28 11 2012

The Longchamp Parisis Men’s Cross-Body Bag in lambskin leather, trimmed with cowhide leather.

ONE OF my brothers gave me a genuine calf leather cross-body bag of French provenance that I have been wearing out like crazy (read: pinanghaharabas in the Filipino vernacular).  One lazy day, I emptied it of its contents, looked at it, and realized that I wouldn’t be able to stand to see it literally fall apart.  For purely sentimental reasons.

So what I did was reach for one of my many Kinokuniya (plastic) shopping bags – I must get at least 10 magazine titles from them every month – tumbled all of my daily essentials in and resolved that from that point hence, I would take the incarnation of a literal bagman.  A blue plastic Kinokuniya bagman.

Kinokuniya Shopping Bags

But to borrow the name of that game we used to play as kids – hide-and-seek – delight in the pleasures of natural hide and one shall find one’s self seeking to have it back.  So I had decided to get myself something I would be willing to wear out.

Before long I found myself overcoming my fear of the price tag in some of the shops here in Singapore, walked past their imposing, triumphal archways for doors, approached the first available sales associate, and in a calm voice asked, “Do you have this bag?… But in all natural leather?

Every time, my worn-out Kinokuniya (plastic) shopping bag would endure the stare before it (the stare), in all its expressionless botoxed glory, would move to me.  Often, I got a flat out “Sorry, but no.”  In a few instances, I got treated to a veritable run through of everything in the “spring summer” or “fall winter” line-up before I would just lift up once again my Kinokuniya and say, “Thanks but just like this.”

Then it was time to pay one of my Mama’s favorites a visit – Longchamp at Paragon Mall on Orchard.  For the first time in a long time, I didn’t need to ask for a sales associate’s help.  Because it was there at the top of the shelf at the back of the store, the section elevated by a short flight of steps.  I took it from its all-stainless steel display stand, got immediately captivated by the supple leather, and knew that it was the one.

The Longchamp Parisis Men’s Cross-Body Bag in lambskin leather, trimmed with cowhide leather (and goatskin leather per the sales associate) with palladium hardware.

I absolutely loved it at first sight.  Though I did find the price a bit prohibitive.  So after quite a lingering admiration, I decided to let it go.  But as with all things meant to be, I ended up losing sleep over it.

So one night when there was just simply no way of getting transported to dreamland with persistently nagging thoughts of lambskin leather, I got out of bed, showered, changed, and hopped on the Purple Line, changed to the Circle Line at Serangoon, and in minutes found myself at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands – at way past 10:00 PM.  I know the stores there close at 11:00 PM.

By 10:40 PM, the only piece they had in store was mine.  Happily so.

“LONGCHAMP” perfectly heat-stamped on to the lamskin leather, two handles in cowhide leather, enhanced by two small Russian ears, snap button enclosure also in cowhide leather.



On the back, the epic brand’s epic equestrian logo heat-stamped on to the lambskin leather.


The bag, perfectly slouchy, in the canvass bag bin at Din Tai Fung.


At the Orchard MRT Station


At the Malaysian Food Street beside Universal Studios Singapore


Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

A couple of wristwatch events and a reminder on what is precious

24 09 2012

“H” marks the spot. This huge logo hung from the ceiling of the Main Atrium, Paragon Mall, Orchard Road.

I GOT invited to a couple of wristwatch events this September.  The first one was to the soft opening of a brand new wristwatch store.  The second one was to the opening of a renowned brand’s first ever pop–up store in the world.

Just some invitations


I’ve gotten three pieces from The Hour Glass at Takashimaya. And from time to time, I hear from them.


So happy to get this invitation!


A close-up of the pretty invite


The flip side has details of the event.

Given that work has been crazy – crazy good, I have to say – I have totally dismissed any chance for me to make it to any of these two events.

I totally missed the first one.  The brand traces its provenance from the United States (if I remember it correctly) and the owner decided to bring it here to the Lion City.  I’ve seen the wristwatch up close on the owner’s wrist – he is, after all, his brand’s ultimate walking advertisement.  For me it sums up the three B’s I look for in something that tick-tocks – big, bold, and beautiful.

I was ready to miss the second one altogether.  But with the resolve of someone who has to beat the incessant teasing of a ticking biological clock, I suddenly found myself making the time to the event mere minutes before it would have closed.

HUBLOT presents BIG BANG, HUBLOT’s first ever pop–up store in the world, celebrating the Essence of Art & Fusion, at the Main Atrium, Paragon Mall, Orchard Road.  The event was presented by The Hour Glass.

I was running late. Since I didn’t have time to go to the restroom, I just made a quick check of my reflection on the mirrored wall of Coach. It has served this purpose perfectly well all the time. Haha! It’s just my hair I fuss about.


The event is right smack in the center of the mall, yet it exudes elegance. It’s the subdued hues, and of course, the timepieces themselves!


I loved this “celing” treatment. It competed with the watches for my attention. I just loved looking up. Haha!


I just had to take a snap of the decor. The photo doesn’t do justice to how these folded gray art paper looked stunning in person.




The Essence of Art & Fusion

Nothing says aspirational quite like ogling at the one–and–only 5–million–dollar Big Bang, covered all over in top quality diamonds.  It felt like hundreds – no, thousands – of engagement rings slammed on to a chunky timepiece.  I wouldn’t be able to afford it.  Haha!  For me, the concept of luxury starts with the words, “entry level.”  Haha!

It is quite ironic that lately when I seem to have been losing track of time, I get a couple of reminders that nothing is more precious than time.  I gave the price tag of the limited edition Big Bang a glance back and a long stare.  All I can say is I couldn’t agree more.

A paper bag on the purple line.


I like the attention to details. Even the paper bag handles are engraved with the theme.


I think this paper bag would look great in all calf leather. Then I would be able to use it to no end!


Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

Big bold letters in red

24 06 2012

If there is ever any doubt in your mind what season it is in Singapore.

I’VE LONG claimed in this space that I only shop where they say sale in big bold letters – as in SALE.  And being here in the Lion City, home to Orchard Road, ranked first in the list of 30 of the world’s most famous shopping streets, I’ve come to realize that sale does still come in big bold red letters, though they spell a different word:  GSS (the Great Singapore Sale).

The paradox of it all is that I seemed to have lost all urge to shop.  And when I do, it is to run an errand for family or friends back home.  But for myself?  Nah.  Well, not anymore.  My only little piece of heaven as of late is the second-hand wristwatch stores that dot the stretch of malls along the world’s most famous shopping street.  I fix my favorites with a long, focused stare that pierce right through the vitrines.  But before any of their beauty lulls me into a false state of security I would get by acquiring them, I snap right out of it with the screaming thought, “I cannot afford any of you!”  Haha!

For now, I’m quite happy and content to be able to strut down Orchard Road.  How often can one be in a place touted to be better than, say, Paris?

At Coach, Paragon Mall


By the Ralph Lauren store on Scotts Road. I love it for sentimental reasons.


Back at Ralph Lauren. I told you I love this store.


At Kate Spade, Raffles City


My Mama and Sisters-In-Law will be so happy.


At Louis Vuitton, ION Orchard


Me and mirror panels…


My reflection framed by funky timepieces and knick knacks.


One of the come-ons at Paragon Mall is live entertainment. This trio was good. I looked at them and thought up three names who can help put up a similar act. “Shall I start singing for my supper?”


It’s practically summer all-year-round in Singapore. The only other season is… GSS.


Copyright © 2012 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved

In too deep dipping

6 04 2011

Healthy Ten Zukuri Tofu at Shimbashi Soba at Paragon

RELATIONSHIPS I may not know.  But noodles?  Noodles…  I know!

And if with prospective relationships my knee-jerk reaction would be to clam up and run away from thoughts of commitment buzzing like neon above my head, with noodles I would plunge myself to a free-fall with eager submission to the pull of gravity.

Which was exactly the kind of force that drew me in to Shimbashi Soba # B1-41 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Road, Singapore, yet another one of Friendship’s recommendations.  Though I find it funny now, looking back at how my “free-fall with eager submission” actually meant getting lost on Orchard Road, under the heat of the midday sun, my composure and resolve put under the mercy of my Ralph Lauren Big Pony Scent #4, as Friendship gave me directions over the phone.  She mentioned Tod’s as a landmark.  A fashion label – now that’ll turn around my seeming lack of a sense of direction.

Though it’s just one in many dining establishments at the basement of a posh mall, Shimbashi Soba, like how Japanese restaurants usually are, seemed to shield its quaint Zen interiors from the hustle and bustle of all the retail action that happens outside its premises.  I felt engulfed in a sense of calm, only the beads of perspiration running down my temples belied the inner peace that seeing buckwheat noodles being made with authentic Japanese stone mill brought to my being.

Goma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba

I asked for the Goma Tare Seiro Sesame Soba.  For someone who takes roasted sesame oil by the teaspoonful – straight! – a dish built upon the goodness of this seed was a natural choice.  Subtly, it was also a quiet homage to the peanut and sesame cold noodles I had at Shi Lin at The Podium on the eve of my departure for this trip.  But lest you think I’m setting the stage for a comparison, I wasn’t.

Soba is Japanese thin buckwheat noodles.  Shimbashi Soba sources their organic buckwheat from Tasmania, their menu declares.  In the store, the noodles are made fresh to order, a work of art and heart by their skillful chefs using time-honored Japanese equipment and tradition.

Cold. Springy. With a little give to the bite. Perfect soba noodles.


Chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds


Sesame dipping sauce

The dish arrived in a lacquered tray, the cold buckwheat noodles nestled on a bamboo mat, it’s pale hue accented only by a lone lettuce leaf.  To its left was a dish of chopped green onions and toasted sesame seeds, and a bowl of the savory sesame dipping sauce.  Doing away with the usual cold soba and sashimi pairing, I instead asked for  the Healthy Ten Zukuri Tofu, silken beancurd topped with a shiso leaf, wakame seaweed, and straw mushrooms, flavored with a bonito-infused dipping sauce spiked with grated ginger.

Healthy Ten Zukuri Tofu


Dipping sauce for the Healthy Ten Zukuri Tofu

My breathing no longer hurried, and the beads of perspiration wiped off, I savored the serenity offered by picking the soba with my chopsticks, allowing my wrist to make fluid motions as I dipped the twirled buckwheat ribbons in the robustness of the sauce, dusted the same with the green onions and sesame seeds, then quietly – ever so quietly – slurped away.

However careful I was, the action threatened to spray my UC Davis shirt and red shorts with the essence of my Japanese meal.  But I couldn’t care less as my tongue rushed to lick the sauce that was making its way from my lower lip to my chin.  This to me, is what tongue-lickin’ good actually is.

Shichimi Togarashi, traditional Japanese seven spice powder.


Friendship had the Teriyaki Chicken Don and Soba meal.


Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.