me happy. I loved how the ingredients were all stacked in neatly, and cut with a super sharp knife. An un-sloppy looking sandwich always looks so pleasing.

But the star was the roast beef – whoooaaaaaa. It was so tender that the beef just bit straight through. You’ll see in the photo below my bite marks through it. No weird tendon bits, no chewy pieces that pulled out of the sandwich cos my teeth couldn’t cut through it.

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

So is the place kid-friendly? It’s a bit like sitting in a (nice) food court, so it depends if your kids fare well in that sort of scene or not. However, the area there allows kids to wander up and down where they’ll be in plain sight. There are some water features nearby (also within viewing range) that they can check out.

If your kids are into burgers and sandwiches, Smoke Shack is a fantastic alternative to standard fast food joints.

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

And just down the road is Tan Hock Seng Cake Shop (86 Telok Ayer St)! I stumbled upon it and learned that it is a 70 year old bakery, that is about as old school as it gets  – complete with their goodies stacked in cardboard boxes and a whole variety of edibles that I couldn’t identify. I settled on just three types, but am planning to go back and try more!

Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore Smoke Shack - Brunch With My Baby Sngapore

 

 

 
Last Bite: Smoke Snack is tiny (in both cafe size and menu size), but serves up some incredible sandwiches. The Roast Beef sandwich was divine!
 
Highchairs: No
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: No
Kids’ menu: No

Smoke Shack
2 Amoy Street
#01-01 Far East Square
Singapore 049945
Phone: 6557 2214
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon – Fri: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
 
 

ASSEMBLY COFFEE: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Bukit Timah, Singapore

 Assembly Coffee

Assembly Coffee has gotten coffee aficionados and cafe-hoppers into a bit of a tizzy. They are fairly new and doing the rounds on social media right now. I’m not surprised. They manage to pull off that lovely trifecta of ambience-catered-for-cafe-hoppers (or people that consider themselves coffee connoisseurs), very decent coffee and food, and also very decent prices.

The interior is pretty tiny, and gets surprisingly packed toward lunchtime on a weekday. I’d imagine there would be a queue on weekends. Because of its small and contained area, I actually thought it was fairly kid-friendly – they can’t really escape!

Assembly02 Assembly03 Assembly04 Assembly05 Assembly06

Assembly Coffee brew up a robust and creamy coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed my Latte ($4.50), but lamented at how tiny it was.

Assembly07

I was dubious about whether the Pulled Pork Sandwich ($14.90) would be good, as their kitchen was tiny. We were thrilled when we discovered the pulled pork to be moist and juicy and tender, with a robust BBQ flavour that wasn’t overpowering. The fresh green apple slices cut through the pork flavour very well and the sesame-encrusted bun was fluffy and soft. This was top notch.

Assembly09

We were equally impressed with the Salted Caramel Buttermilk Waffles ($11.50). These were AMAZING. The waffles were moist and fluffy, but with a crisp golden-brown exterior. The salted caramel drizzled on top took it to a whole new level, and the rich vanilla ice cream topped it all off perfectly. A must-order.

 Assembly10

Assembly11

Last Bite: Assembly Coffee boast a cozy ambiance, as well as terrific food and coffee at reasonable prices. Their Salted Caramel Waffles are a must!

Highchairs: Yes
Easy access: No (a few steps up to get in)
Change tables: No
Kids’ menu: No

Assembly Coffee
26 Evans Road
Singapore 259367
Phone: 6735 5647
Prices: $$
Hours: Tue – Thu: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Fri – Sun: 9:00 am – 10:00 am

PHO 99 Vietnamese Delights: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Pho 99: Kid Friendly Cafes, Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Let me apologise: PHO 99 Vietnamese Delights isn’t actually child friendly. It is cramped and crowded, has terrible parking in the area, and you’re expected to be in-and-out within minutes (because there are others waiting for your table). I didn’t even go there with kids!

So why am I writing about it?

Because at some point, you might be kid-free, right?? (I hope?)

In the off-chance that you are sans kids, get yourself down to PHO 99 Vietnamese Delights asap. I did, reveling in the tough-to-find parking situation on Amoy St, the small and narrow steps to walk into the cafe, the cramped atmosphere, the no-frills order/eat/leave ambiance, the tiny tables, and just the sheer NO KID-NESS of it all. Hey, this sort of stuff excites me nowadays – I felt like I was really walking on the WILD side!!

I arrived at 11:30 and it was virtually empty. By 12PM, it was packed to the rafters with office workers. The place is cramped, so go early.

Pho99_01

 

The menu is pretty basic. There are the usual rice paper rolls and spring rolls, and vermicelli or rice or pho for their main, etc.

Pho99_02

 

But I was there for their namesake, the Pho Tai ($11). It arrived quickly, a large steaming hot bowl of delicious goodness.

AND OH MY, IT WAS GOOOOOOD!!!!

The broth was light and not oily, with lots of slippery smooth rice noodles. There was a generous amount of thinly sliced (amazingly tender) beef, so much so that I didn’t ration them out properly and ended up with a pile of beef at the end, with not much noodles left to eat it with.

What impressed me was the dry chili (in a pot) that was on the table. I’m not even keen on chili, but I found that a dollop of the stuff on my sliced beef gave the dish a fantastic kick of flavour.

I actually reckon this place serves up the best Pho I’ve had in Singapore so far!

Pho99_03

 

And, psssttttt! Walk down the same road (Amoy St) to Matt’s The Chocolate Shop. It’s a pretty nondescript place that hides away a FANTASTIC chocolate cake – pretty much their only offering there. I got the individual serve for $4 and was very impressed with the light and airy cake, which wasn’t dense enough to be overpowering, yet retained a richness of the chocolate flavour. The fudge icing on top was a welcome wetness to the cake, and the combination was divine.

MattChocolate

 

Last Bite: PHO 99 is the place to go when you don’t have kids in tow. Their Pho Tai is one of the best we’ve had in Singapore! Go before noon to avoid the lunch crowd.

Highchairs: No
Easy access: No
Change tables: No
Kids’ menu: No

PHO 99 Vietnamese Delights
57 Amoy St
Singapore 069883
Phone: 9768 8735
Prices: $
Hours: Mon – Fri: 10:00 – 21:00, Sat – Sun: 10:00 – 20:00

TRAVEL GUIDE TO PERTH FOR FAMILIES

Travel guide to Perth for families

“Ermmm…. Perth?”, we asked dubiously, when my parents suggested we do a family trip there. “Isn’t that kind of…. BORING?”

And in a way, that’s true, IF you are young and single and looking for a pumping city to shop and party your holiday away.

But for a family? Perth is FABULOUS. And we are totally grateful for having that suggestion plonked upon us, because it was one of THE best holidays-with-kids we’ve been on!

I was woman-in-charge of planning our itinerary, and being clever sneaky, I asked my girl friend Karen Cheng (who lives in Perth with her three young kids) to help me out. And help she did. She planned the entire holiday for us!! And so I would like to share our itinerary, because:

  1. It was planned by a local, so we trusted that it would work.
  2. It focuses on kids as #1 priority. Which means if you’re planning to make Perth a family-friendly holiday, then this guide is for you.

I hope this gives you a few helpful tips when you pop into Perth with your family!

TRAVEL GUIDE TO PERTH FOR FAMILIES

For hanging out with animals:

  1. Landsdale Farm (80 Landsdale Rd, Darch WA 6065) – a small farm that knocks many other larger animal farms out of the ballpark. At only AU$6 per person, it’s an amazing deal. Check out all the farm animals roaming around freely, or their Sensory Garden for herbs and vegetables. They even have a large playground with a shaded dome over it, that’s contained so you can throw the kids in there without worrying about them running off. There is a cafe there with lots of high chairs, and full washing-up and changing facilities. (TIP: bring a blanket and have a picnic under the trees, whilst the kids run around on the grass)
  2. Caversham Wildlife Park (Lord St, Perth WA 6068) – this large park is privately owned and charges $25/adult and $11/kid. It’s a must if you want to check out Australia’s native animals – up close and personal. Hand-feed the kangarooms roaming around the park, and check out the amazing Meet The Wombat & Friends Show and Farm Show – both are a hit with kids! (TIP: the cafe there only stocks snacks and drinks, so bring along a packed lunch for the family)

 

For outdoor fun:

  1. Perth Cultural Centre (between Roe, Beaufort, Francis and William Streets) – there is a large beach installation there at the moment, which features loads of clean sand for the kids to roll around and play in. Nearby is a fantastic sensory playground based on nature and sound for young kids – with ‘musical instruments’ to play with. And it’s all free! (TIP: bring your scooter if you have one. There’s loads of open space here)
  2. Cottesloe Beach – Great outdoor playground and lots of grassy patches to play on. Lovely beach for kids, but go early in the morning to beat the sun. (TIP: eat at The Beach Club cafe for lunch. The food is top notch)
  3. South Beach – lovely beach for young children, thanks to the relatively shallow and calm waters. Great for an evening dip. (TIP: eat at the Pickled Fig, a gorgeous little cafe right on the beach)

 

For indoor fun:

  1. Scitech (Sutherland St, West Perth WA 6005)  – this non-profit organisation was so good the kids went there twice! It’s chock-full of young kid friendly activities, and features loads of hands-on exhibits. They have a sectioned-off area for young toddlers that my kids loved. (TIP: buy your tickets online at the Scitech website, to save time queuing)
  2. Fremantle Markets (Corner South Terrace & Henderson Street) – poke around all the little shops and stalls, and check out the produce section for excellent fruit and vegetables. You can wander outside to the Market Street area, which is full of cute little boutiques. (TIP:Walk to the Esplanade by the harbour and eat at Cicerellos, it has a huge fish tank snaking through the middle of the casual cafe!))
  3. Triassic Fun Park (410 Ranford Road, Canning Vale, WA 6155) – a winner if the weather is too hot/cold and you want to hide out indoors for 2 hours or so. Best for 3 yrs old and up, though there is a separate section for the toddlers. Dinosaur themed and excellent climbing fun for the kids! With blacklight mini golf, ride-on dinosars and motorised cars (all extra charges), this is an indoor playground on steroids.

 

The sun in Australia is a bit of a killer, so remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP! Make sure you pack your sunglasses, as well as sunscreen and wide-brim hats for the kids.

Lipbalm and moisturizer are great too, since Australia’s air is drier than Singapore’s.

Have a great trip!

 

 

GIVEAWAY: Win a ‘Give Me Everything’ sticker pack (130 labels, worth $50) from Childlabel – shipped worldwide!

giveaway!

Childlabel pride themselves on making  high quality vinyl stickers (waterproof, freezable, microwavable and scratch resistant!), with their own designer on board to make sure they are damn cute. 

And they are. You’ll go a bit loopy admiring the adorable graphics, and trying to narrow it down!

I’ve found that labelling my kids’ stuff is really useful because:

  1. They take great pride in, errrrrr, admiring their names stuck all over everything.
  2. It helps them recognise their own stuff at school.
  3. It ensures their stuff doesn’t get mixed up with other kids’.

 

Childlabel are giving away one ‘Give Me Everything‘ value pack, containing 130 labels (worth $50) – shipped worldwide!

32 x Small Rectangle Sticker Labels
32 x Chinese Name Sticker Labels
28 x Circle Sticker Labels
20 x Rectangle Iron Ons
18 x Circle Iron Ons

 

a Brunch with my baby giveaway

You can submit some of the entries more than once a day, so come back tomorrow to get more entries in the draw.

Giveaway will run from 21 Feb – 27 Feb 2014 inclusive.
Winner’s entry(s) will be verified according to the entry criteria(s).
Childlabel will ship the ‘Give Me Everything’ pack to any address, worldwide.

 

So this is the pack that Carter received, which is the Under The Sea design. And Hunter received the Vrooom design. Both were perfectly suited for each kid, and I was delighted by how colour saturated the labels were. They are reaaaaalllyyy eye-catching!

ChildLabel01 ChildLabel02

You’ll notice below that the labels are made of a thin flexible plastic material, that is waterproof. They aren’t standard paper stickers at all!

ChildLabel03

I personally like the Circle stickers as shoe stickers. They are so vibrant that there’s no way my kids are going home with the wrong shoes 😉

ChildLabel04

Their Rectangle stickers have smooth rounded edges, and seal nicely on smooth surfaces. I thought it looked awesome on Carter’s new scooter 🙂

ChildLabel05

And we got some Book stickers too! OK so the kids don’t have textbooks yet… but I use them on their progress report books. Cuteness 🙂

ChildLabel06

Since they are waterproof, I whack them on their water bottles, and lunch boxes. It’s all matchy-match in this household!!

