STAY: AMOY – Singapore [Far East Hospitality] (JAX, Nov 2015)

In a strategic area in the neighboring city-state is where luxury of modern interpretation and traditional values live side by side in harmony.

A harmonious coexistence between progressive urban landscaping and cultural legacy of olden times is known only in few selected cities around the world. Singapore is one of them.

In many areas where Singaporean government strictly preserves; the economic and cultural activities thrive from shophouses to museums and hotels. Among them there is one that sets a fine example of marrying both worlds.

AMOY is located in the vicinity of Far East Square, a plaza where a collection of Peranakan heritage shophouses are rejuvenated into restaurants and retail shops.

Here lies the nearing two century old Fuk Tak Chi temple. As a relic of the past where the Earth God was once revered by the locals, this temple has now been transformed into a museum, and it has become a vivid reminder of the olden days.

Uniquely, the museum is now an essential part of the hotel and entering AMOY by a luxurious limo from the airport through here is an experience of its own. Head further in and you will find yourself in a junction heading to the mazes of Far East Square, but before that, there’s the lobby for you.

Greeted with smile and a refreshing welcome mocktail, the courteous staff warmly welcome me and readying the room swiftly. On the second floor, a small adventure awaits. After several turns and small steps of stairs in between, finally it’s home sweet home.

In addition to the usual numbers, the rooms here are also named over commonly used Chinese family names – which are also inscribed on a wall at the lobby. Turns out it was a useful reminder, especially when one time I accidentally forgot my room number!

Cosy Single Room
Deluxe Double Room

The deluxe double room is an amazing example of utilizing the space for maximum comfort. It begins with a couple of short steps descending to the bedroom, where coziness awaits in a form of a queen size bed, flat screen TV, iPhone docking, and a Nespresso machine. Free amenities from Wi-Fi, landline call, as well as drinks and snacks from the minibar are also at your disposal. Most importantly as well, the bedroom is all basked under natural lights coming from the broad windows – bringing in both spirit and contentment.

There’s a touch of Chinese heritage on every angle; from a coffee book table of old Singaporean postcards since 19th century, the embroidered cushions and porcelains, and if you are lucky – real beams from the past on the ceilings. The bathroom itself has that darken, elegant atmosphere where Asian influenced wooden flooring and panels are all designed in details and harmoniously befitting each other.

JIN Fine Dining
Offers you a rich, full fledge Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner.

Local and continental breakfast are the options in the morning for AMOY’s inhabitants at JIN Fine Dining on the ground floor. Additionally, the restaurant also offers a rich, full fledge Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner with excellent service.

AMOY also boasts its strategic position to start the city exploration. Just across the hotel, you will directly find a taxi stop and an MRT station. I prefer to enjoy the urban scenery by walking, starting from the financial districts and heading further to Boat Quay or to as far as Merlion and Esplanade.

A stay at AMOY means experiencing excellence, fulfilling beyond the basic comforts one would seek any hotel. As a wonderful addition to that, let us immerse with what this country has to offer from its vibrant past, present and future.


AMOY (Far East Hospitality)

76 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore
T: +65.6580.2888



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Photos are courtesy of AMOY


Quikskoop™: Ya Kun Kaya Toast – Singapore

Ya Kun Kaya Toast is everywhere in Singapore. As one of the oldest, they have even expanding themselves in other Asian countries, including Indonesia as well. One time, I enjoyed my brunch having the kaya toast and a cup of hot black coffee back in Bandung.

But how does it feel to have it at the origin country itself? It’s an experience that I have to try myself.

Staying at AMOY on Telok Ayer Street during my last visit to Singapore was a great experience. Not only that I witnessed firsthand at how the old heritage can live side by side peacefully with the modern Singapore, but I got to stay at an extremely pleasant hotel with a rich selections of food around the neighborhood.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast at 18 China Street is the first one that started it all. As the jewel of the Lau Pa Sat region here, people are flocking since early morning for breakfast and even in weekends. China Street itself lies in the heart of Singapore’s CBD and it is quite surprising to find a lot of people around on holiday.

We were seated and service was quick and helpful. Courtesy is not to be expected – which typically a Singaporean character, but if your breakfast come in early and right, you won’t have any complaints about that.

Due to the speedy nature of everything, breakfast was confined only to two set menus – it’s either kaya toast or French toast with coffee/tea and soft boiled eggs. Perhaps the menu will be more complete in the afternoon or night, but then again, due to so many people around, it was arguably the management decision to limit the menu.

Kaya toast
French toast
French toast

For a very affordable breakfast like this and quite fulfilling apparently, I was thoroughly pleased. It’s good to actually eat in a pleasant surroundings, swift service, and quite hearty (for an Indonesian like me who prefers bubur ayam or nasi uduk in the morning).

The eggs were good with a bit of soy sauce and peppers and the milk coffee worked just right. The bread was perfectly toasted, crisp, and works really nicely with the butter and the kaya spread. I decided to bring back a bottle, but from Mustafa apparently. However, thanks to Ya Kun for the motivation!

It’s another good round of kaya toast breakfast like last time when I visited Tong Ah in Chinatown. I think I can enjoy more of breakfast like this, setting aside rice once in a while.


Suitable for vegetarians


Restaurant Review: Cie Rasa Loom

Acehnese cuisine may not yet reached that influential level when compared with its neighboring provinces such as the North and West Sumatra cuisines. However, Acehnese fares’ bold and honest taste is loved by many.

From Bandung, we have just the right option for you to try.

Many of our dining out experiences often includes hanging out for coffee. Setting aside the gourmet coffee shops, most Indonesians nowadays would usually hang out at traditional street coffee shops or at any Peranakan kopitiams.

If you think about it, rarely do people ever decided to hang out for a long time in our locally-themed restaurants. So the question would be, where would people hang out to find good coffee and good snacks but in place where Indonesian cuisine triumphs over the menu? Acehnese restaurants would be the answer.

Cie Rasa Loom from Bandung has reaped an immense success for the past few years of its existence. Once it started out very modestly, it has now transformed itself way bigger than ever and yet still faithful clings to the original menu and pricing.

Typical dishes that you will find at Cie Rasa Loom or in general Acehnese restaurants would be fried rice and fried noodles. But make no mistake though, because Acehnese people have their own twist to differentiate it from the Chinese version. For hundreds of years, the strategic position of the country gave access for foreign influences to flourish. Therefore for these two particular dishes, the Acehnese uses the Chinese way of cooking it but the ingredients are mostly influenced from India.


Usually, we can find a strong hint of curry on Acehnese fried noodles and rice thanks to the use of cumin, cardamom, caraway and turmeric. The degree of spiciness can be quite significant as well and the use of lamb or crab as the accompaniment are commonplace.

Cie Rasa Loom in particular, excels at this. My fried noodles came with a powerful note from each of the ingredients. With such balance and challenging spiciness level, the fried noodles can be then personally mixed with shallots and pickles. Lastly, some emping crackers should seal the deal nicely.

When it is time to hang out, you should then entrust the Acehnese to serve you with the best. Acehnese restaurants are famous for their tea pulling attraction and everybody loves their teh tarik. The obvious choice to accompany your teh tarik time would be the roti cane.


Served originally with sugar only or with condensed milk, Cie Rasa Loom’s buttery roti cane would bring people together. The citizens of Bandung sure love their toast or instant noodles for hanging out, but here, they love roti cane more than anything else. If you are looking for something savory, then consider having Cie Rasa Loom’s martabak with lamb curry as the good substitute.

While the menu seems pretty straightforward for now, hopefully in the future Cie Rasa Loom would consider serving more exquisite choices from Acehnese cuisine such as the kuwah itek (duck curry), ayam tangkap (fried chicken with temurui leaves), or any of the small delicacies from the province.


Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Jalan Buah Batu no. 154, Bandung – Indonesia

Opening hours:
Daily, 24 hours

Spend: IDR 15,000 – IDR 25,000 / person



Featured in THE FOODIE MAGAZINE Aug 2015 edition

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FAQ: What really is Halal tourism? (via &

The first-ever Halal Tourism Conference (HTC) is set to take place on September 22 and 23 in Granada, Spain. At the event, hospitality and travel professionals will examine how to better attract Muslim tourists, especially those of the high-income variety.

Here is the lowdown on Halal tourism.

What is Halal tourism?
The phrase was coined to refer to the specific traveling habits and expectations of Muslim tourists. Essentially these clients are looking for services in accordance with their religious principles, such as restaurants serving Halal meat and hotels with dedicated prayer areas.

Who are Halal tourists?
Potentially, anyone of Muslim faith. In terms of nationality, demand for this type of tourism comes primarily from Indonesia (home to the world’s largest Muslim population) Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. North African travelers also represent a considerable clientele.

What expectations are specific to them?
Notwithstanding the diversity of the global Muslim population, there are certain amenities and services that Muslim tourists everywhere are likely to expect. Generally, Halal tourists may seek out restaurants that serve Halal meat and do not serve alcohol. They might also expect to find dedicated prayer rooms at their hotels, or at least be provided with a prayer mat for use in their room. More conservative Muslims might also look for separate swimming pools or beaches for men and women. Finally, they may also tend to be interested in activities and excursions on the theme of Islamic religion and culture.

What are the top destinations?
According to the HTC’s Muslim Travel Index Europe, Muslim travelers most often listed France (30 per cent) as their destination of choice on the continent. England and Italy tied close behind in second (28 per cent), followed by Germany and Turkey in third (26 per cent). Naturally, however, there is a higher availability of services catering to Halal travelers in countries where the religion is prevalent, such as Turkey, Dubai and Qatar.

Are there tour operators specializing in Halal tourism?
Travel agencies catering to Muslim clients have proliferated on the web in recent years. There’s Halal Booking, Muslim Tripper, Halal Trip and Sun Sea & Halal, just to name a few. All of these companies have one thing in common: they sell vacations guaranteed to be in sync with Islamic religious principles.

How big is the industry?
Last year, the global Halal tourism market was worth an estimated US$140 billion, again according to HTC organisers. This represents around 13 per cent of total tourist spending worldwide. By 2020, revenues from the sector are expected to reach US$192 billion.


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Foodie Quotes #61

“Everywhere the sky is blue. There are a multitude of cuisines and dishes. I think of them as the languages and dialects of food.”
– Ferran Adria