Thursday, June 23, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - Outback Steakhouse @ Orchard Gateway

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Orchard Gateway branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

We came across Outback Steakhouse's offer while surfing Groupon, which was how we were introduced to its existence. Its branch in Orchard Gateway is out of the usual foot traffic but at a corner of the building which affords a great view across the Orchard area if you choose to be seated near the windows.

The service we received in Outback Steakhouse was not bad although it can be difficult to wave a waiter over. Being a steakhouse, their signature dish is naturally steaks of all types, but our Groupon voucher limits our choices to 3: Toowoomba Chicken (SGD24.90), ribs and chicken combo (SGD34.90), and Black Pepper Steak Bites (SGD24.90). We had enough vouchers for 3 persons so naturally we chose all 3 to try them out.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Singapore Food Blog - High Tea @ Holiday Inn Orchard Lounge

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on experience in Holiday Inn Orchard City Center, not Holiday Inn Express, which is also around the same vicinity.

On a fine Sunday after a sumptuous lunch, we decided that we want to try out the voucher we bought for a high tea treat in Holiday Inn Orchard, seeing that we were in the vicinity. No, actually that Sunday was not fine at all because it was hot as hell. Nevertheless the thought of chilling off in an air-conditioned hotel lobby for high tea would beat the horrors of throng filled malls.

True to the fame of Holiday Inn chain of hotels, its high-ceiling lobby beckoned us welcome and we immediately saw the vast lounge off to its side, its glass walls separating the cool interior from the scorching streets. Occupants were sparsely seated and with such a spacious lounge, we were spoiled for choice when it came to deciding where to relax. We finally decided to occupy one of the sofas in oppose to table and chair seating that seemed to gear towards comfortable business discussions in hushed tones.

Spacious lounge

Sunday, May 8, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Messe/Deutz Station (Köln Messe/Deutz)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

My last post on my Cologne's trip is on Cologne Main Station's cousin across the river - Cologne Messe/Deutz Station. It was not as impressive as the steel counterpart but I still took a liking to it due to its dome structure and stone texture.

In fact Cologne Messe/Deutz Station is just as important as the main station as it relieves traffic from the main station. Since the main station is located across the river, some trains prefer not to stop in the main station so that they need not change direction to cross the river, and then back out again to continue on their original route.

My interest in this station was caught when I was high up in KölnTriangle, seeing its distinctive dome top and wondering how the station would look like. Despite a stone exterior that made it seemed ancient, its interior is quite modern. The full station contains multiple levels, allowing access to long distance train services and regional services as well as access to tram lines. I had not called my stop in this station before so my experience with the station was limited to my wandering its hall under the dome.

Cologne Messe/Deutz station

Saturday, April 30, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Panorama @ KölnTriangle

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

Where is the best spot for a panorama of Cologne? Would that be Cologne Cathedral's tower? You can of course get a splendid view, but alas the cathedral itself, the main draw of the city, would be missing from the picture. However a trek across Hohenzollern Bridge across the majestic River Rhine brought me to a tower jutting into the sky called KölnTriangle where I could get an unobstructed panorama of the whole city.

After paying the entrance fee of 3, I queued in front of the elevator and waited my turn to be whisked up. The skyward journey was unremarkable, and after a few ear-pops and being in the company of curious seekers, I arrived at the topmost level of the tower, close to a whooping 103 meters from ground.

It would look like any other kind of tall building from the outside.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Carnival (Karneval)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

I guess if anyone were to ask me when is the time to visit Cologne for some unique experience, my answer would be during Carnival, one of the "crazy days" in Germany. The most happening day is on Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) but I was only able to visit on Sunday. Even so, the day was filled with carnival goers and festivities, enough for me to return brimming with memories.

Carnival starts in exactly 11.11am on 11-November every year but merrymaking period officially starts on the week before Lent, with some people dress up in costumes and roam the streets. Although there are carnivals around Europe, Cologne's is rated as one of the largest street festivals. On my arrival that Sunday, Cologne was unlike its usual self. I saw people in colorful and weird costumes even as I stepped off the train into Cologne Hbf, each merrily making their way around. I was surprised that the usually serious Germans can have so much fun in them!

Yoshi the dino from Mario Bros?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Cologne Central Station (Köln Hauptbahnhof)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

If you are not going to Cologne in a car, most probably you will be arriving via train like yours truly, and Cologne Hbf (short for Hauptbahnhof, German for main/central station) would be your point of arrival. That steelworks frame would be visible from distance away, at about the same time the iconic Cologne Cathedral comes into view, when the train crosses the important Hohenzollern Bridge.

As I stepped onto the platform, the pace of the station got to me, reminding me of the fact that this was one of the busiest station in Germany. With Cologne being one of the 4 biggest cities in Germany (the others being Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), its central station is definitely one of the busiest, the 5th busiest in fact, serving an average 280,000 travelers on a daily basis. As it is an important transport hub, several major rail services call into this station, including international lines connecting to Paris and Amsterdam, as well as ICE services connecting other major cities in Germany.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

2014 Germany Trip - Hohenzollern Bridge (Hohenzollernbrücke)

Location: Cologne, Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

A trip to Cologne guarantees a pilgrim to Cologne Cathedral but less people mentioned about walking the length of Hohenzollern Bridge. Its name is seldom mentioned but I recognized it from most Cologne introducing photos, with an iconic shot from across the River Rhine towards Cologne Cathedral and part of Hohenzollern Bridge in the foreground.

Bridge over River Rhine

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