ChildLabel07

ChildLabel11

My favourite? The Iron On labels, hands down!!! These labels had all of us, including the school teachers, analysing them up-close, and even picking away at them.

They do NOT look like iron on labels.

They look like gorgeous stickers!!!

The colours are so vibrant and they look so cute, and are just so perfect looking, that people don’t realise they are iron ons. See below for yourself!

ChildLabel08 ChildLabel09

These (below) are Iron On labels too. They really look like stickers huh? And because they are iron on, they DO NOT BUDGE. I am in love with these. They are magic.

ChildLabel10

If you’re after labels that are really vibrant and with cute designs, you’ll want to check out Childlabel. Make sure you order those incredible Iron On labels, they are their best product IMHO!

 Thanks Childlabel!

BECASSE: Kid-Friendly Restaurants, Orchard Road, Singapore

Becasse

Becasse, an open-layout cafe in ION, opened up last year but I’d only just gotten round to checking it out. Better late than never! A artisanal brand from Australia, Becasse was brought in by Jones the Grocer (whose cafe is right next door), also an Australian brand. It is positioned as “a modern interpretation of a French and European patisserie and bakery”.

We were charmed with the black-and-white mod feel of the cafe, and the spaciousness was a huge plus when you have an active kid. Carter spent half the time wandering around, and the cafe was fairly contained so I was happy to let him be.

Carter had the delight of one whole croissant, all to himself! He was in seventh heaven and polished his Croissant ($4) off at record speed – a testament to how good it was. Fluffy and crisp on the outside, the layers gave way to a pillow soft interior. Luscious.

Our server confirmed with us that we “don’t want jam and butter” with our croissant, which is what it’s meant to come with, but still charged us the price on the menu that includes the condiments. Just something to note.

Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

I was a big fan of the Duck Rilletes & Poached Pear ($21). The pot of duck was very very small, but delicious. It had the right amount of saltiness and fat, and the richness of the duck meat really came through. It was paired very well with the buttery and fluffy brioche bread.

Special mention of the poached pear and rocket salad that it was served with. I normally can’t stand rocket (so bitter!), but somehow, it was tempered by the dressing, scattering of walnuts, and sweet poached pears. It was a fantastic salad and I polished the whole thing off – very very rare for a salad-hater like me.

Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

Becasse’s amazing croissant makes a re-appearance, this time in the form of a Toasted Leg Ham & Gruyere Croissant ($8). This is an excellent deal and perfect as a snack, or as a lunch for light eaters.

Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

A big mug of Hot Chocolate ($6) to complete our meal. Served with a big, fluffy marshmallow!

Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

Carter had his first taste of hot chocolate. I’d say he liked it 😉

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOxNRuHtux8]

Becasse - Brunch With My Baby Singapore

 
Last Bite: Becasse offers a lovely and kid-friendly ambience at ION’s atrium, and specialises in French pastries and cuisine. Their croissants are a must-order!
 
Highchairs: Yes
Easy access: Yes
Change tables: Yes (in the mall)
Kids’ menu: Yes

Becasse
#04-27/28/29/30/31/32
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
Phone: 68845365
Prices: $$
Hours: Daily: 10:00 – 22:00
 
 

GIVEAWAY: Win one of three Maxilla the Caterpillar books (worth $10.60 each)!

giveaway! (1)

Hunter is a highly tactile and visual learner, and has never really shown much interest in reading. I’m not too worried, since each child has their own interests, but secretly I really would like him to read more because it means he sits there quietly and self-entertains 😉

In general, the only books he likes are Thomas the Tank Engine books, or ones with vehicles in it (he likes to look at the pictures).

So I was VERY PLEASED when he really enjoyed Maxilla, a book about a boy named Rueben who finds a caterpillar in school garden and decides to keep it as his pet. He was quiet and captivated from cover-to-cover, and asked me “Read it again!” when I finished. It’s actually the first time he’s ever said that after a book! The beautiful illustrations help too – the pictures are colourful and captivates young children.

Maxilla is sitting on our couch and, every so often when he spots it, Hunter will go “Mama, how about we read Maxilla?” 

Written by Lianne Ong, Maxilla is targeted at 5-8 year olds, but Hunter has just turned 3 years old recently, and was able to grasp the concept and storyline just fine. Carter (18 months) only looked at the pictures and couldn’t stay focused til the end, so I’d say Maxilla works best for 3 years old and up.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/WZj77M9eFyA]

Maxilla (poster)

MPH are giving away three Maxilla books, worth $10.60 each! 

a Brunch With My Baby giveaway

You can submit some of the entries more than once a day, so come back tomorrow to get more entries in the draw.

Giveaway will run from 14 Feb – 20 Feb 2014 inclusive.
Winner’s entry(s) will be verified according to the entry criteria(s).
MPH will ship the book to each of the three winners.

 

MaxillaBook02 MaxillaBook03 MaxillaBook04 MaxillaBook05 MaxillaBook06

 

Maxilla is available at major bookstores (Kinokunoiya, Times Bookstores, MPH Bookstores), and is retailing at $10.60 inclusive of gst.

Thanks MPH!

 

Kids’ Birthday Parties: What to focus on, and what’s not worth the effort

Party00

 

Planning a kid’s birthday party: I go by the theory of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

But if you’re a bit of a perfectionist like me, it’s gonna come reaaaallllll close to killing you!

I’ve done (ie. planned, purchased, created, set up, take down) 3 birthday parties for my kids so far. That doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t, but I went all-out with the decor each time (driving myself half-mad in the process). And based on those parties, I’ve learned each time what works, and what doesn’t work.

I hope you find these little tips helpful!

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON FOR YOUR KIDS PARTY:

  1. Pick a theme – if you’re like me and like structure and order, having a theme is the way to go. Plus, guaranteed your child is madly into some sort of toy/concept right now, be it Barbie, Disney Cars, Ben10, etc etc. Having a theme makes all the decor cohesive, and actually makes it easier to buy in shops or online (you have a keyword to use!). Most importantly, nothing beats the look of sheer delight when your kid sees the party area decorated in their favourite thing of-the-moment!
  2. Get a ‘wow’ cake – this isn’t an open invite to spend top dollar on The Cake 😉 In fact, one of the more memorable cakes my kids have had was a simple chocolate cake from Lana, that had the words “Happy Birthday” iced on it. What made it stand out was just some simple tiny candles in spaceship shapes, that we stuck around. It was the most basic of decor, but somehow, it worked. The kids there were captivated with the wee candles! That said, we’ve also gone the whole shebang and gotten one of those fancy fondant multi-tiered cakes. I don’t regret that either, because it was delightful seeing the kids’ faces when the cake was wheeled out, and the photographic memories of that awesome cake last forever. Considering The Cake is often the main feature of the party, it’s worth making sure it’s memorable. Try baking it yourself too – a cake baked with a parent’s love will steal the show!
  3. Have a main event –  throw a bunch of kids into a limited area and you’ll have a disaster on your hands unless you have at least one form of entertainment for them. This can be something simple like a poolside party (which has always worked a charm for us), or something captivating like a magician or face painter. I’ve always been averse to the cost of paying for something like a Magic Show, but after seeing one first-hand at a recent party we attended (and seeing how completely enthralled and delighted the kids were), I’m having second thoughts and seriously considering getting one, if budget permits!

 

WHAT’S NOT WORTH YOUR TIME:

  1. Party favors – from observation and doing random checks with friends, hardly anyone remembers what their kid received as a party favor. More often than not, the stuff just gets chucked out after the kid’s had 5 minutes with it anyway. I’m not saying don’t give them out, because it’s still a sweet ‘thank you’ gesture to give a small present to your kid’s friend, but there’s no need to go overboard wringing your head for ideas on what to pop in. Try focusing on giving just ONE quality item as the favor, something that the kid will enjoy and use for awhile. Beware though, it also translates to more expensive, and if you x10 or x20 the number of favors you’ll need, the cost can get quite prohibitive. If you’re in this pickle, just get some really cute (and disposable) cheap toys and some lollies and chuck it into a simple bag, and you’re done!
  2. Making your own food – I’ve been to parties where the parents made their own food, and they’ve all complained later they wouldn’t try doing that again! Unless you’re cooking/baking for a relatively small party, outsource. It can be tasteful and simple (the afternoon tea pastries from Delifrance work a treat!), or something more filling (there are loads of hot food caterers out there, starting at just $8 per guest), but it takes a load off your plate when you’re trying to prep decor for the party AND handling your child.
  3. Agonizing over the decor – don’t sweat the small stuff! That’s my new mantra. Whenever I’ve done the decor for parties, I’ll be a nervous wreck how all the colours don’t match up, or if a piece of decor falls off the wall. The handicraft wasn’t cut out with perfect edges? Heaven forbid! But you know what? No. One. Notices. People are busy watching their own kids and having a good time, they aren’t speculating the quality (or lack thereof) of your craft work. So feel free to cut corners (literally and figuratively) and just chill out.

 

Not convinced?

Pretty sure you’re a perfectionist and that you’ll drive yourself (and everyone else) crazy planning a party?

Leave it to the professionals like Party Perfect, who will be your fairy godmother and save you a LOT of time, effort and energy (and hair pulling). We offloaded all the grunt work to them for Hunter’s 3rd birthday recently, and boy, I ACTUALLY HAD SOOOO MUCH FUN!! I could completely switch off and sit back and relax, both before, during and after the party.

 

MU PARLOUR: Kid-Friendly Cafes, Holland Village, Singapore

Mu Parlour

Tucked away on the second level among the Holland Village shops, Mu Parlour is accessible via a narrow and nondescript staircase. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of entrance, so you really need to be on the lookout to realise there’s a cafe upstairs.

For this reason, Mu Parlour is generally pretty quiet, with customers that are either regulars or via word-of-mouth. It’s an excellent choice if you’re after a relaxed and quiet brunch, and also kid-friendly because the area is very self-contained and the large window offers kids a bit of a birds-eye view of the people below, which keeps them quiet for awhile 😉

MUparlour02

 

I loved their Strawberry milkshake ($7.80). It was creamy and cold, and just the refreshment we needed on a warm day. Bonus points for the cool glass mason mugs they use!

MUparlour03

 

The No. 11 Beef, avocado, bacon, MU secret sauce ($15) was quite the stunner. The black bun (squid ink?) was soft, and the beef patty was perfectly juicy and the richness of the beef really came through. I loved the generous helping of cheese and ‘secret sauce’ and thought the burger was very well executed. I’d get this one again for sure.

Special mention to their fries too – I love how they serve shoestring fries, my favourite! They add a generous scattering of fried garlic and herbs on top of the fries, which elevates them to yummilicious levels.

MUparlour04

 

 
 
Last Bite: Mu Parlour offers a quiet and relaxed reprieve from the busyness of Holland Village. Their milkshakes and No. 11 burger comes highly recommended!
 
Highchairs: Yes
Easy access: No (stairs up to second floor)
Change tables: No
Kids’ menu: No

Mu Parlour
16A Lorong Mambong
Singapore 277677
Phone: 6466 9336
Prices: $$
Hours: Mon – Thu: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm, Fri: 11:00 am – 1:00 am, Sat: 9:00 am – 1:00 am, Sun: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
 
 

GIVEAWAY: Win one Free Play Pass worth $40 (ie. 4 visits) from Gymnademics!

 

giveaway!

Remember when we did a feature on Gymnademics?

Carter’s started with them! He’s been to two sessions now and is really enjoying it. I’ll be frank though, his first session there was just him being aaaalllll over the place. He couldn’t focus on anything the teachers were saying/doing, because he was just so fascinated with the room and all the fun things in it! But, when he came back a week later for the second session, he went through all the routines just fine, and was actually interested in the flash cards and activities.

It’s so nice seeing your child captivated during class, you know? Seeing him happy and soaking in all this information and activity makes my day! I think he really enjoys the fun and music during each class.

 

Gymnademics are giving away one Free Play Pass worth $40 (ie. 4 visits)! 

 

a Brunch with my Baby giveaway

You can submit some of the entries more than once a day, so come back tomorrow to get more entries in the draw.

Giveaway will run from 7 Feb– 13 Feb 2014 inclusive.
Winner’s entry(s) will be verified according to the entry criteria(s).

 

 

Free Play @ Gymnademics at Alexandra Retail Centre 
Wednesdays to Fridays
10am-4pm
From children aged 5 months to 5 years
1 hour $15, 4 hours $40

 

So what of their regular classes?

They go for a 1 hour duration and, believe me, will have you pretty tired out afterwards! It’s a lot of activity, coupled with learning exercises. Here’s a rough idea of what happens during Carter’s class:

First there’s flash card matching revision, from words learned last week. Hunter did a term of this last year and, believe me, you’ll be reaaalllyyy impressed by what they remember from the previous week’s lesson!

