Awesome McDonald’s Item You Wish They Were Available in Your Country

I have a confession. I love McDonald’s as a child and I still do. Despite all the hoo-haa around the health issues, I’m going to remain a sucker for those Extra Value Meals. I’m currently stuck at home with stomach flu and I’m really not doing myself a favour by writing this post, but I had to you always crave what you can’t have.

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photo credit: Justin in SD via photopin cc

McDonalds is a global brand and it’s available in more than 120 countries around the world. Having influences from every continent with a diversity of cultures and cuisines, it is no doubt that their menu will have such different varieties depending on your geographical location. I’m from Singapore and during my years in the United Kingdom, I’ve always wished that I didn’t have to fly 7000 miles for my McSpicy. In random order, these are the awesome McDonald’s items I’m craving now and you wish were available in your country.

1. Avocado Beef Burger (Japan)

Avocado chunks, two slices of bacon, a grilled beef patty, slivered onions, a slice of cheddar, and a wasabi sauce – also available in chicken and shrimp. (OMG)

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2. McKroket (Netherlands)

Meat ragout covered in breadcrumbs which is subsequently deep-fried, sandwiched between the classic buns. (Melts in your mouth)

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3. Seaweed Shaker Fries (Asia)

Golden crispy french fries coated with seaweed seasoning (MY FAVOURITE)

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4. Ovomaltine McFlurry (Switzerland)

Ovomaltine + McFlurry. (Need I say more?)

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5. Samurai Pork Burger (Thailand)

Pork patty marinated with teriyaki sauce.. (I’m drooling over my keyboard)

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6. McPaneer Royale (India)

Grilled juicy paneer topped with cream cheese and onion sauce. (mmmMMMmmmm)

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7. Rice Fun Wrap (Taiwan/Hong Kong) 

Juicy chicken or tender beef patty with rice – IN A WRAP (Asian Burrito? Hell yeah, gimme some)

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8. Double McKofte Burger (Turkey)

Heavily spiced kebab like patty – also available in lamb (I smell double trouble)

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9. Greek Mac (Greece)

Juicy patties in a pita with yogurt sauce and salad. (This is addictive I swear)

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10. Double Bulgogi Burger (Korea)

Patties marinated in Korean’s favourite Bulgogi saucemelty cheese, creamy mayo and crisp lettuce (Double because a single ain’t enough)

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11. McSpaghetti (Philippines) 

Classic Spaghetti with perfect tomato sauce and crispy chicken on the side. (I can’t even)

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12. Cinnamon Melts (Random)

This warm delicious cinnamon-spiced rolls topped with delectable cream cheese icing is available at various outlets across the globe. Sorry if it’s not available at yours, (not).

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 6.14.05 PM13. Strawberry Custard Pie (Oman)

Irresistible strawberry custard in a warm crispy pie. (I think I just licked my lips) 

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 6.31.09 PM14. McShrimp (Russia)

Battered shrimps!!!! (Can they bring this to Singapore?)

7068706693_8304815e3515. Flaming Green Curry (Singapore)

Chicken patty seasoned with green chilli lime sauce. It’s like the McSpicy, but hotter and better. (I’m probably going to head to my nearest McDonald’s soon)

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Bonus: More Awesomeness from Japan

Seriously, the list can go on forever and it’s making me extremely hungry. But as I was typing this list out, I figured that Japan deserves it’s own section as they have come up with the most wonderful and appealing items for their McDonald’s menu. Notwithstanding the fact that some are limited edition items, they are so awesome they need to be introduced – hint hint McDonald’s Singapore.

16. McCarbonara Sandwich

mcdonalds-world-417. German Sausage Chicken

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18. Chicken Cheese Fondue 

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19 Ebi-Fillet-O

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20. Bacon Potato Pie 

xxx-daily-meal-mcds-pies-02-1625-4_3Gosh I am so hungry right now and I need to stop to grab some food. If there is a takeaway point (aside from making you hungry) it’s perhaps a visit to the local McDonald’s when you’re traveling to a new country.

(tummy growling)

Peace & Love,

Eileen x

 

 

10 Movies to Watch During the CNY Season

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! I just came home from a sumptuous dinner at my Grandmother’s place. Thought I was being smart by wearing a really loose fit dress so I don’t have to unbutton my jeans or loosen my belt, but I sure did not anticipate the amount I ate.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned before that I absolutely love CNY. It is great to have everyone sitting down together, eating, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. If you are not catching up with someone (or gambling), chances are, you’ll be staring at whatever’s playing on telly. Plenty of CNY movies are released this time of the year or played on loop on TV. Honestly, CNY wouldn’t be complete without some Stephen Chow classics.

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However, when I was at my Grandmother’s place with my relatives, we  found ourselves struggling to find a programme on television suitable for everybody in the room. Hence, I thought I’d do up a list that could give all of you celebrating CNY some ideas on what to play in the background when you have visitors. It is a great way to keep everyone together and most of the movies I’ve picked are likened across the age groups. Moreover, most of them are available full length on youtube, or you can even get it real cheap at a dvd store. Go on, have a good laugh with your friends and family, it’s the new year!

1. God of Gamblers

All of you gamblers yearn to be the God of Gamblers every CNY. LEARN FROM CHOW YUN FATT. Just look at his flare and consistent smirk throughout the game. We cantonese will say “好型!”

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2. Kung Fu Hustle

One of my absolute favourites that made me laugh till I pissed in my pants. It’s THAT good. The martial arts choreography is so comical yet so brilliant at the same time. Here’s one of their most (the most in my opinion) epic scenes.

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3. Shao Lin Soccer

Another Stephen Chow Classic taking soccer to the next level. The action is amazeballs.

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4. Mahjong Warrior

Their bad ass attitude… the way Andy Lau rolls the dice… the way they take their tiles… I can’t even…
PS: I watch this every year.

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5. Infernal Affairs 1, 2, 3

How about a marathon of some quality Chinese movie for Chinese New Year. Infernal Affairs starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung inspired The Departed starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Daemon. Leo baby I love you to bits but Infernal Affairs was better. People if you haven’t seen Infernal Affairs, I can’t believe you! GO WATCH IT.

Freaking 95% on rottentomatoes!!

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6. Money Not Enough 2

Since CNY is a family affair, we can’t forget some heart warming local production. I couldn’t find the first one but I remember watching the second movie in the theatres and hearing endless sobbing in the cinema.

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7. 881

This is another local production that I caught with my family when it came out. As a Singaporean, I really love watching locally produced movies as it is very relatable. Watching 881 might be a no-no for the pantang (superstitious) people as it is about the getai (something common during the hungry ghost festival). If you don’t mind, 881 is a light-hearted, funny yet heartwarming movie about sisterhood, which is think is very apt for this family gathering season.

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8. Homerun

Before Ilo Ilo, we had Homerun, which garnered a lot of international focus back then and won several awards. I think this enjoyable movie deserves a special shoutout. Jack Neo usually does well in the comedy genre but Homerun was a different direction from his usual style and I felt like it was a breakthrough for him as well. Again, do enjoy this local production with your friends and family because it is a good movie that shouldn’t be forgotten.

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9. Army Daze

This will always be my favourite classic. Even after so many years, I’d still find it so entertaining. No matter if you’re a dude or a lady, or an adult or a kid, I gaurantee you Army Daze will make you LOL if not ROFL.

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10. Ilo Ilo

I couldn’t miss this out from the list can I? For those who don’t know about Ilo Ilo, it is a local production that was awarded the Camera d’Or award at the Cannes Festival last year (2013). The movie is now available on DVD!

 

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As you will realise by now, half of the list consists of Singapore produced movies. I’ve been a fan of home-grown talents and as Singaporeans we should come together and be proud of what we have! And besides they are all good movies that can hype up the this CNY season.

Hope you enjoy the selection and Happy Chinese New Year again!

Peace & Love

Eileen x

10 Ways to Celebrate Xmas in Singapore

Not everyone celebrates Xmas by attending midnight mass or having massive family dinners and exchanging gifts. Having said so, that doesn’t deprive the rest of the population from sharing the joy of this festive season! Here are 10 alternative ways to celebrate Xmas in Singapore. (I believe some applies even if you’re somewhere else!)

Tis the season to be jolly.

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photo credit: Justin in SD via photopin cc

1. Visit the Ice Palace (Narnia Style)

One of the world’s greatest festival is coming to Singapore! The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival which features fantastic (massive) ice sculptures is bringing part of their exhibition to this tropical island. The exhibition will be held in a specially insulated ice cold compound and it also features an ice bar! Check out the promos on their facebook page or visit their website!

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photo credit: 2 Degree Ice Art Facebook

2. Go Artsy

With the Singapore Biennale 2013 stretching to the following year, there is bound to be some artsy fartsy exhibition going on during Xmas. The museum will sadly be closed on public holidays, but there are several outdoor installations for your admiration. If art isn’t your thing, stick to the Xmas lights all around Singapore. There’s plenty for your viewing pleasure and #instamoments.

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photo credit: Singapore Biennale Facebook

3. Binge Watch Xmas Movies on the Couch

Christmas is the one festival that has the most movies made after it. It’s a season of love, family and warmth and nothing beats just staying at home and laughing to “the Grinch” or cuddling to “Love Actually”. Xmas films are feel good films and you can just watch them over and over and over again AND I always anticipate the new upcoming Xmas films!

PS: Rise of the Guardians will be screening at City Square Mall on the 14th of December, 8pm, at the Basement 1 Fountain Square. (If you haven’t caught it, it’s such a great Xmas animation and it’s worth watching!)

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photo credit: stars alive via photopin cc

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4. Frolic in the Snow or Twirl Around on Ice

We haven’t exactly got snow or a frozen lake to skate on but that doesn’t stop us from frolicking in the “snow” or twirling around on ice! Tanglin Mall has been giving children in Singapore the wonders of a White Christmas on a tropical island. This year is no exception.

Also, we have plenty of ice skating rinks here in Singapore! The biggest one is The Rink at JCube. The Rink even has something special to spice up Xmas eve and Xmas day. Expect a series of “snowfalls” as you whizz around with your loved ones and don’t be alarmed if Santa crashes your party!

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photo credit: Kirk Siang via photopin cc
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photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

5. Catch A Musical

Musicals and theatric performances are the best. There’s music, there’s lights, there’s action and it’s live! If you haven’t got anything planned this Xmas, there are a few shows that will be running throughout the Xmas season. Check out Sistic for the options available! It’s a great way to spend the evening with your friends and family.

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6. Hop about Singapore Xmas Markets

We may not have markets that equate the scale of European Christmas markets but we definitely have plenty of Local Xmas Markets for you to hop about. For starters, Public Garden is organising weekend Xmas markets at Tripleone Somerset till the 15th of December 2013. You can find knick knacks and homemade jams.  Here’s a compilation of other fairs and markets for this festive season by SassyMama.

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photo credits: Public Garden

7. Party with the Crowd

When you’re celebrating a festival, it’s the best time to party! It is one of the rare moments where Orchard Road will be blocked and you can roam about to enjoy the street performances. To enhance the party spirit, Singapore River, which runs along Clark Quay and Boat Quay is adorned with gorgeous candy canes and other Xmas ornaments to hype up the exciting Xmas parties going on in the various establishments.

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photo credit: Eustaquio Santimano via photopin cc

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photo credit: marfis75 via photopin cc

8. Visit the Xmas Village

Situated around the world’s largest ferris wheel lies a Christmas Village. Take pictures with Santa in his house or his reindeer sleigh dressed in LED lights. Complementing the world’s largest wheel would be Singapore’s tallest Xmas tree. In addition, Singapore Flyer together with popular Celebrity Chef, Eric Teo, has specially prepared a Xmas menus for guest opting for the Singapore Flyer’s Sky Dining experience. Don’t stop that kid inside you from embarking on this delightful experience!

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photo credit: The Christmas Village

9. Bake-Off!

Who loves cookies and other sweet treats? EVERYONE! Get together and have lots of fun baking and decorating your dessert. I don’t know what else to say apart from “what a great idea!!” Here’s a recipe for a Giant Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie to get the ball rolling! And if you need to know where to get your baking supplies, check out this list!

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photo credit: toniwbusch via photopin cc

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photo credit: scottfidd via photopin cc

10. Good Ol’ Potluck Session

So what do you do if you baked too much? Organise a Potluck! Potluck is essentially a gathering of people where each person or group of people contribute a dish prepared in advance. First of all, it saves you the trouble of cooking for everyone if you haven’t got the time and patience to, and above all, food brings people together. What better way to celebrate this special festive than gathering and having good food? I suggest a good ol’ potluck session.

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photo credit: OldOnliner via photopin cc

So you can see, there are plenty of ways to spend your Xmas and it definitely goes beyond this list. Whatever you end up doing, whether you’re with your friends, family or lover, I hope that you will have a fair share of this wonderful and joyous occasion. Be happy and merry.

Peace & Love,

Eileen

10 Useful Apps When Traveling Abroad

Many people own smart phones these days and since we have the technology, why not make use of it! There are plenty of applications out there designed to enhance and/or simplify your traveling experience. As an avid traveling, and having used both the iPhone and Android phone, I have sieved out 10 useful travel apps that you may find useful when you’re traveling.

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photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

1. Offline Map

Offline Maps are brilliant. It doesn’t rely on data roaming so you don’t have to worry about being charged for it. More often than not, we may find ourselves lost in a foreign land with no one around to navigate (i.e. lost in the middle of friggin no where especially on a road trip). During times like this, Offline Maps are extremely useful. I relied on it so much on my South African Road trip. The iPhone version of the Offline Map allows you to download the maps of different continents. As for the Android Offline Map, I downloaded RMaps which seems to have pretty good reviews. I’ll give it a shot in Sri Lanka and update this section on how well it works for me. And if in doubt, Google Maps is now available for offline use if you pre download the maps!

2. World Lens

When I first found out about this app, I was trying hard to comprehend how advance our technology is today (or maybe I’m just an idiot when it comes to IT). Anyway, this app literally translates foreign words you see into a language you understand instantly! It is AMAZING. Just watch the video.

3. Google Translate

Following up from “World Lens”, Google Translate allows  you to give a go at communicating in a foreign language. We all know how google translate works, so here’s a video of an April fool’s Joke by Google on a Google Animal Translate app, just for fun.

4. XE Currency

Money makes the world go round, and when we’re spending money, we want to know how much we’re burning a whole in our pockets. With the XE Currency exchange app, this works offline as well and you instantly convert the amount you are spending in a foreign currency. I personally use this app a lot.

5. Stay City Guides

Stay City Guides is useful when you have no time to plan for your trip and you have absolutely no idea what to do when you get there. If you feel like you’re short of time and want to see the most you can, Stay City Guides will provide you with offline city guides on where to go and what to do. The best part of it is that it allows you to plan your itinerary with your friends if you are traveling together.

They do have a substantial list of cities available for download but there are some still missing. Alternatively, there are a lot of other individual city guides for specific cities. Timeout and Guidepal are good alternatives that I’ve tried.

6.Kayak

Another fantastic guide that helps you search for the best flight and hotel deals at the tip of your fingertips. This is especially useful if you haven’t got access to a computer when you’re overseas but need to plan your trip on the go. Kayak app allows you to book through your app. The app is available free for iPhone and Android users.

7. Toilet Finder App

Do not belittle this app. I bet you had moments when you needed the toilet desperately but don’t know where the nearest one is. The Toilet Finder App does exactly what it says, find the nearest toilet and it tells you if it is free or not (Europe is notorious for expensive public toilets!) This app will also come in handy for mums traveling with young children and need to find a place to either change the nappies or just for their children to wee (since young children seems to pee a lot). Different versions of this app are available on both iPhone and Android.

8. FlightTrack

FlightTrack is great for people who fly a lot and for loved ones to be aware of each other’s flight status. It provides real time data on flight schedule and notifies any anticipated delay. It can also find alternate flight routes if you need to and share flight locations. This app has been very well received and you might find it equally handy!

9. GateGuru

There has been mixed reviews for GateGuru but nonetheless, I still find it a pretty useful app, especially for people who are always at various airports around the world and some airports are huge and confusing. GateGuru maps out airports around the world and where the gates are. It also gives you information on the services available at the airport and where to eat and shop. There is also an additional feature to record your trips like the “TripIt” app. Check out the review for it and decide and see if you’d like it!

10. TripAdvisor

Last bust certainly not least, the TripAdvisor app! It is a must have for every traveler with a smart phone. The only issue I have with TripAdvisor is that some reviews are biased, but other than that, I’m very satisfied with TripAdvisor. I use this pretty much for every travel experience I have.

This list is certainly not exhaustive and doesn’t include apps that help you plan your trip in advance (i.e. airbnb), but it is a great place to start if you’re searching for travel apps.

Good luck on your travels and feel free to share any travel apps that you have used and found useful. Bon voyage!

Peace & Love,
Eileen x

Conducive Cafes (in Singapore) to Work At

There are days where we simply want to take our workbench elsewhere. Away from home, away from the office. That applies to me on most days. The problem with taking work out is that we need a conducive work environment and constant supply of caffeine. I often look for cafés to work at but there are some considerations I take into account before I decide if it is a conducive cafe to work at.

1. WIFI

Having slow Wifi or no Wifi at all is simply a #firstworldwoe, but let’s face it, it’s the first thing we think of, and some of us have experience hitting the limit of 3G usage (there goes the personal hotspot option).

2. Ample power sockets to charge our devices

If we’re working on our laptops, and judging on how crappy the battery lives are for our electronic devices these days, power sockets are important. Not one, but more because some bugger will just leave their charger charging and overcharging and hog the damn thing. so yes, AMPLE power sockets.

3. A place where nobody really cares what you’re doing

You don’t really want to be working somewhere and feel stressed that they will chase you out because you’re unwelcome, or simply spending too little money and taking too much space. Also, you don’t want to be in a cafe where you feel so out of place and awkward whipping out your laptop to work. You need to feel absolutely comfortable being there and STAYING there (slightly buay pai seh; translation: thick-skinned in hokkien dialect).

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photo credit: lecercle via photopin cc

Having said all that, here are some of the cafes I’d recommend as “Conducive Work Cafés”. I personally frequent these joints myself.

MU Parlour

I absolutely adore this place. MU Parlour is situated above Thai express at Holland Village making it very accessible via the train! The interior is really gorgeous, clean and white with a little rustic touch to it. Yes there is Wifi, very good Wifi (I usually assess it with Skype and yes I have used Skype there before), plus, there are sufficient power sockets by the wall. Bonus: if you feel hungry halfway through, they do really awesome burgers.

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photo credit: MU Parlour

The Book Cafe

The Book Cafe is slightly out of the way. It’s opposite the M Studio at Robertson Quay, but if you need somewhere to work at, read a book, or just laze about, the Book Cafe is PERFECT. There is this homey vibe to the place. I suppose it’s the sofas available to the guest to lounge on. Yes they have good Wifi and plenty of power sockets. They even have power sockets for their outdoor seats if you like it al fresco.

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photo credits: The Book Cafe

Group Therapy

Probably one of my favourite to work at out of all my picks. Groupy Therapy is situated at Duxton area, above Etna restaurant on the 2nd floor. Why do I like it? It’s round the corner from where I do yoga, they have good coffee, they have good Wifi, they have enough power sockets for me and they have good food, they have sofas and it’s cosy. I don’t think I need to say anymore to convince you.

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photo credits: Group Therapy

Chock Full of Beans

This place is slightly far out (Changi Village) for most, but I frequent it a lot and it deserves to be on the list! Many will know that Chock Full of Beans do awesome latte art and a little smile on your coffee certainly helps brighten the mood! Also, the most accessible seat to the power socket is the high chair but I really didn’t mind sitting at that spot and doing my work. The staff are super friendly and yes the café comes equipped with wifi. I suggest working here during non-peak periods on weekdays but only if you live close enough, otherwise, drop by for their brunch on weekends. They do freaking amazing to die for french toast (on top of the super yummy brunch menu and sandwiches).

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photo credits: Chock Full of Beans

Toby’s Estate

Toby’s Estate isn’t new to many. Situated along the river at Robertson Quay, this Australian café has been in Singapore for awhile now and serve very good coffee to complement your hectic day. There is a nice big common table in the middle of the café with power sockets and some others along the wall at the high tables. Wifi is also available (though sometimes I have issues connecting to it). Most days when I visit Toby’s Estate, there’s plenty of other people doing work at the café so feel free (and comfortable) to join the pack!

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photo credits: Merljin Hoek and Toby’s Estate

For more café options that comes equipped with Wifi, this compilation by ladyironchef is rather complete.

Whether you’re studying for the exams (a special shout out to my fellow Part B course mates), or working on an important project, I wish you the best of luck.

Peace & Love
Eileen x

**UPDATE** (21st November 2013)

Shots

I made a visit to this cafe today and I have to add this onto the list! Shots Cafe is situated at Ann Siang Hill. They haven’t got much power socket (2 along the wall near the entrance) but I felt soooo comfortable working there this afternoon! And they pass the first test, (good) WIFI! There are quite a few seats inside and plenty of people chilling and doing their own stuff, whether they are on their laptops, taking coffee breaks in between work or studying. I’d highly recommend an afternoon here if you haven’t been to Shots! Bonus: this place turns into a bar at night, gives you more reason to stay on!

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photo credits: Shots Cafe