Monday, August 24, 2015

Singapore Eats: Jumbo Seafood Restaurant

Singapore has a special place in my heart because it is the first country I've traveled to outside Philippines!  

It all happened when I was hired by the bank that never sleeps in 1996.  I was part of a Regional Office so my work gave me the opportunity to travel around Asia.  This was actually my first and only job (for close to 13 years) until I "retired" when I got married.  When people ask me how I managed to stay, I just tell them two things:  I love what I am doing and I love the people I work with!  (As Confucius said . . .Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life!)

Soooo going back to Singapore, haha . . . 

One of the first restaurants I've tried was the Jumbo Restaurant in East Coast (thanks to our Singaporean Consultant who has become a dear friend) and the best thing I ever ate during that dinner was. . . Chili Crabs!  It is one of Singapore's most popular dishes.  

There are a lot of places to get Chili Crab in Singapore and I am sure locals (and tourists) would have their own favorite place but I keep going back to the first place which made me fall in love with this dish.

So when we went to Singapore last month, Jumbo was part of the itinerary.  We went there for lunch and ordered the following:

Crispy Fried Baby Squid

Cereal Prawns

I wanted Mom to try the Chili Crab BUT she doesn't like spicy food and I think she won't be able to take the heat so I asked the waiter what crab dish can she recommend that is not spicy.  So she said Steamed or " Sautéed" and I chose the latter one.

When our order came. . . I was surprised to see this!  

I was worried that it might be curry!  So I had a bad case of hearing. . . what I thought "Sauteed" was actually SALTED, haha!  The sauce was made of salted egg.  It was our first time to try this dish too and we loved it!  It is not salty at all, it had a good balance.

And of course, we had to order the famous. . . Chili Crab!

Finger lickin', lip smackin' good!

Don't forget to order Fried Mantou with your Chili Crab!  They are good in itself but best with the Chili Crab sauce.  The sauce is savory, spicy. . . I don't know what goes in the sauce, it is just packed with flavor!  Whoever invented this should be given a National Award, haha!  Sorry, wasn't able to take a photo of the bread because we were just too excited (and too hungry) to eat!  But they look like this . . . 

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You need to dunk (not dip, but dunk!) these bread on the sauce and savor the goodness of both.  Heaven!

Oh and if you're wondering what the kids had, they enjoyed the Yang Chow Fried Rice.

My mom has such simple taste which actually makes it harder to please her when it comes to food, haha!  But I'm glad she enjoyed eating at Jumbo and was happy with the freshness of the seafood.

I know writing this post would kick in cravings for some seafood goodness. . . I think I should start looking for places in LA where I can get some Singapore Chili Crabs!

For more details about Jumbo Restaurant and its other locations, please visit their website.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Favorite Hotel in SG: Swissotel The Stamford

As I've mentioned in my earlier post, we (Hubby and me, the kids, my Mom and my sister) went to Singapore for a short vacation before going back to LA.  

My sister and I thought it would be good for Mom (and for us) to take a family trip.  First, we just want to give her a break from everything (Dad's passing  last April and the days leading to that unfateful day).  Second, I want her to experience going on a trip with her grandchildren.  We are sure that Daddy would like Mom to take this trip.  

And guess what, he had a way of telling us he totally agrees with our idea. . .  there was a rainbow to welcome us in Singapore!  Deep in our hearts, we felt it was his way of saying that he is watching over us.

Hello Daddy!!!

As seen from our room . . .

I got the opportunity to try this hotel the first time when I went to Singapore for a business trip (years ago, when I was still working).  I love the location of the the hotel!  There are more than enough places near and within a good walking distance from the hotel where you can dine and shop.   The hotel is in a complex which includes the Raffles Shopping Centre and another hotel, the Fairmont Singapore. 

All the things you need as a tourist are at an arm's reach . . .  a grocery, a food court, a pharmacy, money changer. . .  and the best thing I love about the hotel is there is an MRT train station just outside of it which makes things really convenient!  

The Hotel Lobby

We booked through   We used Agoda because there was a promo for BPI credit card holders at that time.

We got a Grand Room (which we were able to try the last time my sister and I went to Singapore) because with 2 toddlers in tow, we need some extra space!

Our room has a contemporary design.  What I love most about it is it has a sitting area and two balconies.  I just wish though that the sitting area came with a long sofa just like what my Mom and sister had in their room.  

All Grand Rooms are situated at the corner of each floor.    

The bed may just be the kids' favorite part in the room!

Can you tell?  Haha!

They always woke up at the right side of the bed during this trip!

As for the bathroom, it was okay, it was clean, I wish it was just bigger.  

When I stay at hotels, I don't take anything from the mini-bar.  But sometimes, I just had to have a can of Diet Coke, haha.  So I take one from the mini-bar and REPLACE it before Housekeeping comes in the next day.

But having a fancy electronic mini bar like what they have in the room means my thing won't work, haha!  

We enjoyed our stay in this hotel because of its excellent location and the nice staff we've had the pleasure of dealing with.  We will definitely go back to Singapore (for more food tripping) and stay in this hotel. . . which I am now officially claiming as our favorite hotel in the Lion City.  

Oh and there is a Starbucks and McDonald's (which is open 24 hours) outside the hotel. . . which make things sweeter!  Haha!

Of course, I got to have Twister Fries!!!

For more details about the hotel, please visit their website.

Swissotel The Stamford Singapore
2 Stamford Road
Singapore 178882
Tel. (65) 6338 8585
Fax (65) 6338 2862

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Starstruck in LAX

Hello Blog and Hello dear Readers (aka my family and friends, haha!)!  I've missed you!!!

Things have been hectic since my last post.  Had some things to do and settle, errands to run, managed to take a trip to Singapore with the family and now, guess what. . . we're back to our second home, LA! (I call it our second home because Philippines will always be our first home)  

It has been two weeks now and we are slowly getting into our rhythm.  There are still 2 boxes left unpacked but those can wait (heehee).

We took a 1AM flight from Clark (this international airport was near our city) which had an 8 hr layover (I know, 8 hours!) in Incheon Airport (Seoul, Korea) and then the travel time from from Seoul to LA was less than 12 hours.  Having two toddlers on a long haul trip isn't easy but I'm glad the kids were manageable (meaning I didn't have a meltdown, haha) during the trip.  

Do you know what was the highlight of our trip?

It happened in LAX! (getting giddy again just thinking about it!)

I got . . . .STARSTRUCK!

Image from

When I see paparazzi photos of Hollywood stars taken in LAX, I always wonder why I don't get the chance to see them in the airport considering I've been going to LA since 2008.  Tough luck I guess!

Oh but wait, there was one time!  I saw Mr. Big. . . Carey's Mr. Big!  I remember seeing him wearing a blue Hawaiian shirt, a far cry from his character in Sex in the City!  Haha!  

Well what do you know, my luck has changed!

After we got our luggages from the carousel, we were about to go through Customs when a lady from the airport told us to take the "Special Lane".   I guess seeing a couple, with a toddler and another one sleeping in the stroller managing 2 carts (we had 5 luggages) qualifies you to go in the special lane, haha!  She saw me pushing a cart and hubby pushing another one PLUS a stroller at the same time.

So I was walking with our little Princess and Hubby was behind us when he called me.  So I turned around and saw a ground stewardess (I think) in red (my best guess, she was from Cathay Pacific) ushering a lady who I though looked like Angelina Jolie. . . 

I continued walking and felt I had to turn around again, haha!

OMG. .. . it was ANGELINA JOLIE!!!  

What made me sure that it was her?  She was with a young man and recognized him as one of her adopted children (not sure if he was Maddox or Pax),

I am sorry. . . I have no pictures!  Starstruck!

But she wore a brown trench coat similar to the one pictured below, with her hair neatly tied back in a pony tail and was wearing brown Aviator-like sunglasses.

Image from

After a few steps, I turned around (again! haha) and saw the stewardess pushing our stroller which made it easier for Hubby.  As hubby told me later on, he had a 3 second moment with Angelina Jolie, hahaha! She told him and I quote "Let her help you" . . .yes, she volunteered the stewardess to help us.

Having a family of her own and travelling with 6 kids all the time, I think she knows that it's not easy, haha!

So I stepped aside, waited for Hubby and let them pass through first (they were in a rush), thanked her and gave her a smile.

I found her prettier in person.  Her aura exudes a sense of inner peace and calmness.  She radiates such grace and kindness and THAT to me, makes her more beautiful.  

Thank you Ms. Jolie for the kindness and the patience you have shown our family.  I will always remember it.

By the way. . .

Which do you think is cooler . . . Brad Pitt being there or Angelina Jolie pushing our stroller? 


In my dreams. . . 

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