The Sushi Bar: New Outlet at Ngee Ann City

If you haven’t tried The Sushi Bar, you’ve totally missed out on some pretty damn good Japanese Food. (also you must be a suaku because this has been super popular over the past couple of years)

No really – after travelling to Japan almost yearly from 2006-2010, I must admit that I got a little picky with my Japanese food. In Singapore, no sashimi was just as fresh, and just as creamy as the ones I’d tried in Tsukiji fish market, and I had to settle for NTUC sashimi!

But a few years ago, my parents discovered this gem in Far East Plaza, nested on the third floor of the hidden mall that marks the start of Orchard Road. (unless you headed there every week for lunch after school, *ahem*).

Pardon the poor photos, these are pretty old phone photos – thank goodness my dad took pictures during our first visit anyway! Their very first unit in FEP was really small, and all my mum remembers was that the green tea tasted funny :p They did move to a larger location on the 4th floor of Far East Plaza (#04-28) in 2013 (if I’m not wrong!).

I can’t count the number of times I’ve eaten at The Sushi Bar now – it’s truly the only place in Singapore that I’d head to if I want some fresh and reasonably-priced sashimi/sushi. Too bad that you’ve got to queue/make reservations in advance – if you’re craving for some sashimi on Saturday noon, you’re out of luck! I’ve had to queue for one full hour before we were let into the restaurant before – bearing in mind that a queue snaking around the corridors of FEP typically already forms up to half an hour before the restaurant is open at 12.30pm.

I think I’ve brought practically all my groups of friends and family here to eat heh – and most of us agree that this is (arguably) the best Aburi Salmon Roll you can get in Singapore 🙂 In case you’re not sure what aburi isaburi is flamed and seared – the top of the fish is lightly seared with a blowtorch, enhancing the flavourful fish oil. For me, this light aburi completely changes the way the sashimi tastes – it’s this rich, umami flavour that leaves a lightly charred (but pleasant) aftertaste. It may however be a little jelak for some, so you might not be able to down that 10th slice of sashimi you thought you could finish.

Over Chinese New Year, my family brought my cousins’ family (who live in Shanghai) to eat there, and the only gripe my cousin had was that there was too much 料 and too little rice (he was absolutely dying by the time he got to the last 8 slices). C’mon – is that even an issue?!?! Their slices are thick and creamy, and served at the perfect temperature – I really hate it when sashimi is served freezing cold, or warm and droopy at room temp! (I did however find that their tuna was slightly dull; in general, I find tuna one of the most tasteless kinds of fish you’ll find in Singapore, so it wasn’t that big of a surprise/deal to me.)

Yesterday, we visited their new outlet on the 5th floor of Ngee Ann City (#05-34/35). It’s nestled in a corner, along the stretch of restaurants (near Best Denki!). This outlet is a ton more spacious than the FEP one, and the chairs/booths are a ton more comfortable than the stools at FEP to be honest! I was itching to visit the new branch as I’d heard that there were new dishes available – my favourite aburi don :’) :’) and a wagyu don. They were golden, by the way – I’d definitely recommend that you try them out.

Lynette, one of the 老板s, was truly warm and pleasant and shared with my dad (who’s super, super talkative) the Sushi Bar’s beginnings. My mum really likes their selling ethic – “This is the way you do business! You sell delicious food at reasonable prices, and people will keep coming on their own. If you keep overpricing and cutting the quality of your food (like that restaurant next door *ahem*), you’ll close down in no time”. I certainly hope that this place sticks around for good – if you’re ever in Singapore and craving for some Japanese food, you should definitely head down to The Sushi Bar!

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May 2015: Sheet Mask Empties!

Since the start of May, I’ve been trying to sheet mask every single day 8) It’s a truly lazy solution, but my skin is baby soft now!! Since sheet masking every day is fairly expensive, I’ve discovered that the remaining essence (mixed with some Hada Labo Lotion, if it’s not enough), is enough for me to put in a second dry sheet mask.

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I’ll do a quick review of each mask below!

Baroness Collagen Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3.5/5 (soft skin)
Fragrance: 3/5
Fit: 3/5 (doesn’t fit very well)
Overall: 3.25/5

Lovemore Rosa Hybrida Mask
Hydration: 4.5/5
Benefits: 4/5 (brightening)
Fragrance: 4.5/5 (I love the scent of roses!!)
Fit: 5/5 (can barely feel it on)
Overall: 4.5/5

Etude House Pomegranate Mask:
Hydration: 4.5/5 (very moisturizing!!)
Benefits: 4/5 (brightening)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4/5 (decent fit!)
Overall: 4.125/5

Etude House Bamboo Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5 (very short term moisture up)
Benefits: 4.5/5 (skin cleansing; my skin definitely felt quite a bit cleaner afterwards)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Etude House Collagen Mask:
Hydration: 5/5 (SO MOISTURIZING!! the essence has this thick, cream-like texture and leaves skin baby soft til the next morning)
Benefits: 5/5
Fragrance: 4/5 (nothing special here though)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

FaceQ Pearl Brightening Mask:
Hydration: 4.25/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (definitely very brightening!!)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.25/5

(Bonus: FaceQ’s Luffa mask is fantastic, it definitely gets a rating of 4.25 as well!)

Mizon Moist King’s Berry Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3.5/5 (didn’t notice anything special)
Fragrance: 0/5 (smelled absolutely terrible; couldn’t tell if it was just alcohol or 药材的味道)
Fit: 3.5/5
Overall: 2/5

My Beauty Diary Tranexamic Acid Treatment Mask:
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (brightening!)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5 (multi-silk!!)
Overall: 4.25/5

My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Treatment Mask: 
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits 3.5 (not as long-term moisturizing as I would’ve expected from hyaluronic acid)
Fragrance: 4/5
Fit: 4.5/5 (multi-silk!!)
Overall: 4/5

My Beauty Diary Lemon + Vit C Mask:
Hydration: 4/5
Benefits: 4.5/5 (brightening + clearing!!!)
Fragrance: 4.5/5 (lemony :>)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 4.25/5

My Beauty Diary Rice Mask:
Hydration: 3.5/5
Benefits: 3/5 (nothing at all?)
Fragrance: 1/5 (yux 😦 smelled terrible)
Fit: 4/5
Overall: 3/5


What are your favourite sheet masks? Share them with me in the comments!

 

Review: Hada Labo Gokujyun Cream

Hada Labo is a pretty darn well-liked brand – they make amazing toners, milks, gels, and facial washes! Back when I first got my HGs, Hada Labo Goku-jyun Lotion and Shiro-jyun Milk, there was a buy two get one free! deal going on at Guardian. My mum chose the Goku-jyun Cream as the third product.

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From the Hada Labo Singapore website:

Super HA Hydrating Cream

Day & Night Application

Nutritious hydrating cream that feeds nourishment to your skin while protecting your skin with continuous moisture

  • Contains 3 types of Hyaluronic Acid that deeply penetrates into the skin to nourish and helps restore skin’s moisture barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Helps to soften skin, leaving skin smooth and hydrated.
  • Available in 2 formulas. Regular moisturizing cream helps soothes normal / dry skin, while Light moisturizing cream hydrates normal / combination skin with its lighter, fluffy texture.
  • Fragrance Free • Alcohol Free • Mineral Oil Free • Colorant Free • Skin pH balanced • Low irritation • Dermatologically tested

So it looked like a pretty good product…. Until I applied it to my face.

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This is what the cream looks like in the tub – it’s got this terribly thick and sticky consistency, completely unlike the typical cream texture. While it is scentless and supposedly suitable for sensitive skin, I can’t imagine anyone using this in the daytime in this Singapore weather.

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Sticky fingers! I have tried this cream multiple times at night, and what set off this review was the last time I tried this out a few days ago. My skin was super dry, and I wanted a quick fix – oil-based balms, or thick and sticky creams were my top pick for the day. While my HL Lotion + Mizon Snail + Laneige Sleeping Pack combo is my usual dry-skin solution, I decided to give this cream one last shot, and it was just A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT 😐 It sat like a layer of glue on my face throughout the night, and when I woke up in the morning, my skin was still equally dry. Not even slightly more moisturized, no, it was just… dull.

I think the cream just never absorbed into my skin – it sat on top and smeared itself all over my pillow as I tossed and turned in the middle of the night 😐

Really now. Look at this picture below – they look like they have the same consistency right? Looks like cream and gel right?

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YEAH NO the one on the right is just craft glue I really wanted to plaster on some white glue (but I couldn’t find any sigh so I had to pass off some normal glue as gel) to just give you guys an idea of how STICKY this cream is – IMO the glue spread almost as ‘well’ as the HL Cream.

I suppose if you wanted a ‘natural’ face glue for glueing glitter onto your face for a Halloween party this cream would work?? Sigh. I have noted that the Hada Labo products sold in Singapore are Made in China, unlike the ‘original’ Made in Japan ones – this might be a reason why the formulation is so different from what I’ve seen online.

I was going to consider my combination skin-type while writing this review, but my cheeks were so dry they’d pass as dry skin even – so why didn’t this work for me!? Sorry Hada Labo – as much as I love your lotion, this cream was an absolute disappointment – I definitely would not recommend this to anyone living in humid weather. Definitely go for the lotion though – that’s an actual skin-saver.

Hydration: 1/5
Benefits: 1/5
Fragrance: 4/5
Comfort: 0/5
Overall: 1.5/5

First Look: Missha M Magic Cushion (2015)

Warning: This post is 90% pictures, 10% text!
I have tried to colour-correct most of the images to as close as real-life as possible.

This Missha M Magic Cushion has been a huuuuuuge deal in Korea for the past month. Why? This was priced at 4800KRW – but I purchased it for double the price (including shipping!) on TesterKorea haha. Buuuuuut this product is out of stock just about everywhere in Korea (and Singapore! it actually retails for SGD$24.90). This product does not come with refills, and the shade featured in this post is #21.

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Adapted from Missha; I’ve done up a crude translation of the details to English! And moving on to the actual product.

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The cushion case is fairly sturdy; I would say slightly less so than the Amore Pacific cushions though. Fits perfectly in the palm of my hand!

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Slowly peeling the protective sticker off… Here’s the cushion itself!

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Closeups of the cushion!


Comparison with Missha Magic Cushion (Empty) Case

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As you can see, the empty case is slightly larger and fatter than the 2015 M Magic Cushion.

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The newer product has a slight bezel where the cushion puff sits! Stylish design improvements I suppose?

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The new puff is however slightly smaller than the old one.

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Closeups of the different cushions – I filled the empty cushion case on the left with the Missha UV Cushion Base, and mixed in some moisturizers.

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Unblended swatches of the 2 products: Top: Old #21 product, Bottom: New #21 Product

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Slightly blended swatches. My face is slightly tanner than the skin here, so I suppose this formula is alright – albeit a little orange.

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Blended swatches. As you can see this stuff sets pretty fast – it dried enough between shots that I had a bit of trouble blending it in! Definitely work quickly with this formula!


Hope this post helps 🙂 I think it’s definitely worth a shot, at the amazing price point. I will be making a comparison post with the IOPE, Laneige, as well as Hera cushions soon.

You can get the Missha M Magic Cushion at TesterKorea and BeautyNetKorea.

Review: DHC Eyelash Tonic

Today I’m going to be reviewing DHC’s Eyelash Tonic! I’ve always had short eyelashes throughout my life – they were never curly, long, or voluminous – they were just short and stuck straight out of my eyelids. Eek! I first heard about eyelash serums, like rapidlash and revitalash through r/MUA. One big issue…. they were all around ~$50, not something I’d drop easily for a potential repeat purchase. Come half a year ago, I discovered the DHC Eyelash Tonic on Testerkorea.

From DHC’s official website:

Conditioning DHC Eyelash Tonic nourishing gel treatment strengthens for lush, fuller-looking eyelashes. Fortifying botanicals coat each lash from root to tip to help prevent breakage for a more robust lash line. Wear under mascara during the day and all by itself at bedtime.

  • Specially designed applicator helps distribute gel more evenly
  • Rich in botanicals, including ginseng, aloe and Swertia japonica extract

I first purchased the product for about 14,000KRW (~SGD$19-$20) on Testerkorea, but have since been able to purchase this in Taipei for about SGD$13.50 / ~300NT. I highly suggest against buying this directly from Watsons – this retails for SGD$27.50 in Singapore’s Watsons!

I have two tubes pictured above: 1 has been in use since September 2014 (~6 months of use), and the bottle below is brand new. I’d assume each tube lasts around 1 year, if used once a day – but I would not recommend using an eye product for a year. Mascara rules state that tubes should be thrown out once a month – so you can make your judgement from there. Also, one slight con you might be able to notice – the older bottle has gotten slightly murky from usage over time.

The applicator is extremely easy to use! It’s like any other mascara wand: sweep the tonic over your lashes, covering them in an even coat of tonic. According to DHC,

Use as a mascara base in the morning and as a conditioner in the evening. Gently and evenly, brush a small amount of tonic onto lash roots and sweep outward towards tips.

It’s recommended you use it twice a day, under your daily makeup, and at night to sleep, but I’ve preferred to leave this out under mascara. I like applying a thicker coat of tonic on my lashes, and I feel like the tonic doesn’t fare too well underneath mascara, especially in this humid weather – so I’ve only applied it once a day at night! This comes as the very last step of my routine, after applying eye cream (if at all).

Each bottle contains 6.5ml of product, and is made in Japan. I’ve always liked DHC products – when I was much younger, I loved their acne products (pew pew and my pimples were gone!), and a couple of years ago, I fell in love with their Deep Cleansing Oil. After I started using this for about a month, I discovered this was HG material. Why? Look at my lashes!!!

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THEY HAVE GROWN SO MUCH :’) There’s a noticeable growth in the length of my lashes, such that they’ve even started to hold a natural curl. Not only so, there’s been an increase in the sheer growth of the lashes – there are new baby lashes growing out, and the original lashes have much thicker roots.

I’ve also applied this to my lower lashes, so there has been an increase in amount of my lower lashes – which is absolutely amazing, because previously I’d had like, no. lower. lashes. This stuff is absolutely amazing.

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Here are the ingredients, in case you might be interested:

water/aqua/eau, butylene glycol, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, phenoxyethanol, carbomer, aminomethyl propanol, placental protein, xanthan gum, allantoin, swertia japonica extract, salix alba (willow) bark extract, symphytum officinale leaf extract, nasturtium officinale flower/leaf extract, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, panax ginseng root extract

The formulation is gentle on my eyes, and doesn’t leave any stinging sensation or whatnot (of course, if you don’t get it into your eyes.) I’ve used this without issue for the past half a year or so, and am extremely satisfied with the results! However, I think it should also be noted that YMMV. I’ve read a couple of articles in HerWorld about how some other lash serums were better, but I’ve already found my HG – so I probably won’t be trying anything else for now.

Effectiveness: ★★★★★ (for now)
Pricing: ★★★★★ (this is really the most affordable out there.)
Packaging: ★★★★☆

Overall: 4half

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