Singapore -50 shades of chicken and donburi- Bincho

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This hidden little gem is housemate with the traditional coffee shop “Hua Bee”. Feel like a spy and enter by a door at the back (from the parking) for the best of Osaka yakitori cuisine brought by Chef Asai Masashi, specialised in the art of charcoal grilling. For dinner, go crazy with a kind of 50 shades of chicken menu. Or be reasonable and gentle to your wallet with the Donburi set lunch. Famous Chef and boss Andre (Chiang) is never too far to check on the quality of the sashimi or wagyu beef.

ASK: for the green tea ice cream to finish the hearty meal.

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Singapore -One of a kind- Books Actually

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Your attention please, rare specimen here. This Independent bookstore, unique in Singapore, almost went out of business several times but survived thanks to owner Kenny and his team’s passion and devotion. Specialised in fiction, they house the largest collection of Singapore literary publications and publish poetry, novel and essays under their imprint “Math Paper Press”. You’ll also go crazy for the wide range of magazines. Plus they have a vintage bric-a-brac at the back, like a tiny tiny flea market. If you have time for only one place in Tiong Bahru. This is it.

ASK: for the hand stitch notebooks and stationery they produce under Birds & Co.

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Singapore -Pizza Chic- PS Café Petit

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Who said fast food wasn’t chic? Clink glasses at PS café while waiting for your Pizza in a Great Gatsby decor to prove the contrary. And if you feel too guilty with the pizzas and desserts they offer, choose to go light with their salad bowls. There are 6 PS Café altogether in Singapore and two of them claim to offer a gourmet takeaway prepared with a slow food sensibility. The wine shop has a curated selection of French bottles. Love it.

ASK: For the smoked mozzarella Margherita. Classic yet different.

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Singapore -Flower Couture- One Olive

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This little “flower couture” shop is worth having a peep at. Old French songs are playing (ones my own grandparents won’t even recognize). Even if you have no one to buy flowers to, let yourself go to the romantic atmosphere and floral scents. Prices are up to 5 times the Tiong Bahru market next door, but it’s (haute) couture isn’t it?

ASK: to meet Sunday, their star cat even has a soft toy in his image.

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Singapore -Shop the local Chic-Nana & bird

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Georgina Koh and Tan Chiew Ling opened this online store and Multi-label boutique in 2011. Their goal is to cater the best of what international and local emerging designers such as Yumumu and Aijek can offer. They sell “only what they would buy for themselves" for the modern and engaged woman. Which wardrobe should be functional including classic pieces and occasional “why not” piece with quirky details.” 
ASK: To see what their kids collection. They have recently started to sell children wear.
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Mumbai -Hotel- Abode Bombay

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Literally “Bombay house”, the only so called “boutique hotel” in Mumbai and old restored guest house is tucked in the heart of Colaba historical heritage district. Tastefully designed and furnished with a vintage 20th colonial century and art decor, the cosy 20 rooms meet all budgets. Complimentary breakfast and Wifi. Very convenient for a first time in the city.

ASK: To meet Lizzie the owner. She has very good city and travel tips.

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Mumbai -Must see- Bombay Electric

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Welcome to the coolest shop in Mumbai. If you’re looking for what Indian emerging talents and indie labels have to offer, it’s right here. Set in a beautiful heritage building facing the Taj Mahal, top names as respected fashion designers Manish Arora, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Sonam Dubal are also represented. The store also serves space for art projects, book readings and exhibitions.

ASK: to try some clothes on to feel part of Mumbai elite, who knows you might have saved enough to afford it in the end.

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