Kraze Burger, MBS

Finally tried South Korean burger house, Kraze Burger for the first time in my life! I think I mixed them up with Freshness Burger because of the colour of the logo, because while I was talking about it with my friends, I mentioned to them the other outlet(s) I have seen elsewhere before took the form of a fast-food outlet instead of the restaurant concept like those of Billy Bombers, in this case. After I checked out their website (linked above), I realised the confusion I had, because I remembered that Freshness Burger was in Singapore for a while, but I think they have since left (right?). Then I also remembered seeing this in Seoul but had never tried it.

So anyway, my friends and I went to Kraze at MBS since unlike the nearby Rasapura, Ding Tai Fung or Toast Box, it wasn’t overflowing with patrons. It was not empty but there were available seats, and we had a short wait before being shown to a table that happened to be right below a speaker which was blasting pop music. I wondered if the rest of the tables had a similar experience, because as much as the ceiling was fairly high, the volume was high and the music just felt annoying and jarring. Perhaps that is a strategy to induce high turnover of patrons, yet I think if you want to operate a restaurant instead of following the usual concept of a fast-food chain, this kind of “experience” leaves much to be desired.

Service was iffy, but generally acceptable. All of us ordered burgers and opted to not have any sides or drinks because with that kind of noise it wasn’t possible to hold any decent conversations, so after having the food, we left for somewhere quieter.

I decided on the Salmon Burger with whole wheat bun, after thinking if I should have a Cajun Chicken Salad or Soup but since this is a burger house after all, burgers it shall be then! This is my stacked-so-high-it’s-impossible-to-bite-into burger, with a side of greens.   20130812-100243.jpg

The grilled salmon fillet, or what they called smoked salmon (it felt more grilled actually) was quite nice. I liked it even if it was a little oily because maybe I was really ravenous. I took the entire burger apart, layer by layer, which is usually how I eat my burgers anyway unless it’s McD’s then there isn’t a need to. The burger had generous portions of healthy greens and some tomato and cucumber slices, together with what was supposed to be cream cheese spread. Overall, I liked the combination because surprisingly for a burger it sounded, looked and felt quite healthy, or delusionally I think it is. The bun, for a whole wheat bun, was quite soft and I would have preferred if it wasn’t as soft as it was because it felt more like white bread and my personal preference leans towards bread with a little extra omph in its bite that would end up sticking to my incisors when I sink my fangs into the bun.20130812-100253.jpg

The burger costs S$15 before the extras of service and taxes, but if you are paying with UOB credit cards (not sure how long this promotion lasts) there is a 20% off the bill! In general, the place was ok. It was too loud for us to want to stay longer and we didn’t try their sides even though the fries looked rather appetising. Food took a while to be served, which could mean that we were there at the same time as other patrons going for an earlier dinner and perhaps also that food is freshly-prepared?

Bazin, Marina Bay Sands

Sunday evening was spent at Marina Bay Sands, where I got another birthday treat! Yay to treats! Originally we were thinking of heading to South Coast, as I requested for “casual dining” but when we walked past, the place seemed rather crowded and there was only al fresco dining (if we weren’t mistaken), so we moved a little further and saw Bazin, which is also categorised as “casual dining” as per MBS’ website, and it also features al fresco dining, but it had an added advantage of an open-concept indoor-dining area (no walls) so it wasn’t too warm with some airconditioning and fans. Besides, the pizzas that I saw other patrons having seemed really good and I was sort of having a pizza craving.

Colourful drinks before dinner is served. 20130724-091720.jpg

Although we had originally ordered chips and salsa (from the Bar Menu), it wasn’t available that day, so we changed to truffle fries instead. To be very honest, I am ok to have fries plain as I am not a huge fan of truffle fries. I don’t not like it but to me, it’s just adding some salty flavour to fries that works the same as good old salt perhaps; they taste roughly the same to me, and I usually prefer fries without any sale. But still, these were a great welcome to me. I think I have been depriving myself of fries for a long time, even though the last I had fries was actually just a week ago, but compared to days past when I would eat potatoes/fries/whatever on a more regular basis, I think it was a good time to give myself a treat too! These were nicely done and freshly-fried, but felt a tad oily as when they were served, the oil was visibly glistening off the surface of the fries.20130724-091733.jpg

Our pizza came next. We ordered the Smokey Chicken pizza, and it was huge! Well, by my standards the size was big. Not the biggest I’ve seen or had (Pepperoni Pizzeria seriously has huge XXL-sized ones), but for two persons this was considered big.20130724-091745.jpg

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Here’s the pizza taken with other items in the picture for comparison of the size. I love the pizza though, its crust was so thin and crispy and they don’t exactly stinge on the ingredients even if I wouldn’t have minded if there was more! Haha. It reminded me a little of Skinny Pizza, but this wasn’t as crispy. When I had pizza at Skinny Pizza, sometimes I feel like I’m eatng a biscuit more than pizza, but they have great pizzas too. 🙂

Bazin, a celebration of food and drink.

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Apparently, they have other types of menu too, i.e. Theatre Menu, Kids & Dessert Menu. They also serve a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and that evening actually some people were just sitting having some beers enjoying the view of the sunset over the marina. From where we were, we could get a fairly good view of the evening sun setting behind the silhouette of the skyline created by skyscrapers in the business district across the waters. It was a beautiful evening, and a great way to wrap up the birthday weekend.

Bazin serves high tea too! Maybe next time, I’ll return to try that, or the other items on the menu!

marina bay sands

The weekend before last, I took a walk on the helix bridge from the end of Marina Square that brought me across to Marina Bay Sands. I didn’t manage to get any impressive pictures of the bridge like what I have seen on some other online sites namely Facebook and Yahoo! News SG, but I’m thinking it is a rather interesting concept to have the steel structure wrapping around in a forward cyclical way, with people walking through to and fro. That Sunday wasn’t especially warm but it turned out a tad humid after the cool morning wore off, and as I was walking along this bridge, I had a $1 ice-cream in a cup that helped ease the heat a little.

My first take when I entered MBS was that it had sprawling real estate, in the sense that there was a lot of open space, albeit vertically. It resembles a typical mall in that you have an atrium in the centre with shops flanking either side, and somewhere in the middle there was this circular space which had a water feature not unlike that of the Venetian (like I mentioned before). I managed a photo of the sampan that was doing its rounds on the waterway, with Beanstro patrons seated around it whilst enjoying their coffee and food. A lot of the luxury boutiques still had their doors closed in a state of renovation, but you can easily spot brand names like Chanel and the likes. The concept is a tad similar to Ion Orchard, where retail space appears to be pricier the higher up you go. I would have thought otherwise but maybe anything that is “above-ground” tends to be more expensive, as they are more exclusive in the sense that it is not on a level with throngs of people milling about. They don’t need that kind of traffic because usually their customers come looking for them and not the other way round, perhaps?

It didn’t take us long to circle a couple of times round the inside since the shops weren’t all open and there aren’t many shops in the first place that I would dare venture into. Checked out this shop that I’d read about, iRoo, from Taiwan, but realised that the items were not exactly the type that I fancy, so after looking around in vain for a coffee place, we exited opposite the hotel and came to this spectacular up-close look of the building. From where I was, I could only manage 2 of the 3 buildings in a single shot, yes blame it on my camera for not being good enough to capture everything even with a supposed wide-angle lens. Haha.

I’m guessing most of the real estate went to the casino itself that I didn’t check out since I think the $100 paid to enter would have been better spent elsewhere, and judging by the large crowds queueing to go up to the Sky Garden, I wasn’t all that keen either to join them. Perhaps I will time my next visit in the evenings or nights, to see how different the place looks, since usually the right lighting for a building can generally up its glam factor by heaps and bounds, we shall see; not to mention that the light from the setting sun reflected off the glass panels of the hotel building is certainly a sight to behold!

Love in Disguise

And it has nothing to do with my lovelife. Haha.

Caught the directorial debut of Lee Hom last Saturday, essentially a romance show that I suppose wasn’t too bad for a first-time director. The movie was typical mainstream infused with musical vibes, and perhaps also with a bit of an insider take behind what a celeb’s life might be like. Entertaining, with a nice song sang by the man himself while his fingers danced gracefully on the keys of the piano. You know, it’s things like these that make people go ga-ga over men like that. As much as there are people who think Lee Hom isn’t the best-looking species of men around (think Takeshi Kaneshiro or Daniel Wu – icons of male beauty in Asia), the very image of him sitting at the piano or concentrating on the strings of the violin while singing a song can elevate an ok-looking person to the ranks of 帅!

Anyway, the weekend passed too soon and I’m already bemoaning its passage, until the next weekend swings by that is. Finally made a trip to the newly-opened MBS yesterday and couldn’t help but start comparing it to the Venetian that I went to in Macau. I haven’t visited any casinos in Vegas, but the Venetian in Macau was really grand in terms of its size and opulence albeit it falling to ill-maintenance after a couple of years of its opening. Where size was concerned, MBS really is at a much smaller scale, although they tried to compensate for the lack of lateral size with vertical grandeur – there was a lot of upward space used to make the entire compound seem like it is very huge but real estate wasn’t all that impressive. They had a river-like feature with sampan-boats rowing people about that I thought was a funny take on the Venetians’ gondolas and gondoliers.

There were plenty of high-end luxury shops that still had not opened theirs doors when I went yesterday, and I was disappointed that they didn’t have more cafes that I could check out. Coffee Bean has a “Beanstro” that deviates from its usual self-serve cafe-style to one where you needed to wait to be seated, and there was another coffee place called… Java detour (I can’t remember now) that was closed for a private event. But I think TCC is in the works, and another food court that I saw a direction plate pointing to.

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Was tempted with a short weekend trip, but I think I’ve sort of rationalised it to be uneconomical, seeing as to how the airfare and accommodation can be better spent shopping in Singapore, until I finalise my next holiday destination. Perhaps if it wasn’t the lack of annual leave that I have to contend with, the decision might have skewed the other direction… although I still can’t hope enough for more leave days!