This is Carter matching up “sectional sofa” with the picture. I’m not sure if that was a fluke 😉

GymnademicsClass01

 

After that, it’s a bit of musical instrument playing (or banging) time. Both my kids have always gone for the little drum! Carter is an incredibly serious drummer (fat cheeks and all) and will studiously whack the stick onto the drum.

GymnademicsClass02

 

Then there’s word flashcards, based on the theme for the week. This week, it’s Electrical Appliances. As you can see, Gymnademics doesn’t ‘baby’ down words or concepts. They use adult (and pretty difficult!) words. And, again, you’ll be really impressed by how much your kid can absorb within a few classes.

GymnademicsClass03

 

And it’s onto musical activity again, this time with wooden sticks! The kids love to wave them high and low and bang around, creating a mega ruckus 😉

GymnademicsClass04

 

One of the most popular activities comes next – obstacle course/circuit. It is one phenomenal way to tire an active kid out 😉 There’s balance beam, tunnels, steps, slides, stepping stones – you name it!! Carter was a basket case during his first class (ran around everywhere!) but during his second class, he went through the circuit systematically.

GymnademicsClass05

 

Then there’s picture time based on the concept of the week. This week, it was Flying Machines! CARTER’S FAVOURITE. Needless to say, he was captivated, especially when the teachers whipped out a helicopter that had moving blades.

GymnademicsClass06

 

And then, flying trapeze!!! I’ve always thought this was brilliant fun, but I don’t think I’m allowed on it. This is Carter, being assisted (the teacher is holding his hands) on the trapeze. After 5 swings, he ‘flies’ into my arms! And, the idea is, with a bit of training, your kid can soon hold themselves up with no assistance. This activity trains their upper body muscles, and also increases oxygen to the heart due to the position.

GymnademicsClass07

 

Gymnastics time! Every week, they progress in their activity. In this picture below, Carter is practicising his hand stand. And, after a few weeks, he will be able to do an (assisted) forward handspring! I thought Carter would go ballistic being held up like that (I think I would!!) but nope, he was actually really calm and quite pleased with himself afterwards. Go figure.

GymnademicsClass08

 

A bit of calm down time, so we did daily activities to music. This week, it was using a cut-out doll to “jump on the bed” and a toothbrush to “brush teeth”, which kids are supposed to respond to when they hear the appropriate “boing!” or “brush brush” sounds. It’s ridiculously cute to watch 😉

GymnademicsClass09

 

The craaaaziest part of the session – relay race!! Kids have to grab a toy fruit/veg, and run a short distance to drop it into a container, then run back to you to collect the next fruit. This is MAJOR EXERCISE for kids, considering the amount they run and how small they are. And they really have so much fun running back and forth, giggling away!

GymnademicsClass10

 

A much-needed water break

GymnademicsClass11

 

And then it’s parachute time, flipping it around to the music. Carter was pretty overwhelmed/scared when he saw it during his first session, but he loved it during his second session.

GymnademicsClass12

 

Story time, using flashcards. I’m not sure why Carter looks so transfixed by the picture of a Daddy ironing his clothes 😉

GymnademicsClass13

 

Magic box time! This houses a super fun hands-on activity, so it’s always a hit for the eager kids. This time, it was sticking on the matching number/colour. And Carter could do it after I showed him a couple of times! We’ve never done this activity before, so I was chuffed to learn of his new skill that I never knew he could do 😛

GymnademicsClass14

 

I love the catchy “Hip hip hooray, we learned something new today!” goodbye song near the end. I always get up and dance like a crazy person too 😉 And so do my kids! Both Hunter and Carter like to shake their booty and stomp around 😛

GymnademicsClass15

 

The class lasts for an hour, and frankly, I’m glad it doesn’t go any longer. I don’t think I have the stamina! It’s very go-go-go, and the kids lap it all up.

I really enjoyed Gymnademics for Hunter because, being a cautious child, I thought the high level of activity and gymnastics would help him out of his shell a bit.

And I enjoy Gymnademics for Carter because, a very active child, it gives him what he craves for and he completely knocks out afterwards. WIN.

GymnademicsClass16

 

Outlet Details
Address: Alexandra Retail Centre, 460 Alexandra Road #02-25, Singapore 119963
Telephone: +65 6271 7569
Email: arc@gymnademics.com
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm