ION Orchard: Beauty Season + Her World’s 55th Anniversary Promo

Rushed this post out today after I got home from Orchard!!! This has probably got to be some kind of record – I don’t think I’ve started on a post and published it within such a short amount of time before.

ION Orchard is hosting Beauty Season from now til 4th March 2015! This means that participating stores will be giving away a limited number of samples (every day). This is a great chance for everyone to sample the products they’ve been eyeing!

For the sake of reviewing products for this blog, I’ve set myself on a task to…. review EVERYTHING. Let me preface this – I am not encouraging hoarding products that you won’t use. All of these are brands that I (or my family) am familiar with, and am interested in trying out.

IMG_4828LOOK AT THIS.

To participate in Beauty Season, just log on to beauty.ionorchard.com/home on your mobile, and register with your details. From there, you’ll be able to redeem your samples at each of the stores – obviously limited to one set per person!

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Select the brand that you’re interested in sampling (the images show the product you’ll be sampling), and head towards the store. The page will include the store’s location, and the exact details of the product you’ll be sampling (size/sachet etc.).

If you’re worried about unfriendly salespeople, DON’T BE WORRIED. Just suck it up and head into the stores and show them your screen, swipe to redeem your product, and they’ll hand you the sample once you fill in some details. Maybe it’s just luck (?) but every single one of the salespeople I encountered today were super friendly! In fact, most of them gave me a runthrough of how their product sample works, what it targets, and how long it will last. Super satisfying experience!

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Once you have received the brand’s sample, you’re able to add a review. Adding a review and showing it to the staff will provide a discount in-store, with the exception of Sephora and Estee Lauder. Not only so, you stand a chance to win a full-sized version of the product sampled!! Ok it’s one winner per brand but you still definitely stand a chance haha 😀


Astalift

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What they’re giving away: 20 Whitening Travel Kits, 10 Lunamer Acne Kits, and 10 Lunamer Brightening Kits

Pictured: Lunamer Brightening Kit (Includes Astalift Lunamer Lotion-1, Clear Wash, Brightener, Emulsion-1 and Facial Cotton)

Astalift was extremely generous with their samples. I’m excited to try this out, as Lunamer is a new line targeted at younger women (Astalift, if you don’t already know, is well-known for their anti-aging products).


Beauty By Nature

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What they’re giving away: 100 samples of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (5ml) Daily (Pictured)

The saleslady was extremely friendly 🙂


Bobbi Brown

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What they’re giving away: 100 sachets of Skin Smoothing Pore Perfector (1.5ml) daily


Dior

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What they’re giving away: 100 sets of Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (1ml) and Rouge Dior Brilliant sample kit

Very excited to try both!! I love trying new lip products, and since I don’t have a signature scent yet… I heard Dior’s scents are pretty good 🙂


Dr. Ci:Labo

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What they’re giving away: 100 sets of 1-week trial packs of Aqua-Collagen-Gel Super Moisture EX (1.5g/sachet)

Pictured: When you head to their store, they will invite you to like their Facebook page as well. Go ahead and do so – they’ll provide another sample kit as well, which includes an Enrich Moisture Lotion, Herbal Gel O2 Charge, and Mild UV Lotion sachets.

I have heard of their brand before, and since the latter products are targeted at sensitive skin, I can try it out on breakout days 🙂 The saleslady said that the lotion is meant for anti-aging, so my mum would probably benefit from it more than I would.

The saleslady here was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Estee Lauder

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What they’re giving away: 100 sets of 1-week trial pack of Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Spot Correcting Essence (4ml/sachet) (i.e. bottle) daily

Definitely giving this to my mum 😡 She picked up the sample, and was like “isn’t this more like for me??”


Kiehl’s

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What they’re giving away: 50 sets of 1 week trial samples of NEW Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector SPF30 Daily

Pictured: The saleslady gave me some samples for their other products as well! This included the Purifying Foaming Cleanser, Ultra-Facial Oil-Free Toner, Clearly Corrective White Hydrating Moisture Emulsion, as well as the Actively Correcting and Beautifying BB Cream.

