TripAdvisor : Bill & Toni’s, Darling Hurst, AU

This traditional Italian diner serves hearty, authentic homestyle meals. It’s a short walk from the NSW Art Gallery, and attracts all kind of folk- bohemians, school kids, grandfathers and their beloved, friends for a catch up. There seems to be a well established patronage, and for good reason. The food is simple and traditional. Our osso bucco was tender, fall-apart and rich, while our scaloppine pizzaiola was flavour-intense and meaty. 
Don’t expect a luxurious experience. It’s delicious, it’s satisfying, it’s a reasonably-priced hidden gem in Darlinghurst. 

TripAdvisor review: Marina Bay Sands Skypark, Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands Skypark is a must do in Singapore.  You’ll get unparalleled views of the Harbour and surrounds- the sea, the port, gardens by the bay, the central business district, the suburbs. 

I highly recommend you time your trip to be at the Skypark at sunset. That’s when you get majestic skies and the city lights twinkle and awaken. If you wait even longer, you’ll get a light show on the Harbour (but I disappeared before then to grab a bit to eat). 

The Skypark itself runs like a machine. It costs about $26SGD per person to get to the top, and you’ll find it can get very crowded up there. There are trinkets and food/drinks available up there but if you don’t want to be hit by tourist prices for a meager hot dog, then eat before you go. 

There’s always the option of having dinner up there, but reserve a place as I don’t think they take walk ins and it gets filled pretty quickly. Also, don’t expect to be anywhere near the famed infinity pool. Lastly, the queues to leave are long and windy as there are only 2 lifts available up to the SkyPark, so leave yourself a loose schedule because you could be waiting a while to get down. 

All in all, the experience is worth it. The panoramic views are breathtaking and the rest of the experience is just incidental.

TripAdvisor: Zeno’s Cafe, Sukhumvit, Bangkok

I’ve often wandered past this little cafe, but never gave it a look in. This morning I found solace in its airconditioning and respite in its WIFI. I opted to be healthy and ordered a Mango and Banana smoothie which made me feel virtuous and refreshed. 

I chose the Ham, Tomato and Onion omelette with wholegrain toast and was delightfully surprised. It was flavoursome and filling. Great value for 150THB. What a tasty breakfast, I do recommend. Apparently the coffee is good too.

TripAdvisor review: ReSTART, Christchurch NZ

I loved the ReSTART  mall in Christchurch. A collection of local designers, neat homewares,  cafes and clothing shops- all housed in shipping containers. In an effort to rebuild after the Christchurch earthquakes, it seems this temporary solution has been a massive success in revitalizing the local community and boosting morale. It’s a physical testament to Christchurch’s resilience and ingenuity. 

It was a shame to learn that the mall may be pulled down soon to make way for a “trendy shopping center”. 
Bah, humbug. This mall has character and quirk and you should go see it while it still stands. 

TripAdvisor review: High Tea at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore

High Tea at the Raffles is a quintessential experience that is a must-do for travelers through Singapore. It’s the epitome of High Tea and a history of being the best. 

We booked through our hotel concierge- they don’t take walk ins for High Tea- and we arrived early. Such an beautiful hotel with collonades and lazy fans. We explored the Writer’s Bar and the spied the famous Singapore Sling. It was Christmas, so the hotel was adorned with tinsel and mistletoe. 

The High Tea was pricey, as one would expect. To be honest, I thought the price went towards the novelty of the experience, rather than the food itself. 

Western delights like cucumber sandwiches and curried egg were a highlight. Assorted traditional teas, both iced and hot, to refresh any guest. The real winner for me was the selection of Asian morsels- tasty dim sims, dumplings among the like. The English cakes such as fruit cake, madelines, citrus tarts and praline slices were proclaimed “just right” by my partner. 

Book ahead and go for the experience.

TripAdvisor review: RMG Tours, Singapore

For the most part, RMG tours are excellent. Reasonably priced, hotel pick up/drop off, local insights. 

I recommend the city tour. We were shown around Little India, Chinatown and major landmarks. This helped us scope the area and gave us a little bit of historical background on our first day in Singapore.  The Night Safari is also an excellent option. The tour allows you to skip the massive queues and is enough time to see what you want. 

We were quite disappointed with the Jurong Bird Park tour. We spent more time in transit picking up people from hotels and stuck in traffic than actually at the park.  Although traffic can’t be helped, it should be factored in and the tour extended to create a better experience when at the venue. I really wanted more time at Jurong, but sadly we had to prioritize what we wanted, then sprint for the minibus “else be left there, we’ll leave without you”.

I also wanted to join the advertised tour to Malacca, but was told it only runs subject to numbers, which was disappointing again.

Seems RMG  tours can be hit and miss. 

TripAdvisor review: Flower Dome, Singapore

Singapore’s flower dome really is a sight to behold. It’s such a strange feeling to be standing in the middle of humid Singapore in a freezing cold dome. 

They have a wonderful variety of flowers and plants from all over the world. It’s set up in regions- African, Australian, Mediterranean and the like. It’s totally wheelchair accessible and very easy to navigate. 

I would recommend wearing walking shoes and bring a bottle of water because you can really lose yourself in there. I went at Christmas time and they brought out all the bells and whistles to recreate a white European Christmas, which was very impressive. 

The Flower dome is really worth it, just to see the sheer variety of plants all put together a esthetically. Stunning sculptures too if you look hard enough.