HOMES • FAMILY • ARTS • FOOD • TRAVEL • FASHION • HEALTH • BEAUTY
FAB DINING TABLES & CHAIRS VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS GETTING FIT IN THE NEW YEAR
READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS AND YOU COULD WIN A STAYCATION OR PRIVATE ISLAND GETAWAY! Votein our
I was very surprised to see that our upcoming Readers’ Choice Awards are our 11th! It’s a lot of work for the team each year, but we know it’s important to get businesses recommended and to be recommended. We’ve moved it to January this time, so it’s really a 2023 award – so make sure you’re entering as a customer and highlighting companies small and large that you’ve enjoyed buying from; or, if you have a business, remind people to vote! All the details are on page 32. Hope you all had a Happy New Year and enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations later thismonth.What dowe think theYear of theWater Rabbit will bringus? I looked ina forecast book thatwas sent tous and I’vemade the decision that mine is definitely not accurate. In any case, it’s better learning to see that things will go well and that we’ll all have a good year no matter what we’re told! Chinese New Year is fairly early this year; we’ve added a few do’s and don’ts around this important celebration (page 28); it’s good to learn about, especially if you’re new to Singapore. We have another article online at expatliving.sgabout all the cultural events andcelebrations held throughout the year and the dates for them, so check that one too. There are 11 public holidays in 2023 – make sure you plan ahead to make the most of them, either within Singapore or out. I think we’ve all learnt to appreciate the term “make hay while the sun shines”! We cover some fun adventures in our travel section this month (from page 103) – one about two familieswhowent trekking inNepal, and another from an intern of ours who explored Mongolia on horseback. You can also read about my short break with some of the team, plus there’s something for those who’d like to do a hike nearby – even an article about the places in Asia where famous movies have been shot! Want to start planning your next trip?Don’tmiss ourwebsite feature about great longweekendoptions. There’s a lot in this issue of themag, fromdecluttering your home to TCM advice, dining table recommendations, a vegetarian restaurant roundup, and everything in between!
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
Happy 2023, Happy Burns Night (25 January) and Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Can you guess which movie used this spot as a location?
JANUARY2023 6 expatliving.sg
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor
SHAMUS SILLAR Copy Editor JULIET KEYS
SECTION EDITORS Health & Fitness: AMY GREENBURG Life & Family: PATRICEA CHOW Wine & Dine, Travel & Leisure: DEEPA CHEVI Home & Property: AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE Fashion & Beauty: YIMIN HUANG | VERNE MAREE Lifestyle: GEORGINA HOCKLEY Intern: MEGAN HOBSON
Cover: The Kuznetsova & Hall families in Annapura, Nepal Photography: Andrea Galkova
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JANUARY2023 8 expatliving.sg
What to buy for the dining room
What’s on in the coming month
Letters and thoughts from readers Competition time – win a fab pizza oven! Around Town: Walks, launches and parties Things you might not know about Singapore A fact file for Chinese New Year Subscribe or join us at an event!
32 All about our Readers’ Choice Awards 2023 Home & Property 36 Décor news and store updates 40 Inside a one-bedroom apartment in Tanjong Pagar
Now Open: Bolia’s flagship store in Singapore Yellow Brick Road, a new show at REDSEA Gallery Feng shui, Marie Kondo style 5 reasons why your Wi-Fi is slow! Take a look at this beautiful Batam villa Street Talk: The Mount Sinai neighbourhood
Planet friendly shopping
Buying Guide: Products for eating in style We get your dining table recommendations Giving furniture from India a new lease of life
Life & Family 74
The latest news for parents and kids Noticeboard: Pets for adoption A day in the life of a Brighton student Conscious shopping at A Raft of Otters Enrichment Focus: Fun ways to learn Is your child being bullied? Putting joy and purpose into learning Things to watch and read this month What else happened in 2022?
Divine décor 56
Win an island escape!
Wine & Dine 96
Restaurant openings and other foodie news Where to find great vegetarian and vegan food Recipe Corner: A perfect dish to accompany drinks
Travel 104 Hotel hotspots and destination news 107
Exploring Mongolia on horseback Like hiking? Try these Sarawak highlights A welcome return to Nikoi!
Trekking in Nepal’s Annapurna region
Asia’s most beautiful movie locations
JANUARY2023 12 expatliving.sg
Style & Beauty 126
New year fitness 152
The latest shopping and fashion news Helping women to curate their wardrobes Where to find chic work wear We meet the founder of Talk of Town Chinese New Year at Cluny Court!
Beauty products and makeup updates
A hyaluronic acid injectable skincare treatment
140 Haircare Heroes: New products by Yann Beyrie 142 We review some of Singapore’s luxury spas
Health & Fitness 148 Medical news and updates from experts 152 Struggling to stick with your fitness goals? 158 Orthokeratology for managing myopia
Yann’s new Plumeria range
Changing up your healthcare routine for 2023 Our chat with a Functional Medicine practitioner How dental implants could change your life TCM treatments for fertility, pain and stress Challenge yourself with our Puzzle Pages January horoscopes – how’s the new year going to start? Important contacts and this month’s advertisers
Hot hair treatments!
Parting Shot: My favourite trip
JANUARY2023 14 expatliving.sg
Whizz Kidz Holiday Camps (VARIOUS DATES IN JANUARY) Are your kids looking for something special to do during the holidays? Whizz Kidz holiday camps will keep them occupied in ameaningful way. Fromfun science camps and challenges to robotics and technology, creative arts and more, there’s something for every child to enjoy. Participants will also receive a Whizz Kidz T-shirt and reusable bag. Locations include Dairy Farm, HarbourFront and selected schools. whizzkidz.com.sg Curated by critically-acclaimed, multi disciplinary artist Jason Wee for a third consecutive year, and with the theme aptly titled Arrived Home, the 2023 edition invites audiences to explore and question ideas of domesticity and belonging with programmes that highlight renowned local writers and their literary works. This year’s Textures takes place at The Arts House. Interested parties can check out the full programme list here: artshouselimited.sg/ tah-textures-2023 . Students in Singapore looking for a British boarding and day school experience are invited to this event at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, from 12 noon to 2pm. Hear an introductory presentation by the Master of Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM) then have your questions about the College answered by the Heads of School. Refreshments will be served. MCM is a global top 100 school in Spear’s School’s Index 2022. Register your free spot at marlboroughcollegemalaysia.org . Textures Literary Festival (6 TO 15 JANUARY) Marlborough College Malaysia Singapore Admissions Event (11 JANUARY)
Textures Literary Festival
ART SG (12 TO 15 JANUARY)
Presenting over 150 of the world’s leading galleries, many of them making their Singapore debut, ART SG is the biggest art fair launch in Asia Pacific in a decade. Taking place across two floors at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, the exhibition will be accompanied by a line-up of groundbreaking art installations, engaging panel discussions and experimental film. It opens with a VIP preview on 11 January. Tickets cost $17.50 each and can be purchased at artsg.com/tickets .
#Metazomia (UNTIL 20 JANUARY)
This 360° interactive and immersive cinematic experience comes from the thrilling imagination of award-winning multidisciplinary artist Brian Gothong Tan. Resisting the clichés of utopian dystopian binary of imagined futures, Tan imaginatively spins off illustrative genres such as cypherpunk, solarpunk and desertpunk. Experience the exhibition at 72-13 gallery/theatre. Tickets $15 to $23. bit.ly/Metazomia .
JANUARY2023 16 expatliving.sg
Burns Supper & Ceilidh (28 JANUARY)
In celebration of Burns Night (25 January) and the life of Robert Burns, theSingaporeSt. Andrew’s Society is hosting a night of great craic and laughs. There’ll be a six-course Scottishmenu, Glenrotheswhisky, free-flowwineandbeer, and traditional music courtesy of Ceol an Aire, so you can ceilidh into theweehours. Shangri-LaSingapore; $185/$225 members/non-members. standrewssociety.org.sg
Urban Clean-Up with One Planet
Singapore (31 JANUARY)
Join Expat Living for the next urban-walking clean up with One Planet! From 9amto 11am, wewill explore a central section of the new Thomson – East Coast Line, combininga steadywalkwhile collecting any rubbish we see along theway, and finishingwith an optional coffee. We’ll provide everything
Body & Spirit: The Human Body in Thought and Practice (UNTIL 26 MARCH) Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) explores wellness and wholeness of body, spirit and mind with Body & Spirit: The Human Body in Thought and Practice. Featuringover 100objects fromtheNationalCollection, private collectors and local communities, the special exhibition presents a display of sacred and ritual art. nhb.gov.sg/acm/whats-on/exhibitions/body-spirit
you need for this clean-up – just bring some water and sun protection. Meeting point is Napier MRT station (Exit 2), finishingat GreatWorldCityMRT. expatliving.sg/event/ urban-clean-up-with-one-planet-singapore-2
Astor International School Open House (4 MARCH) Meet the staff and teachers to learnhowAstor is different from other international schools, and how a small class size of no more than 18 students coupled with an individualised approach can benef i t your chi ld. Astor is a boutique primary school that offers a unique approach to education and gives plenty of flexibility to parents. The event runs from 10am to 12pm at 1 Kay Siang Road, #05-01. It’s free but registration is encouraged (email firstname.lastname@example.org). astor.edu.sg
JANUARY2023 18 expatliving.sg
The winner of our letter of the month will receive a BIOEFFECT Travel Set worth $140! If you’d like to share your opinion on an article or topic, please email us at email@example.com .
Table Settings Workshop Thanks for organising such a great morning. My friend Patty and I really enjoyed ourselves, and we loved seeing all the creations of Caroline Chin Geyler. Thank you also for such a lovely morning tea. Naomi Nixon Ed: Caroline makes it look so effortless – glad you enjoyed it! Clean-up Event Thank you so much for a wonderful morning – it was so great to combine exercise with meeting lovely people and doing something meaningful. A great way to start the day! Thank you also for the voucher – how lovely, I’ll enjoy it! Jennie Ed: It’s nice to have a walk and help our environment at the same time!
Talking Childhood Trauma
HEALTH & FITNESS
HEALTH & FITNESS
CHILDHOOD CHALLENGES: THOUGHTS OF SELF-HARM & SUICIDE As a parent, it can be distressing to hear statements like “I wish I was dead” or “I won’t be a problem for you much longer” come out of your child’s mouth. But, before dismissing it as “just acting out”, know that self-harm and suicide is not reserved for adults. In fact, it’s more common in kids than you might think. And, in Singapore, it’s the leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 29. That said, it’s critical for parents to get attuned to the state of their children’s mental health, explains DR SANVEEN KANG, a clinical psychologist and founder of Psych Connect. While many of these threats are not actually carried out, she still urges parents to take these comments seriously. Sadly, she says that the youngest age she has known for a child to take their own life intentionally is six years old. “Every year there are tragedies in which children and teenagers take their own lives after making these threats – and everyone asks themselves, ‘How
Luckily, you don’t have to deal with this alone. “Reaching out for professional help is important for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your child,” says Dr Kang. “When parents accept their child’s reality and seek help, they can steer them toward a healthier place, which can help prevent dark feelings from bubbling up later on.” At PsychConnect, the teamof psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors have years of experience helping families manage all kind of mental health issues and challenges. Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy), she says, is one of the most effective treatment options for depression in children. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solutions Focused Therapy and Art Psychotherapy are among the psychotherapies used.
My favour i te magazine EL arrivesmonthly without fail, and as a mum I enjoy reading the articles –
could this happen?’ and ‘Why didn’t we take the threat seriously?’” In addition to verbal threats, other indicators to be aware of include: • changes in eating or sleeping habits; • frequent or pervasive sadness; • withdrawal from friends, family and regular activities; • frequent complaints about physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches; • a decline in energy levels and in the quality of schoolwork; • an inability to think clearly or concentrate; • preoccupation with death and dying; • not caring about activities or things that previously mattered; • engagement in risky behaviours and carelessness with safety; and • increased irritability.
BATTLING THE BABY BLUES
Having a baby is a major life transition that can cause abrupt physical, social and emotional changes. This, of course, can significantly affect one’s mental health. Postpartum depression is a form of depression that occurs within the first year after childbirth, explains LINDA VAN LAER, a counsellor who specialises in pre- and postnatal therapy. At Alliance Counselling, she and the team of pre- and postnatal counsellors have an in-depth understanding of the needs of new and expecting parents.
Other triggers that can exacerbate the condition include lack of sleep, relationship problems, lack of social support, work stress, difficulties during pregnancy or childbirth, breastfeeding problems and caring for a baby who is unwell.
These symptoms can range from mild to severe and make it difficult to cope with daily life. Luckily, it’s possible to feel better with the right support, explains Linda. “A counsellor can provide a safe and non-judgmental space where you can share your unique experience, address your emotions and discover what works best for your specific case. This may include strategies for self-care, engaging your support network, improving relationships and reducing work stress.”
“The eventual goal is for our clients to be psychologically healthy and lead meaningful lives.”
The mix of contribut ing factors will be different for each mother who experiences postpartum depression, as will the symptoms, which may include the following: • tearfulness • mood swings • irritability • feeling “down” • fatigue • trouble sleeping • feelings of helplessness or worthlessness
Psych Connect 10 Winstedt Road, #03-07/12/13/17 6493 0244 | psychconnect.sg
She says that for some mothers, pos tpar tum depres s ion deve lops immediately. For others, it develops only after additional stressors are added to the mix, such as their return to work, illness or a loss – or, indeed, a pandemic! “Up until 2020, Singapore reported a gradual decline in the number of mothers who sought support for postpartumdepression. However, since the pandemic, cases of postpartum depression have been rising
Additionally, she says the counsellors at Alliance can help you strengthen your bond with baby, improve your self confidence as a mother and process any difficult or traumatic experiences that may have occurred during pregnancy or birth. The practice also facilitates Mindful Mums – a free, monthly support group where parents can share their stories and realise they’re not alone.
• trouble bonding with baby • thoughts of harming yourself or your baby • guilt • anxiety
both in numbers and in severity. This is likely due to an increase in social isolation, financial worries and other stressors.”
Alliance Counselling #04-03 & #03-02 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road 121 Upper East Coast Road, #02-01 6466 8120 | alliancecounselling.com.sg
they alwayshaveuseful tips and knowledge. I really enjoyed the “TalkingChildhoodTrauma” article (October issue). 176 OCTOBER2022
I used to judge a childwhen their behaviour was unacceptable. Now, I’ve learnt be more empathic, knowing that some kids’ behaviour may be due to their past. My motto: Please be kind, don't be rude. Thank you, EL! AiLin Tan Ed: Thank you for the lovely note about the mag. It’s always a balancing act with any child – but these are good words!
More Ideas for 2023 Hi Susan [EL’s events manager, SusanKnudsen Pickles], do keep these great event ideas and sessions coming as they are all really
Smooth Integration I am a huge fan and follower of Expat Living and I enjoy the broad coverage that you provide. It surely makes expat integration and life in Singapore smoother. Kia Reimer Ed: Thanks for your nice email!
December 2022 Issue 245
beaut. I’mstill enjoyingyourmagazine after all these years and hope to come along tooneof your classes or sessions again down the track. All the best to you and the EL team. Sue Chamberlain Ed: Thank you, Sue – we have some great ideas lined up for 2023!
LIGHT & LASER FACIAL TREATMENTS
VIETNAM & BINTAN LAMPS & LIGHTS
S$8.80 MCI (P) 059/02/2022 November 2022 Issue 244 LAMPS & LIGHTS • SCHOOLS • INDIAN RESTAURANTS
GIFTS • LASER FACIALS • CHRISTMAS DINNERS
MCI (P) 059/02/2022
FESTIVE DINNERS! CAPE TOWN REVISITED REAL PEOPLE STORIES
SCHOOL NEWS SPACE-SAVING DÉCOR CREATIVE INTERIOR DESIGNS
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MEDICAL FACIALS HAIR REMOVAL FIXES
HOME & PROPERTY
Be the lucky winner who gets to bake their ownperfect pizza in this cool Ooni oven fromOvenDepot! About Ooni Ooni is theworld’s number onepizzaovencompany, engineering ovens that blend innovative cooking technologywith showstoppingdesign. Back in 2012, Ooni launched theworld’s first portablewood-pellet firedpizzaoven. Now, fromwood-fired flavour togas poweredconsistency, it has a range of portablepizza ovens ideal for the back garden or beyond – an Ooni oven for every lifestyle. About Oven Depot OvenDepot is the exclusive distributor of Ooni pizza ovens in Singapore, with a mission to bring people together through unique cooking experiences via world-renowned, trusted brands. It was founded in 2020, when it first brought theOoni oven toaneager market in the Philippines. After nationwide success there, it’s nowpresenting the same opportunities to the community in Singapore – including Ooni, the world’s leading pizza oven company!
About the Ooni Koda 12 Oven Time is precious, so make it count! The Ooni Koda 12 Gas PoweredPizzaOven fires out jaw-droppingpizzas inaminute flat, withno assembly, nomess andno fuss. Cookingoutdoors with gas has never been so simple – the super compact Ooni Koda is good to go in seconds; simply flip open the foldable legs, insert the stonebakingboard, and connect to agas tank. Ooni Koda’s award-winning, portable design is crafted for speed, convenience and ease of use. Featuring instant gas ignition, the oven is ready to cook in 15minutes and can reach temperatures up to 500°C (932°F). Use the heat control dial to cook Neapolitan-style pizza in just 60 seconds, through to roasted fish, vegetables and steaks.
A big congratulations to our November winners BOUNCE vouchers: Laura Conroy, Juliet Scholes, Montse Castells, Jennifer Dowey and Simon Bates Bioeffect holiday gift set: Monica Baigrie Happy Bunch gift box: Amber Kemp
To learnmore about the Ooni Koda 12 and Oven Depot, visit ovendepot.sg or Facebook/Instagram@ovendepot.sg.
Simply scan the QR code or visit the Competition section of our website (expatliving.sg/competitions) before 31 January 2023!
JANUARY2023 21 expatliving.sg
Best Balls What a fab way to celebrate the end of 2022! The Great British Ball and St. Andrew’s Ball were both brilliant, and everyone looked amazing.
Above: The Great British Ball Below: St. Andrew’s Ball
Festive Glam Simplified FreshoutofNewYorkFashionWeek, leadingmakeupartistFalakAmaar ranaworkshop at Cafe Melba at Mediapolis to show our readers how to achieve a festive glam look.
Fresh Wreath Workshop Our annual fresh Christmas wreath workshopwithFlowerAddictwasa lovely and cosy affair at the company’s new beautiful workshoponHendersonRoad.
Book Launch Thelaunchof thethirdnovel intheHeather Foxtonseries of young adult spy books was held at the Battlebox, hosted by the author, Singapore expat Martin Smith, and the team from publisher 13 Elements. The audience heard insights intoMartin’swritingprocess andcharacters, plus a select reading fromhis newbook. TheHeather Foxtonseries is available on Amazon.
For Car Lovers Automotive start-up Motorist ended the yearwith its inaugural mCARnival Event at Changi Exhibition Centre. It was a huge success with more than 6,000 attendees and over 1600 vehicles coming together in an extravaganza of automotive related displays and activities.
Sport & Art Splash Paint Squash is a collaboration between the Singapore Squash Rackets Association (SSRA) and local artists to create an inclusive community around sport and art. Participants were introduced to the basics of squash by SSRA coaches, then encouraged tosplashpaintwithsquash rackets tocreateamural. Thepiecesweredisplayedat theOCBCArenaduringNovember’s MARIGOLD Singapore Squash Open.
Table Setting Masterclass AreteCulturegaveour readers somewow-factor ideas for entertainingathome inour table-settingworkshop.
Teen Talk Dr Neil of Osler Health International spent an informative morning with our readers, talking about issues around teenage behaviour, including big topics such as sex, drugs and alcohol.
Urban Clean-up Our latest Expat Living clean-up with One Planet took us from the Botanic Gardens to TiongBahru, aswecombinedsightseeingwith cleaning the environment along the way!
Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!
History OLD PHOTOS
Currently showing at the National Gallery is Living Pictures: Photography in Southeast Asia , a display of over 300 images from the mid-19th century until now, captured by photographers across the region. It includesworks from Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand, but also some interestingold snapshots of Singapore. #1 “Harbour View” (late 1890s) German expat Gustave Richard Lambert set up a successful photographic business here in the 1880s – it would become the leading studio in Southeast Asia. This photo shows Singapore harbour, with Col lyer Quay and Cavenagh Bridge in the background. #2 “Group Photograph of a Chinese Man andWomen” (c.1910) The Lee fami ly hai led from Guangdong in China and set up an extensive photography business in Singapore, including LeeBrothers Studio onHill Street, near the Armenian Church. It became well known for studio portraits like this one. Wu Peng Seng (1915–2006) was a noted landscape photographer who sett led here in 1954 , working for a Chinese language newspaper.Hebecameknown for his imagesof scenesof kampongs and the daily life of fishermen. #3 “At Rest” (1964)
The exhibition runs until August. See more at www.nationalgallery.sg/livingpictures. @nationalgallerysingapore
Photos: 1. Collection of National Museum of Singapore 2. Lee Brothers Studio Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore 3. Image courtesy of Wu Peng Seng family
Think you know Singapore well? Which of the island’s expressways (the ones with the three letter acronyms) is pictured here? Bonus points for the name of the bridge!
A BIG BUNCH OF BICHONS After a two-year hiatus, PetExpo returned in November, and it saw a record crowd of 33,000 people and 10,000 pets come through the doors. Speaking of records, it was also the scene of a new entry in the Singapore Book of Records, for the Largest Gathering of Bichon Frise – 105 Bichon Frise dogs brought together at one time.
Last month: Our December issue featured a photo of Bedok Jetty.
#3 The monkey is mostly found in the Nee Soon Swamp Forest in the Central Catchment, between Upper Peirce Reservoir and Upper Serangoon Reservoir. #4 Despite being protected from 1947, numbers are tiny – in fact, it’s critically endangered. However , whi le numbers droppedas lowas 12 at onepoint, this grew to around 40 a decade ago, and then60 in2019. The current count is 66 by one estimate, and 70 by another. Heading in the right direction!
8 THINGS ABOUT THE RAFFLES’ BANDED LANGUR If you were to gather all the Raffles’ Banded Langurs in Singapore together at one time, you’d sadly have a much smaller group than the Bichons mentioned above! But there’s some good news for this rare monkey – find out in this fact file, below. #1 The Raffles’ banded langur is native to Singapore, and is found here and across the border in Johor and Pahang. Also known as the banded leaf monkey or banded surili, it’s namedafter Sir Stamford Raffles, who included an identification of the animal among his research materials on Singapore. #2 Themonkey grows up to 60cm long, with another 60cm or so of tail, and weighs between 6 and 8kg. While its fur is dark, with some distinct white colouring on the chest and thighs, the babies are predominantly white.
#5 Authorities hope that the Eco-Link@BKE, the large bridge of native vegetation that crosses the BKE at one point, will help the animals move from area to area, and perhaps repopulate Bukit TimahNatureReserve (where they haven’t been sighted since 1987). #6 TheRaffles’ banded langur is fussy. It eatsmore than twodozen plant species (leaves, fruit and seeds), but will apparently travel longdistances to find its favourite food. Okay,we’vebeenknown do the same. #7 Themonkey’s call has beendescribedby amammologist as “a harsh rattle followed by a loud chak-chak-chak-chak”. #8 While the Raffles’ banded langur is one of only three primates in Singapore (with the long-tailed macaque and the Sunda slow loris), in2020, a fourth specieswas spotted– twodusky leaf monkeys, who are thought to have swum across from Johor.
JANUARY2023 27 expatliving.sg
CNY comes early this year (22 January) so you’ll soonnotice all the lanterns andbright lights across Chinatown and other parts of Singapore – if you haven’t already! Here are a few facts and tips to help you bounce right into the Year of the Rabbit…
Marking the beginning of the new year on the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese New Year (or Lunar New Year) is celebratedby communities all over theworld. The festivities traditionally last for 15 days, and the evening before the first day is often spent having a sumptuous dinner with family (called the reunion dinner). Common traditions include buying new clothes, exchanging oranges, giving red packets and putting up decorations such as lanterns to bring good luck and fortune. There are many legends surrounding the origins of the festival; the story of Nian is a popular one. According to Chinesemyth, amonster calledNian lived in themountains surrounding a village. On the first day of every year, he would torment the villagers, feasting on grain, cattle … and children! They eventually discovered that the beast was afraidof loudnoises and thecolour red. So, toget ridofNian, they spread red across the village, banged on drums and set off fireworks. And Nian never returned. These actions became part of the New Year tradition – hanging up red decorations and lanterns, and playing loud drums. CNY event highlights in Singapore Chingay Parade Theannual ChingayParade– the largest streetperformance and float parade inAsia – returns this year to the F1 Pit, with the themeof Embrace Tomorrow. Organisers are callingon everyone to treasure the present and embrace tomorrow as a community with hope, dreams and confidence. The colourful parade will feature Singapore’s multi-ethnic community along with the iconic Chingay floats. Friday 3 February and Saturday 4 February, 8pm, from $20 chingay.gov.sg
Light to Night Festival Light to Night is an annual visual arts festival organised by National Gallery Singapore, whosedateschangeaccording to theChineseNewYear dates each year. In 2023, the seventh edition of the event will see more innovative performances andartisticexpressionat a range of venues across the island’s Civic District. 6-26 January, Civic District linktr.ee/lighttonightsg
Dahlia Dreams Gardens by the Bay is ushering in the new year by celebrating the rabbit, known as the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac creatures! Keep an eye out for the cute critters frolicking in a colourful landscape of auspicious and vibrant dahlias, springtime blooms and a majestic magnolia tree. 13 January – 26 February, Flower Dome gardensbythebay.com.sg Chinatown Don’t miss a stroll through Chinatown where you can admire the annual festive street light-up. Since this is the Year of the Rabbit, expect to see plenty of bunnies featuring inthe festivedecorations. ChinatownPoint and Kreta Ayer Square are two key locations for festivities. chinatown.sg
Dos andDon’ts during the Lunar NewYear Tips from Singapore Feng Shui Master, Clarice Chan. Say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” to wish friends and colleagues a prosperous New Year. Prepare food before New Year’s Day so that all sharp instruments such as knives and scissors can be put away. This avoids cutting the luck out of the NewYear or severing any ties with family and friends. Refrain from using negative expressions or talking ill of others; it’s a time to promote joy and abundance. Don’t wash your hair on the first day of the Lunar New Year as hair has the same sound as the word fatt or fa , which means prosperity –washingyour hairwill encouragewealth and prosperity to be washed away. Clothes should not be washed on this day for the same reason. Colours are very important – typically, only bright colours are considered auspicious, especially red and gold. White and black are generally associatedwith sad occasions such as funerals or illness, and are therefore considered unlucky or inauspicious. Gifts are not common except for mandarin oranges, which aremandatory tooffer tohostswhenvisitingduring the first 15 days of the Lunar New Year. Unmarried adults and children receive “hong baos” or “ang pows” frommarried familymembers and friends. These red envelopes are filled with crisp new bills totalling an even amount of money. Odd numbers are not given during the celebrations.
5 CNY snacks to try Every festive period has its iconic grub. But Chinese New Year is on another level, with tasty treats to get stuck into all over the place. Here are some popular options if you want a sinful break from healthy mandarins! Bak kwa Some expats might be reminded of jerky when they see bak kwa, slices of preserved meat liberally seasonedwith spices, sugar, salt and soy sauce, and barbecued over charcoal for a smoky flavour. While it’s available throughout the year, many Chinese familiesbuy inbulk forCNY. Porkbakkwa is themost popular, though other varieties exist. Pineapple tarts A main culprit for bulging waistlines over the festive period, these bitty-but-flavourful pastries are impossible to stop at eating just one. Whether they’reopen-facedor roll-shaped, thebestpineapple tartshave two things: a firmpastryandastickydollop of fragrant, spice-laden pineapple jam. Kueh bangkit Also known as tapioca cookies, these are crunchy, coconut-flavouredmorsels thatmelt in yourmouth almost instantly, making them fairly addictive. A great festive treat for friends, bakingthesedelectable little devils takes nimble kneading skills and a great deal of patience. Love letters Also known as biscuit rolls, love letters are tubes of eggy goodness that crumble into your mouth (and all over your lap) with each bite. They come in iconic aluminium tins and have a feather-light texture, so you can easily consume them by the dozen! Alternative versions have chocolate or strawberry filling. Spicy shrimp rolls Filled with hae bee hiam (dried shrimp sambal), these crispy, savoury and spicy deep fried rolls are a classic Chinese New Year snack and are so addictive. They can get pretty spicy fast, so take it slow, especially if you’re not good with heat.
Be sure to check expatliving.sg for updates on what’s happening over Chinese New Year!
9am 3 JAN 13 JAN 10am
Singapore Living - bring your kids! Coffee & Info Morning Establishing your new life in Singapore
Feng Shui Talk Learn what the Year of the Rabbit has in store for you
Rifle Range Road Nature PaRk Explore Singapore’s newest park 18 JAN Burns Night & Ceilidh Join the Singapore St. Andrew’s Society for a celebration of Robert Burns! 28 JAN
9am 31 JAN
Urban CLEAN-UP Walk and clean our city with One Planet
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32 The Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards is an open platform for you to vote for any of your favourite businesses in Singapore. You can vote for more than one business in each category, however multiple entries will not be counted. Terms and conditions, and further details can be found at expatliving.sg/readerschoice. OCTOBER2017
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HOME & PROPERTY
40 An industrial chic Tanjong Pagar condo to lust after 46 This spread will have you shopping for a new dining table in no time! 68 The lowdown on living in Mount Sinai
HOME & PROPERTY
Brilliant Bargains Knowing howmuch everyone loves snagging a good deal, Gallery 278 is offering up to 70 percent off in its January warehouse sale. Held over six days, from 9 to 14 January, 11am until 6pm, the sale allows the first 100 customers to register (at tinyurl.com/G278Sale2023 ) and receive a $10 discount code. The sale will be held at 203 Henderson Road (Wing A), #11-01/02 .
NewYear, NewArrivals! An expert in antique and reproduction furniture, Just Anthony has taken receipt of its new year delivery nice and early for 2023. The team have sourced a huge variety of new pieces, with a focus on small and medium vintage and antique products that are easier to fit around the house but can make a statement at the same time. Also, the furniture has arrived in plenty of time before Chinese New Year, so take a look at 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road .
Brilliant Blinds With utility charges on the rise, you may well be looking for a way to improve energy efficiency at home. Mc.2 has launched its solar-panelled blinds, Renson FixScreen 100 EVO Solar blinds. This vertical sun protection screen is powered by solar energy. Not only does it protect from the heat and glare of the sun, but it comes in a range of fabrics and colours to fit seamlessly into different home styles. Find out more at facebook.com/rensonbymc.2 .
Custom-fit Home Furnishing Homegrown furniture and home décor store Snow Globe (#02-131 Midview City) has released its Maximalist collection for 2023. The collection is inspired by the rabbit, the Chinese zodiac symbol for the year – and the animal that brought Alice down a rabbit hole of discovery! Statement pieces include the abstract shaped MiranoMirror (from$759), theGreenGatsby
Sideboard ($2,099) and the Bianca Curved Sofa ($1,999) with a brushed gold base. All Snow Globe’s furnishings can be custom fit for a wide range of décor styles and available spaces, together with personal consultations and home styling services. snowglobe.sg
HOME & PROPERTY
Colour of the Year Drumroll at the ready… Pantone has announced its 2023 colour of the year, and it is Viva Magenta. The vivid shade is described as being both powerful and empowering, words you may (or may not!) want to inject into your home. Get more colour inspiration at pantone.com .
In each of the coming months, IT support company Tekkie Help will be hosting a new Tekkie Talk with Bo ,
an online training/ information sharing event, focused on a different tech-related topic. These sessions will be approximately one hour long and held via Zoom, with time at the end for Q&As. Each Tekkie Talk is just $10
The Curator This new fashion and home décor store in Tanglin Mall embraces diverse cultures and various craft styles through its art and lifestyle products. The Curator works with female entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen across Asia, and the store provides a platform to promote their products. The brand also collaborates
per session and the objective is to deliver real value. Topics will be covered in depth so that you come away with a good understanding of the subject as well as an implementation plan, if applicable. Here’s what’s coming up! 6 January: “What to check (before you sign a lease) to ensure you can get excellent Wi-Fi in your new home” Use this advice when you’re looking for a new property and negotiating a lease. 22 & 23 February: “Why every Mac household should use family sharing” Better manage your family's devices and data. 1 & 3 March: “How to plan your home or office renovation to ensure your technology works seamlessly” Planning your technology is crucial in any new build or renovation project; this talk could potentially save you a heap of cash and give you a streamlined home! 20 & 22 March: “How to watch your favourite TV shows in Singapore” Get your fix of BBC, Hulu, Disney Plus and more! Learn the difference between a VPN and DNS, and which is best to use. Sign up for a topic that’s important to you – it will be packed with useful information and tips. To register, visit support.tekkiehelp.com/ tekkie-talks-icloud.
38 New Showroom Alert JANUARY2023 expatliving.sg ReCasa Luxury furniture retail brand ReCasa has launched its first-ever showroom in Singapore with an exclusive collaboration with Italian sofa brand BertO. The showroom aims to create a one-stop solution for designer furniture that will serve as a dedicated space for furniture enthusiasts. Visitors can experience authentic Italian designs in furniture for homes, offices, workspaces, restaurants, and more. Visit the space at #01-01 Harrison Industrial Building, 9 Harrison Road , and experience authentic Italian designs for homes, offices, workspaces, restaurants and more. with Safecity, a Red Dot Foundation, an NGO that organises campaigns to spread awareness about gender-based crimes. Check out the new space at #03-104 Tanglin Mall .
8113 8682 | email@example.com tekkietraining.kartra.com
HOME & PROPERTY
BY REBECCA BISSET PHOTOGRAPHY DELON HO
This month, we chat with INGRID LIEW about the process of buying her one bedroomcondoinTanjong Pagar and the renovations she’s done on it. Plus, we get her recommendations for the neighbourhood and beyond!
Tell us about yourself! I’m proudly Singaporean. I’ve lived here for most of my life – apart from stints in Sweden (a small university town called Lund) and South Korea (bustling Seoul) for university and work respectively. Mypartner is currentlybased in theUK, so I live alone in my cosy little haven or bachelorette pad (depending on which day of the week it is!). What properties did you look at and why did you choose this one? I looked at mostly one-bedroom units in private condominiums. I knew location was going to be my number one consideration (youknowwhat they say, in real estate it’s all about location, location, location!), so I looked at properties in
TanjongPagar, OutramPark,MarinaBay, Tiong Bahru, Dhoby Ghaut and Bugis. I finally chose my condo because of precisely that. It’s near all the action, and I mean literally all the action. The hottest restaurants and bars in the area – Tras Street, Keong Saik, Telok Ayer, Amoy Street, Ann Siang Hill – are a five to 15 minutewalk, and it’s a stone’s throwfrom lots of yoga and exercise studios. I can’t tell you howmuch time, hassle and Grab fares I’ve saved walking to and fromdinners, drinks and nights out with my friends. When they’re all trying so hard to get a car (think 10.30pm surge pricing during COVID times when we still had a curfew…), I simply give them a goodbye wave and hug, start walking, and I’m home in 15 minutes!
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Did you have to renovate? Yes, I basically redid the entire apartment.When I bought theplace, it looked socookie-cutter and a bit devoidof soul. The place had, inmy opinion, sterile (oops) whitebuilt-in shelves in the kitchen and bedroom, and marble flooring, which I’m not a big fan of. I knew I wanted a place that channelled modern, industrial chic – anaesthetic thatwould reflectmy sensibilities as amodernSingaporean woman. The interior design firm that worked with me to help make my vision a reality was Hei Architects – theowner is thepartner of agood friend of mine. Talk us through some of the furniture and décor choices you made. I wanted amodern, cool industrial vibe that was a bit gritty, hence the grey, concrete walls in the living room and bathroom, and black walls in the bedroom. The flooring is a mix of the original wood flooring (in the bedroom) and wooden vinyl flooring in the living room– the wood balances out the coolness of the wall tones, with some warmth. I also wanted some “statement” features – for example, the contemporary, modern deco Italian tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, which are very striking. The other statement feature is my white SMEG fridge. With its classic retro stylings, it’s been a talkingpoint with the guests I’ve had over. (People have even commented on it over Zoom, when I’mworking fromhome!)
Because a SMEG fridge isn’t magnetic, I had my designer do up one of the walls of my electrical cabinet (which niftily doubles up asmy shoe cabinet) as a sort of blackboard, where I could display magnets, photos and postcards frommy travels. To complete the industrial vibe, there are filament Edison light bulbs in the bathroom, bedroomand over the bar counter/dining table. What do you love about your home and the neighbourhood? I love the fact that, despite its relatively small size (527 square feet), there are so many nooks and crannies to hang out in. I can easily spend a whole day in here and forget that I haven’t been outside. As formy ’hood, I loveTanjongPagarbecause it’s such amixof oldandnew, anda lovely juxtapositionbetween the modern and the traditional. The HDB estate and hawker centres here coexist right alongside ultra modern shoppingmalls withGrade A office space and luxury residences. (Hello, James Dyson and his record breaking ultra-luxe penthouse at Wallich Residences!) TanjongPagar isnever staticor boring. There’s always something new popping up in this area to explore, whether it’s a café, restaurant, shop or studio.
HOME & PROPERTY
What have been your best furniture or home décor buys? There are some furniture pieces I’m really happy with, like my stylish barstools from Nook & Cranny, and my leather sofa from Grey & Sanders, which is so comfortable that I’vehadguests literally become one with my sofa. But the things that make my home truly special for me are whimsical items that capturemy love of art, music and poetry. So I would say my best buys are: #1 My vintage black Royal Varsity typewriter (on display inmy living room). I actually still use this sometimes towriteoriginal piecesof poetry. I got it onCarousell fromanenterprisingSingaporean university undergraduate, who would source these pieces from yard sales during his time studying in the US. #2 The framed Banksy print in my bedroom. I absolutely adore Banksy – I think he is a genius. #3 My twin Botero-esque sculptures in yoga positions, which I bought while on one of my favourite trips to Laos. Tell us about your work life. By day, I’ma recruiter at Google. By night, I model – I’msigned to a local modelling agency. I’mbuilding upmy social/Instagramfollowing throughmy travel and lifestyle account (IG:@griddyy), soplease follow me if, like me, you love exploring new places and destinations! Name three of your best regional holidays and why they’re special. OMG, I’m not being a drama queen, but this is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life! (OK, I am definitely being a drama queen…) Here are my top three holidays in Southeast Asia: #1 Luang Prabang, Laos This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the former capital of Laos, and you’ll see everything from golden-roofedtemples tovestigesof colonial French architecture here. Forme, itwas just incredibly serene andpeaceful, and we stayed at the lovely Sofitel Luang Prabang, an absolute oasis with – get this – a resident pet rabbitwho roams freelyaroundthehotel’s vegetable patch, and likes to come to the restaurant during breakfast to interact with guests. This holiday was also special to me because I almost didn’t make it into Laos – I had droppedmy passport in the swimming pool a few days before, and the ink from the stamps had all run, leaving mostpages indecipherable. The immigration inLaos almost sent me back on the plane, but they finally relentedaftermuchnegotiationandproof that I had a place to stay while in Luang Prabang!
43 JANUARY2023 expatliving.sg
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