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Ah Mah Homemade Cake (阿嬷老字號): Traditional Fluffy Castella Cakes Arrive in Singapore

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Ah Mah Homemade Cake (阿嬷老字號): Traditional Fluffy Castella Cakes Arrive in Singapore

So yesterday, I journeyed to the west to try another up and coming castella cake shop, which will be officially launched from tomorrow onwards, at Bukit Panjang Plaza (14 July 2017). First launched in Malaysia, their cakes have already sold 100,000 boxes over 14 outlets within a span of 3months. Come August, Ah Mah will also open stores in China, Thailand and Australia.

But, Singapore first. :)

Before I start gushing about the cakes, if Bukit Panjang is too far, you guys don't have to worry that you mayn't get a chance to taste Ah Mah's cakes.

With a Castella cake trend that's not going to die down anytime soon, another Ah Mah branch is set to open doors in Harbourfront's Vivocity from 20 July. Yes, just next week, it'll be much closer to the central crowd!

So some of you might ask: why are castella cakes so popular now ah? Here's my own reasoning.

For me, I seriously admire shops who dare to go all traditional, especially in an age that's all about creativity, attractiveness and colours. But beyond that superficiality, people are still looking for the true #goodvibes. That's why traditional foods like these are tenacious in nature. When you eat them, you're filled with good memories of the good old days. Even if you don't have memories of the 'good old days' per se, you'll get a glimpse into the 'good ol' past and what it used to taste like back in those days'.

And that's why one reason why I thought the cakes here tasted good was because of its gu zao wei taste (lit. filled with traditional taste / taste of sentiment (古早味 = 怀念的味道)).

A taste of sentiment - now, it's really hard to beat that touch of romance and depth of character, right?

Another reason I like their cakes is because the simpler the food looks, the harder it is to actually perfect it. And I thought they did their cakes extremely well; due to the extreme fluffiness and softness of Ah Mah's version of the castella cake.

(You think you can remake at home? You try. haha!)

Castella cakes (Kasutera in Japanese) are said to have originated in Japan. It actually has a supposedly longer history than that, and it was also said that the cake was initially from Portugal, who calls it the Pao De Lo (a.k.a sponge cake). I don't know why it sounds so Singaporean, though.

'Uncle, give me a Pao De Lo, tabao!'

Lol.  Okay, never mind. Not funny. Let's look at some pictures.



Similar as Le Castella (which caused a recent uproar and snaking queues at Tampines One), Ah Mah Homemade Cake offer two flavours (Original and Cheese) in-store now.

All their cakes are baked and sliced on-site. The Original and Cheese costs $8 and $11 respectively.

Made purely with milk, eggs and quality flour, there is no added water, preservatives and colourings. The taste is an absolutely healthy one, especially the Original cake. I love the savory one better, because it offers a little more punch without the guilt, but not to the extent of it feeling jelat (Singaporean slang for flavour overdose). So, cheese it is for me.



And I also got a chance to see how Ah Mah's head chef - Jim Wong - actually prepare the batter for the cake.

Each batch, filled with more than 10 years baking experience and peppered with his tender loving care as key ingredients, is baked for 80 minutes.

To ensure absolute freshness and maintenance of quality, Ah Mah Homemade Cake bakes its cakes daily and discards all cakes after 12 hours if they are not consumed.



Here's Head Chef Jim Wong bringing out the freshly baked cake from the oven.


Another chef in earlier prep of readying the baked cakes.



Making sure each cake is sliced to accuracy and the perfect size to fit into the boxes.




Branding tool used on the readied cakes for takeaway.




The cheese one is my favourite!



To provide more variety to the crowd, another 1 new flavour (Chicken floss) is on the way, to be launched in stores sometime late August, next month!

So do keep a lookout for that too!

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Ah Mah HomeMade Cake (阿嬷老字號)
Website / Facebook: www.facebook.com/iloveahmahsg

Bukit Panjang Plaza Branch (open from 14 July 2017)
Location: 1 Jelebu Road, #01-18, Singapore 677743
Hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Vivocity Branch (open from 20 July 2017)
Location: 1 Harbourfront Walk, #B2-K7 Singapore 098585
Hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Gaston Luga: A Swedish Take on the Modern Fashionista's Backpack

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Gaston Luga: A Swedish Take on the Modern Fashionista's Backpack
When Gaston Luga contacted me, I was seriously overjoyed because I've seen so many people carry this online and looking so stylishly good! The brand symbolises its founder's vision to discover the world with a elegant and casual style which did not shy from the expression of a fashionable, yet minimalistic style.

The result was a functional yet fashionable backpack which would take instagram by storm.

Scroll all the way to the end to get the discount code (15% off for all my readers!)

I chose for myself the Pråper Olive & Black backpack (SGD$299), a two-toned backpack that I have since received a couple of compliments on (they said the backpack was nice though, not me! haha!)



The fashion possibilities for this versatile backpack are endless. From casual dates to chucking all your barang barang (a.k.a. stuff) for school or work, or carry it for trips overseas!

The bag matches well with denim too! Totally love it.



I really appreciate the fact that they have a special pocket for your passport and travel tickets, which are kept, literally, close to your back. You now don't have to be so conscious that people would cut your bag from the back and steal these important travel documents.




What I noticed about the hooks in the front (which is what keeps your bag covered) is that it's actually pretty secure. What's best, you can adjust these with four levels to suit your current packing needs.

Key features:
- Highly durable canvas
- Expandable hard metal hook closure
- Inner 13-15" laptop sleeve and two pockets
- Passport & ticket pocket
- Adjustable shoulder straps

Bag Dimensions: 30 x 42 x 15cm, 18L
Available Colors: Black Pink, Olive & Black, Navy & Brown

Made of thick and strong cotton fabric for durability. Hard metal hooks close the main compartment, which contains a 13-15” laptop pocket and four smaller pockets for your phone, wallet etc.

The inside of the bag is 100% cotton fabric, providing a soft and comfortable environment for your stuff. Under the backpack, there's 4 metallic buttoned 'feet', lessening impact and giving some protection to your items as you set your backpack down on the ground or any hard surface.





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All my readers get a 15% off when they use the code: janel15 during checkout. Don't forget to use this code because it will entitle you to free shipping + 20% off as tax rebate (from non-EU country) + 15% off! 

Close to $100 off! Check out the following breakdown example for reference. :)


At the checkout page, to apply my promotion code by clicking “I have a promotion code”, enter the code, and press “Apply”. Be sure there are no additional spaces before or after the code.

Website: http://gastonluga.com/

Proofer brings sushi into the heartlands: Yuba Hut

Monday, 19 June 2017

Proofer brings sushi into the heartlands: Yuba Hut
Behind the same team who runs Proofer comes Yuba Hut. This time, they've entered the heartlands, bringing various Japanese favourites, like makis, rice bowls, yakitori combinations, sashimi, etc, to the North-East crowd.


A fast-food concept, the eatery is not very spacious and only houses a couple of tables.

We tried the Champion Floss Maki ($9.90 for 4 pieces), Cream cheese mentaiko Salmon ($9.90 for 4 pieces), Salmon Aburi Don ($14.90) and Spicy Salmon Don.

I kinda like the cream cheese mentaiko salmon maki, which promises a rich and cheesy flavour. It's sinful and pretty delicious.

If you're one of those who likes century egg, you might want to try their Taiyou Century Egg Maki ($9.90 for 4 pieces) - unfortunately I must say that this did not impress me as much because I had expected a richer century egg flavour, which did not come through.


I must say that the Spicy Salmon Don offers the most kick for me, though a handful of customers might likely find the spicy salmon don to be a tad too spicy for their liking.



Visitors might also be happy to note that all prices listed , which begin from $6.90, are at nett prices.

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Yuba Hut
Location: 01-19/20 Heartland Mall, Block 205 Hougang Street 21
Open: 11am to 10pm daily

Seoul's Village 11 Factory (빌라쥬11팩토리): #Geek_Strange_Lab and Moisture Cream Review

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Seoul's Village 11 Factory (빌라쥬11팩토리): #Geek_Strange_Lab and Moisture Cream Review
So, in my recent trip to Seoul, I visited Seoul's artistic cosmetic brand: Village 11 Factory. Situated in Garosugil, one cannot stop but to enter this lovely shop decked in white and shades of light pink.








So pretty. This beauty emporium just opened earlier this year in January 2017, and has 2 floors - both worthy of exploring. The first storey looks like a factory / chemist lab of sorts, which the second floor has specially designed themed settings that are oh-so-insta-worthy.

From here on, I'll let the photos speak for itself.








Within this space, you can try any cosmetics or skincare on display, including their own home brand: Village 11 Factory, MIZON and AGATHA.








I couldn't help but to buy their moisture cream, because this moisturiser, albeit in cream form, absorbs quickly and is not sticky at all! Also, it is very lightly scented (which to be honest I don't mind at all) and it's a scent which I think is very attractive.

Made mainly with plant oils, eco ceramide and natural skincare ingredients. It's supposed to help retain moisture on skin for a longer time and make it healthier with eco ceramide contents. For more information, check out this page (only in Korean though, sorry!)

[How to use] After using serum, gently spread a suitable amount on skin for absorption.






Unfortunately, I'm enjoying using this cream so much that I kind of regretted not buying more from here. But well, no choice, I'll have to save it for my next Seoul trip!

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Village 11 Factory (빌라쥬11팩토리)
Location: 546-11 Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
Website: http://www.village11factory.com/
Operating hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00