5 must-have dishes to try in Singapore

My husband and I had an unforgettable five-day Singapore holiday last August. From Gardens by the Bay to Universal Studio, we enjoyed every moment of the trip. The husband (Mr S) went crazy about the food he got to try in the wonderful country- it was easy on the pocket, delicious and drastically different from what we get in India (me being vegetarian didn’t go as ballistic about the food).

And here’s a meme about Singaporean food I made:

Takeaway Level Singapore meme

Here are the top Singaporean dishes we loved (the non-vegetarian ones are obviously his picks). All pictures below are clicked by me in Singapore (except for the meme):

First… my favourite- Ice cream sandwich!

Yep- desserts first! When a friend told us about Singapore’s sandwich ice cream, I assumed he was talking about the sandwich we get in India- a slab of vanilla ice cream held between two chocolate biscuits. But the Singaporean ice cream sandwich actually had bread! So a large slice of a special (sweet) bread was wrapped around a ice cream slab of our choice (we chose chocolate chip). That sandwich is among the most interesting food experiences I’ve ever had. Yummmm!!!

Singapore icecream sandwich

Singapore icecream sandwich

Spiced Prawns

This dish was a relatively simple one- prawns were cooked with oil and spices and served with a spicy paste on a leaf. S commented that the prawns seemed super fresh and the spices were a delight. BTW, we had this at the Singapore Food Trails at Singapore Flyer.

Spiced prawns Singapore

Chilli Crab

When you’re in Singapore, you cannot miss the Chilli Crab- S tried this at one of the restaurants at Bugis. He opines that the huge helping of crab cannot be finished by one person, and the sweet-and-tangy sauce is a wonderful play on your taste buds.

Crispy Duck

The Singaporean version of fried chicken, this dish was succulent and had just the right texture. After drizzling the accompanying sauce on the bird, S declared it was the among best duck dishes he’d ever had.

Singapore food menu

Singapore Sling (a no-brainer)  

This famous cocktail is Singapore’s “national drink”. Made with gin and a fix of juices, we had this drink at a local Singapore bar during Happy Hours. Needless to say, we loved it!

PS- Discover Far More Singapore on this droolicious website.

Sonam Kapoor covers Vogue India… again!

Sonam Kapoor covers Vogue India… again!

There’s only so much you can ask or write about a fashionista’s take on fashion. But then the rules are different for Vogue.

vogue india sonam kapoor

Actor Sonam Kapoor is Vogue India’s November 2011 cover girl yet again, this time in a Louis Vuitton blouse and skirt with diamond-onyx earrings. Sonam was last seen on the Vogue India cover in January 2010, wearing Roberto Cavalli.

I was mighty disappointed to know of yet another Sonam Kapoor piece in Vogue India, especially since she’s been there, done that. Besides, Sonam’s a regular in most fashion magazines—as a style icon, trendsetter or “how to wear” kind of pages. Are we on the brink of a Sonam-as-fashionista overload!

Thankfully, the Vogue people got “fashion-challenged” journalist Anil Thakraney to interview Sonam, perhaps to get a different perspective on her sartorial sensibilities. This isn’t an interview asking for fashion or style tips, so don’t rush to the page expecting any.

What I did read, though, were some wonderful nuggets of “wisdom” (and some gossip). Sample this:

Indian men don’t understand fashion unless they are gay.”

Umm… I think that’s kinda true.

Currently, the actor wants to save up for a solitaire diamond (don’t we all?) and wants a Valentino gown designed by Valentino himself (wow, she dreams big!). Luckily for Sonam, a lot of the clothes are free.

Some fashion lessons we picked up from the story:

  • Sonam Kapoor is well aware of her body type and flaws (she says she has big feet)
  • She’s got loads of the right attitude which permits her to be a fashion rebel of sorts.
  • One fashion tip she does offer directly: “Never bare it all. You have to retain the mystery of being a woman. That’s why Katrina Kaif is who she is—a mystery. Men like mystery.”

That’s enough to keep fashion lovers busy for a while, but hey, Vogue India—can we see less of Sonam Kapoor henceforth? Would be good to see some more unusual fashion icons that aren’t done to death. Thanks!

Stay chic.

Bollywood Fashion: Chammak challo Kareena Kapoor shows us how to be a Diwali phataka

Bollywood Fashion: Chammak challo Kareena Kapoor shows us how to be a Diwali phataka

Happy Diwali, lovely readers! May you be as chic as Kareena Kapoor (or your favourite fashion icon)!

Ra.One releases today, and there’s no doubt that Kareena Kapoor’s Chammak Challo will be as big a draw as G.One’s superpowers. I’ve spent weeks trying to understand the secret behind Kareena’s gorgeousness in the song, and I think I’ve finally cracked the code. It’s all about the fashion!

Kareena Kapoor in RaOne

Kareena’s mindboggling curves have no doubt added a major oomph to her look, but let’s not underestimate the power of fashion to make you sexy. Especially when Manish Malhotra is the man behind the clothes.

After hours of painstaking notes, I’ve drawn some fashion tips from the Diwali phataka. Use these easy-to-follow fashion tips to show off your sexy side!

Fashion tip 1: Wear red

Manish Malhotra has dressed Kareena in an attention-grabbing colour and it’s a colour that suits her. The colour that suits you could be deep blue, purple or hot pink.

Fashion tip 2: The outfit is simple yet chic

The pre-stitched sari (or shall I say half-sari?) designed by Manish Malhotra has minimal embellishment, along the border. The focus is on enhancing Kareena’s body shape rather than making her look like an OTT diva or queen.

Fashion tip 3: Cover up, but only so much

The semi-sheer blouse Kareena wears is only half the story. As the song begins, Kareena’s wafer-thin pallu is firmly in place, till she decides to tuck it into her sari. You don’t need to go all-sheer to show off your figure, but just peek-a-boo at the right places could work wonders.

Fashion tip 4: Accessorise to your advantage

Kareena Kapoor’s sex appeal is enhanced with the choice of jewellery. The absence of a necklace draws attention to her collarbones, and the dangling earrings and nose ring pull you toward her face which is absolutely gorgeous. (Intensely-lined eyes, light lips).

Kareena Kapoor in Ra.One song

Tip 5: Set a trend

It’s been ages since I saw a young woman (who is not a bride) wear a bindi, and someone even told me that bindis are “out of fashion”. We hope Kareena’s bindi will make the humble red dot popular again!

Stay chic!

Sleek hair is great for India: TIGI’s Akos Bodi

Akos Bodi is European Education Director at TIGI, the company that makes great hair products. He was at Lakme Fashion Week (thanks to Lakmé Studio) to promote TIGI Catwalk’s new range of hair products, called Sleek Mystique, which he used to style hair for designer Arjun Saluja’s show.

Sleek Mystique is a silky, straight-hair look defined by the Catwalk Sleek Mystique collection. The collection comprises six products to help women get smooth, soft and straight hair.

Akos Bodi at workAkos spoke to Speaking Chic about Sleek Mystique, why it’s  great for Indian hair, and dos and don’ts of hair care.

Tell us about the Catwalk by TIGI range of hair products and how Sleek Mystique fits into it.

The Catwalk range of hair products  focuses largely on shape: volume, curl and sleek mystique. The Sleek Mystique collection is a natural outcome of that.

What does Sleek Mystique mean to you?

To me, Sleek Mystique means simplicity. Women try to do too much with their hair, but Sleek Mystique gives hair a dramatic look, while keeping it simple. Sleek Mystique is inspired by the Orient, hence the combination of black and red colours on the product bottles. It’s a hair trend that won’t fade away.

Why do you think Sleek Mystique will work in India?

We’ve been focusing too much on volume and texture for the past few years, it’s time bring back something simple, yet dramatic. Sleek Mystique comes especially handy when women want to fight humidity and its effects on their hair. Layers are popular in India, but can sometimes be more difficult to handle with the humidity. The products add a very small amount of weight to the hair, but don’t weigh it down completely.

How do TIGI hair products fit into fashion?

We’re not directly involved in fashion, but the evolution of fashion and trends helps our involvement. TIGI’s been on catwalks in New York, Paris, Milan, London and now India.

I have only five minutes to do my hair in the morning, and I want a Sleek Mystique look. What should I do?

Use the blowout balm, it’s great on wet hair. It’s almost like a serum, you need to apply just a small amount on your hair. Or you could use the Work It Haute Iron spray and run a flat iron through your hair.

Sleep Mystique hair If I have the luxury of 30 minutes or more, how could I style my hair to get the Sleek Mystique look?

Go through the entire regime: shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, balm. There are various options you could choose from: do a ponytail, or use spray and backcomb your hair.

A lot of urban Indian women have short to medium length, layered hair. What do you suggest for them?

Use the Sleek Mystique Blow Out Balm throughout your hair, and then brush hair from side to side to give it volume.

Time to bust hair myths. Most Indians neither use a hairdryer nor hair products, believing it will damage their hair, or grey early. What do you think?

Yes, heat can damage your hair, but only if you overdo it. Heat dries out the hair’s natural moisture. So you should use the hair dryer, but don’t use it all the time.

Product overuse can be harmful as well. Here’s a simple thumb rule: the finer your hair, lighter the product should be.

That’s a rule I’ll remember. Finally, any handy hair tips for us?

Firstly, use a high quality shampoo  and conditioner; very few people realise their importance in maintaining their hair.

Use good products to style your hair, but make sure you know how to use them correctly. And remember the rule: the finer your hair, lighter the product. So if you have thicker hair, use a stronger product or more of the product.

Finally, don’t overdo on the heat.

PS: CATWALK by TIGI’s ‘Sleek Mystique’ range (and other products) are exclusively available at Lakmé Studios and select Lakmé Salons.

Would you try the Sleek Mystique look this festive season? Tell us!