I’m especially excited to sample the dark-circle perfector – the saleslady said this sample should last me a week. I’m always up for trying new things to minimise my horrific panda eyes!!

The saleslady was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Laneige

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What they’re giving away: 100 sets of 7-day sample kit of White Plus Renew Original Cream (1ml/sachet)

Stepped into Laneige to check out the Multiberry Yoghurt Pack (i.e. wanted to let mum smell it.) Saw the promo for the first time :’) Laneige is a mid-high end skincare brand, so anything’s fair game for me. I recently purchased some of their anti-aging samples in Bonjour Hong Kong.


Mt. Sapola

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What they’re giving away: 100 samples of Body Lotion, Lemongrass (18ml)

Will use this soon 🙂 I’m not a regular user of body lotion, but my calves are especially dry and could do with some moisturizing. Mum recommended this brand.

The saleslady was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Next

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What they’re giving away: 100 bottles of Next Hair Building Fibres (25g)

I… think this is hair roots mascara in powder form. Reminds me of Ji Sukjin and his hair powder stain on the ceiling keyboard :D. Extremely surprised at the size of this – this looks like a full-sized product already! Mum was very excited to receive this 🙂 (obviously it will not be very useful for me. whoops)

The saleslady was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Sephora

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What they’re giving away: 150 pieces of mini Colorful Eyeshadow Mono from Sephora Collection

Pictured: ~ in Mirror, a shimmery gold.

I also received a 2-piece trial set from Dior, including Capture Totale Serum and Dream Skin – these are NOT part of ION Beauty Season, but a perk from being a Sephora Black Card Member!

The saleslady was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Shu Uemura

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What they’re giving away: 100 sets of 7-day samples of Blanc:Chroma brightening and polishing gentle cleansing oil (4ml)

SUPER excited to use this – I think I’m the most excited to use this out of all of the samples received today. I love using cleansing oil – it’s much milder on my skin as compared to furiously rubbing my mascara off with makeup remover. Shu’s is supposedly the best in the market, and I’m excited to see how it compared to my DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.

The salesman was extremely helpful and friendly 🙂


Skin Inc

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What they’re giving away: 100 bottles of Skin Inc’s encapsulated Serum (5ml) daily

Pictured: Vitamin A Serum (5ml)

You get to pick a serum of your choice (i.e. Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Collagen, Q1o etc.)! I’ve already tried the Q10 and it was not bad, so I picked Vitamin A to help with brightening of dark spots and whatnot. I’m already familiar with Skin Inc and quite like their products 🙂


YSL

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What they’re giving away: 100 sachets of Forever Youth Liberator Essence in Lotion (2ml) Daily

Pictured: 3 sachets of ~


Herworld

Also, it’s Her World’s 55th anniversary, so there was a pop-up store/bar in the atrium at ION Orchard! If you purchased this month’s copy for $5, you get a mocktail, and the samples pictured below.
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Additionally, if you subscribe/extend your subscription, you get reduced rates ($55 for 12m, $89 for 24m (you save $55)), as well as a Perfect Renew Early Anti-Aging Trial Pouch ($65) from Laneige. Super deal!
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What’s included: Multi Cleanser, Perfect Renew Skin Refiner_EX, Perfect Renew Emulsion_EX, Perfect Renew Essence_EX, Perfect Renew Cream_EX (and a pouch)

I also signed up for the Her World Beauty Club woo!! Thrilled to see what new benefits joining the club will bring 🙂


THAT’S ALL this is the end of my PSA post. Have fun at ION Orchard 😀

Also, obviously I will be reviewing the above products in time. So many posts queued right now ><

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Sample Queen – Part II

I received so many samples from Curél, so I thought they deserved yet another post of their own. Curél Singapore will actually send you samples if you’re interested in trying out their products. I tried two links: here’s one, and here’s the other.

Curél, Japan’s No.1 Brand for Sensitive Asian Skin is formulated from Kao’s extensive dermatological science research. From face and body to scalp and hair, Curél’s hydrating and moisture-retaining ceramide care targets the actual causes of sensitive Asian skin and provides highly effective solutions to improve skin condition.

My mum first introduced me to Curél a few years ago, when she purchased a trial kit (which includes the Foaming Wash, Makeup Cleansing Gel, Moisture Face Milk, and Moisture Lotion II; the larger-sized items pictured above). Admittedly, I wasn’t really into skincare when I was 16 – I never touched the Moisture Face Milk or Moisture Lotion! Although I still have them, they’re probably headed to the trash now :/

What I did like was their Makeup Cleansing Gel, and the Foaming Wash. The Makeup Cleansing Gel is packaged in a squeeze-out tube, and it comes out as a clear, sticky gel. It is amazing at getting eye makeup off; usually, water based removers don’t do a lot for my eye makeup. I just end up with a smokey eye from all the remaining eyeliner/mascara. Oil-based removers? Nooooope! Those get in my eyes (or even my contacts) and leave me with blurry vision for ages! But this… this Makeup Cleansing Gel gets every bit of makeup off my face without leaving me uncomfortable. While it is amazing, it’s not HG level as micellar cleansing water is for me.

Makeup Cleansing Gel: 4half

As for the Foaming Wash, I was in need of a new face wash after breaking up with Biore at the start of 2014. I purchased a full-sized 150ml bottle of it (mum had already finished the mini-sized 90ml one and recommended it!) and it’s lasted me almost the whole year! It thoroughly cleanses my face every day, but one issue I have with it is that I developed dry skin this year; foaming face washes are not that suitable for dry skin types. While my face feels clean after cleansing, it feels a little bit tight.

Foaming Wash: ★★★★☆ (for dry combi skin types)


Sebum Care Trial Kit

What’s included:

  • Curel Sebum Care Moisture Gel (7ml)
  • Curel Sebum Care Lotion (8ml)

About 3 days after I sent in my request, I received the Sebum Care set in the mail. They were really quite generous (most samples come in foil sachets – I don’t like foil sachets) – 2 products were provided! I used them on a particularly oily day – first impression: effective! My T-zone was definitely less oily than without using the lotion and gel. I keep the gel with me in my makeup pouch, and it’s been an absolute lifesaver in dry skin emergencies!

First impression: ★★★★☆

Then… 2 weeks later, I checked the mailbox and I’d received the second sample set from them!

Face Sample Pack

What’s included:

  1. Curél Makeup Cleansing Gel (6g)
  2. Curél Intensive Moisture Cream (4g)
  3. Curél Moisture Eye Zone Essence (2.6g)
  4. Curél Moisture Lotion III Enrich (8ml)
  5. Curél Moisture Lotion II (8ml)
  6. Curél Moisture Face Milk (8ml)

That’s 6 products for me to try!

I’ve been interested in finding the right eye cream/essence to help with my panda eyes, so sampling Curél’s is a must-do for now! Also, one thing I noticed – there are two different kinds of lotions, II and III Enrich. Basically, the only difference is that:

Contains Eucalyptus extract that penetrates deeply into the stratum corneum so skin becomes smooth, fully moisturized and resistant to external irritation. Helps to improve your skin’s natural barrier function, soothe and protect skin from dryness. Leaves a rich moist/thoroughly moist feel. Suitable for very dry skin.

First impression: ★★★★☆

After trying their products, it’s quite clear that their products aren’t gimmicky or anything – their products are effective due to the ceramide in them. From Curél:

“Ceramides are natural lipids and are a major component in surface skin structure. They serve as part of the “glue” that holds surface skin cells together. Dry, irritated, and sensitive skin often lacks ceramides. As a result, skin’s protective barrier is compromised and becomes more susceptible to environmental factors, changes of season, and other irritants.”

While it is true that Ceramide is an effective moisturizer, I’ve read that the skin lacks Ceramide in winter, and hence is more effective in winter weather, while Hyaluronic Acid is more effective in the summer? I will do some research on this soon.

Curél’s products are extremely gentle, and suitable for sensitive skin – so I’ve been recommending it to all my friends with sensitive skin 🙂 However, I’ve got pretty hardy skin, and am hunting for stronger products – for now, I’ll probably look elsewhere for acids instead! (although I must admit, I am re-considering re-purchasing the foaming facial wash after the Hada Labo was a mild disappointment. will update soon)

Haulidayin in Taipei and Hong Kong

It was a blast shopping in Taipei and Hong Kong! Sure, it may seem as though the same things are sold there as in Singapore, but… not really no. Prices are wildly different, I must say.

Combined haul between me and my mum! I’m actually surprised that my biggest haul product this time was… sheet masks :O

Products opened up! I actually purchased 4 more boxes of the usual MBD masks for friends but… that was before I remembered to take a picture. Also LoveMore masks for my mum.


1. Sheet Masks

Sheet masks have their own post because of how special these masks are there! I purchased them from a few brands: 1. L’Herboflore, 2. My Beauty Diary, 3. Lovemore, 4. FaceQ, 5. SexyLook. I forgot to include the Lovemore masks in the haul pic!

Here is the link to the general sheet masks (on the way!) post, and to my L’Herboflore experience.


2. Cosmetics

Maybe I haven’t looked closely enough, but I really haven’t seen brands like Banila Co in Singapore. I was about to buy Banila Co’s CC Cream on RRS, but then I saw it in Bonjour HK!

Banila Co: Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base, i.e. it Radiant CC Cream (SPF 30 PA++)

This was purchased on sale from Bonjour HK, for 98HKD – which is about $17SGD, versus 22,000krw (~$28SGD). It was actually the cheapest I could find around Mongkok – I visited at least 5 of each (Bonjour, Colormix, and Sasa) and I found that Bonjour had the best prices more or less!

1. This handy pump dispenser provides for more hygienic access to the CC cream

IMG_47722. What the CC cream looks like, unblended

IMG_47763. What the CC cream looks like half blended

IMG_47774. Left side has no CC cream, right side has blended CC cream.
Do note that my hand is slightly tanner than my face!

First impression: ★★★★★ +++ HG LEVEL!!!!!

It’s no wonder that the Banila Co CC Cream came out as one of the top contenders on Get It Beauty – it certainly is moisturizing, provides basic sun protection, and brightens your face. Definitely dedicating a review post to this (and other CC creams) soon!


Banila Co: Prime Primer

The Classic and Hydrating primers were 96 and 104 HKD (~SGD$17) respectively. One is for my mother, one is for me – she hasn’t decided which one she likes more. The former is very much like a standard silicone primer – translucent, pore-covering, while the latter is more like an emulsion.

After trying on both products over the past couple of weeks, I’d say that for someone who doesn’t like the feeling of heavy products on her face, I prefer using the Classic one over my pore-y zone (nose, inner cheeks) only, due to its heavy silicone content. On the other hand, the hydrating one can easily be spread all over my face without any icky feeling, and holds my makeup in place throughout long days.

Note: These are quite heavily scented, as compared to the CC cream. While the initial application annoys my nose for a while, the scent eventually fades, which is fine if you ask me.

First impression: ★★★★☆


 Bite Beauty: Mix N’ Mingle Lip Minis (Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo)

Not exactly a part of my trip, but Judith got this for me in Sephora USA 🙂 It’s a beautiful Fig/Date combo, albeit really tiny.

First impression: 4half


3. Skincare

Kanebo Media UV Protect Milk (SPF50+, PA+++) and Biore UV Bright Face Milk (SPF50+, PA++++)

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These were purchased in Taipei and Hong Kong respectively. The latter was around $8SGD in Bonjour HK, while it retails for ~$15.70 in Watsons Singapore.


DHC Eyelash Tonic

To be honest, these were just backup purchases for me! I noticed that 3 months of religious usage left me with 50% of the tonic – so this should be one year’s supply. Prices varied from 310 – 379NT (~$15SGD), while my previous purchase from TesterKorea was about 14,000krw (~$20SGD) – and it retails for $27.50 in Watsons Singapore.

This is a HG product for me, and will be reviewed in due time 🙂


4. Samples

Laneige: Perfect Renew Trial Kit

This gift set was purchased for my grandma, so I’m not too sure how it actually is! However, she said it wasn’t quite suitable for her sensitive skin – so I would recommend AGAINST it for people with sensitive skin.


Iope Gift Sets

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I purchased two Iope gift sets for my mum – the Plant Stem Cell Skin Perfection Special Gift Set, and the Moistgen Skin Hydration Special Gift Set! Here’s what’s inside:


Banila Co: The Best Collection

Perfect for me to try everything out! I love this entire set – the deluxe-sample-sized products are great for me to bring along in my makeup pouch, especially considering how much I love the CC Cream. This set came with an extra gift, the Lip Therapy Lip Treatment Stick. Surprisingly, I love it – it moisturizes my lips like butter, and it tastes yummy!


Edit: I ended up dumping all the pictures in this post!

P.S. I just tried pairing my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion with my Clio Kill Black Brush Liner.
O M G why have I never done this before!!! Previously I’d always have issues with smearing eyeliner due to my oily lids, and I just felt this twinge of disappointment about how my eyeliner wasn’t /pitch/ black – but now, with my HG duo, I have the smoothest, blackest, most long-lasting eyeliner :’)

L’Herboflore Sheet Masks

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One of the things I was most excited about when I left for my trip was SHEET MASKS!!!

Let’s face it – lazy nights happen. There’re just gonna be some nights when I’m too lazy to spend an hour on every single part of my routine, and a sheet mask is a lazy, but a fairly great option to hydrate and nourish my skin at night. Sheet masks are, admittedly, fairly expensive if you buy them as-is, and it’s possible that they aren’t… particularly good.

That’s why I looked up the best masks around in Taipei and Hong Kong, and one name that came across as fairly exclusive to Taiwan was L’Herboflore.

L’HERBOFLORE’s mission is to offer consumers high quality skincare at affordable prices. Every detail of our products, including packaging, mask material, ingredients and fragrance, are designed meticulously to be of the highest quality.


While lots of people on r/AB recommended visiting the store at Taipei 101, I spotted one at Eslite Spectrum 🙂

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It was more like a stand in a department store, but it was like mask heaven ^^’ There were shelves and shelves of various masks all over the store, and everything was so well-designed!!! All their products are designed by local Taiwanese artists.

The staff member (pictured!) (although that’s not me in the seat) who helped me was extremely friendly and was super patient with me… Considering I was bumbling around in Chinese. 2 years in JC without Chinese… and… my vocab was practically non-existent haha. I attempted to explain to her my skin concerns, and she carefully picked out a series of masks for me to use 🙂

There are more than 10 different kinds of just normal sheet masks – there are also sleeping masks, eye masks, special multi-step masks, and of course famous biocellulose masks. I did sample the clay and sleeping masks (pictured on left, above) as well.

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Isn’t it pretty? ^^’

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This is the brochure I received, and basically, there are 10 different series of masks:

  • Aromatherapy
  • Clinical
  • Aegean Sea
  • Good Night Angel
  • Oriental Herb
  • Queen of Four Seasons
  • Royal Countess
  • Jet-Setter
  • Garden of Venus
  • Party Sweetheart

6d9634f8-e663-4def-9cdc-4e6ec140f2b5From L’Herboflore.com

The giant box my masks were kept in 🙂

The masks I purchased! (Please click to enlarge to see the absolutely beeeaaaoooootiful designs on each mask!!)

Purchasing a box of 64 for 3000NT (between my mother and I), we received a slight discount – typically, each piece retails for 50NT / $2.20. I also received a pack of eye masks (400NT / $17.20) that’d help with my dark eye circles.

I also wanted to note – mask stores in Taipei seem to have these amazingly cute samples they slap on your hand while you frequent the store!!! The top one is their bestseller Marine Collagen Resilience Lift Mask, and the bottom is the Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Energy Biocellulose Mask. There were definitely results seen from my time spent in the store ^^’ I will be reviewing the various masks in time.

L’Herboflore can be found in Taiwan, as well as China.
Taipei Eslite Spectrum Xinyi Store, B1 No. 11
Sōnggāo Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei Taiwan

Taipei’s 瞞著爹 (‘Hide From Father’ (?))

One of the main reasons we decided to travel to Taipei in December, was of course, the amazing Japanese food! Taiwan is fairly influenced by Japan considering its proximity, so there’s quite a lot of high-quality Japanese food available 🙂

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Hidden in a corner of Songshan District, near Breeze Centre is 瞞著爹/ Mán Zhe Diē / ‘Hide From Father”s third branch. To be honest, it doesn’t look special at all…. But sashimi awaits inside!!

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“嘜歹勢,甲己来”, i.e. don’t be shy, go ahead! There’s a large pot of ‘soup’/tea outside for waiting patrons to drink!

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2014-12-24 13.07.53The menu

2014-12-24 12.22.51The chefs in the kitchen

2014-12-24 12.18.58The first floor; we were seated on the second floor


2014-12-24 12.20.34Sake dad ordered. It was… strong.


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Mentaiko 過貓/Wild Veggie Salad (??)

Works fine as an appetizer, but not a must-try. Was well-seasoned, with generous chunks of mentaiko.


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King Crab Miso Soup, 60NT (SGD$2.60)

While we loved the Shrimp Head Miso Soup our previous visit, we decided to try the crab-based soup this time. It was however, fairly disappointing, and tasted like any other miso soup.


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荒海蝦散寿司 (Mixed Sashimi-Shrimp Chirashi Don), 350NT (SGD$15.00)

Sashimi Lump, Rouge Shrimp, Halibut Fin Meat, Minced Tuna, Sea Urchin, Salmon Roe, Conger Eel, Squid


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海膽月見軟絲丼 (Mixed Sea Urchin Chirashi Don), 520NT (SGD$22.30)

Sea Urchin, Squid, Minced Tuna, Egg Yolk, Salmon Roe


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特选综合海鲜丼 (Premium Mixed Chirashi Don), 520NT (SGD$22.30)

Salmon, Conger Eel, Scallops, Rouge Shrimp, Halibut Shrimp Meat, Minced Tuna, Squid, Sea Urchin, Salmon Roe


The don that I ordered (the first one) happened to come with a mini-grill and seaweed to roll sushi in! Grill the seaweed over the fire until it’s crispy, and wrap the rice and sashimi inside. The seaweed is free flow – if you run out, simply ask for more 🙂

There’s really not much for me to review the individual dishes here – each dish is spectacular in its own way, and it’s simply a matter of what fish you prefer. Definitely a must-try if you love Japanese food, and happen to be in Taipei.


Quality: 4half
Environment: ★★★★☆ (The Taylor Swift music playing on repeat wasn’t very fitting for the Japanese atmosphere; you’re also forced to share tables, which may not be comfortable)
Price: ★★★★★ (You really can’t find sashimi at the quality in Singapore, especially at this price.)
Overall: 4half

瞞著爹三店  台北市 八德路二段 346巷 9弄 17號 1楼
Third branch, No. 17, Alley 9, Lane 346, Section 2, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan