November 7, 2014

Ham & Sherry Review

This article would've been a review of now-reopened The Pawn, but it was full and they weren't taking any more people :(. So we turned the street, stumbled onto Ham & Sherry and were attracted by the blue-and-white Spanish tiles lining the facade - plus I've been on a blue-and-white binge

Ham & Sherry is the brainchild of the same people behind 22 Ships, and is considered a "waiting place" e.g. chill out there and then head to 22 Ships for dinner.

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We started with the cured meats board, choosing chorizo, lomo and cecina. Unfortunately, they were out of cecina, so we received a surprise-choice jamon. We liked that unknown jamon best!

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From the back: lomo, unknown jamon, chorizo

Next we embarked on the salt and pepper 'chipirones' (squid) with squid ink aioli. I'm a bit wary of squid ink anything because of the colour, but I like aioli so I dove in. The 'chipirones' were fresh and juicy and well-seasoned with the batter and pepper.

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Salt and pepper 'chipirones' (squid) with squid ink aioli

We then had bacalao (salted cod) with anchovies. As massive seafood lovers and after the flavourful meats and 'chipirones', we found this dish bland.

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Bacalao with anchovies 

Fortunately, the next course redeemed the bacalao: melted tetilla (a cheese) with jamon and honey. Delectable, and the tetilla wasn't too strong. A good play of flavours: creamy, salty, sweet.

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Melted tetilla with jamon and honey

We also had some long beans with garlic, lemon and manchego - fresh and flavourful but not extraordinary.

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Overall, Ham & Sherry was a pleasant experience, but I think some of the dishes were not that extraordinary. I've been to some restaurants where I've yet to find a single dish lacking, like Chom Chom. Nonetheless, I think Ham & Sherry definitely has the potential to stand out on its own instead of being a filler for 22 Ships! Will definitely return too, to try their sherry stock.

5 Things Friday: Fall Decorating with Rugs

As the weather cools, it's time to get cosy, and replace chiffon with wool and knits! I've been eyeing rugs - not only as floor coverings, but as wall hangings and in upcycling other furniture.

5. DIY bedside bench
DIY bloggers from A Beautiful Mess take a kilim rug and make it into a lovely decorative bench that pops amid the neutral colours in the room. (A Beautiful Mess)

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4. Shag rug as wall hanging
Love Urban Outfitters' Magical Thinking Geo Shag Rug as a wall hanging - something different from typical photo walls. (Urban Outfitters)

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3. Pristine coziness
A mohair rug is perfect for winter. (DigsDigs)

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2. Feature wall
Again, a vibrantly-coloured rug as wall hanging can brighten a room so easily! (PopSugar)

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1. Minimalistic Moroccan
Want. (Etsy)

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October 25, 2014

Inspiration Hunting: Blue and White Patterns

My favourite colour hands down is blue - what about you? I've always loved china bowls because of their fresh blue and white combination. Blue and white in fashion - even better! Check out some blue-and-white-inspired scapes...

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Delft blue and white china transferware glass magnet (Etsy)

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Marrakesh door in blue (Elena Beregatnova)

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Caroline Slotte work (Mon carnet)

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Lauren Conrad

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Beautiful antique Flow Blue rose broken china jewelry heart pendant necklace 1880s (Etsy)

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Tory Burch Baja dress (Shopbop)

October 12, 2014

Frida Kahlo on Not Settling

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Beautiful words. It would be even more amazing, after many, many years together, to be able to maintain that magic.

October 2, 2014

All clocked out: Watches & Wonders 2014 in Hong Kong

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I had the opportunity, courtesy of Sassy Hong Kong and IWC Schaffhausen to attend the Watches & Wonders exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Haute horlogerie may be better understood as fine watchmaking. The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie defines fine watchmaking as such:
  • Historic Maisons and Manufactures whose manufacturing facilities are fully-integrated or majority-owned by them.
  • Ateliers and Master Watchmakers which produce their own movements and creations. Brands which invest in Fine Watchmaking by inventing and creating Fine Watches which are partly made in-house or by other Maisons or Manufactures, or by acknowledged suppliers and movement-makers, and whose medium-term objective is to fully integrate production.
  • Movement-makers which develop and produce movements and complications for third parties.

Exhibiting Maisons (French: houses) were A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Mont Blanc, Panerai, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

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Beautiful display at Richard Mille - would've been 10x spectacular if it were an ice sculpture!

September 30, 2014

Notes on the Umbrella Revolution

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If you've been following the news, you'd probably have noted that Hong Kong is gripped by protests for democratic reform, which has gained the moniker of "Umbrella Revolution". Originally initiated by some pro-democracy groups and student groups, the protests have snowballed, involving close to 80,000 people in a single location after police made what was considered a show of inappropriately heavy-handed force -- they hurled tear gas, a sight not seen since the WTO protests in 2005. Protesters shielded themselves from with brollies, hence the name. 

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This surely will be one of the Umbrella Revolution's iconic moments.

Currently, the areas from Causeway Bay up to Central (including Wan Chai and Admiralty) on Hong Kong Island are occupied with protesters, with Mong Kok being the bastion for Kowloon. Protesters have been rather well-behaved, even cleaning up after themselves. 

I will not be going into detail on the political ramifications and analysis, but as someone who admires this city for its success and its openness and freedom as well as its quirks (like cranky waiters in cha chaan tengs), I do hope that Hong Kongers obtain self-determination in their political process. 

I've loved this city since I came here as a student in 2009, I love it now, and I hope it emerges stronger, better, and more importantly, a kinder place to its people.    

There is hope yet, as illustrated so well by designer Jessica Cheuk See Tang on her Instagram @cheuksee:

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To my friends out on the streets, we support you... please keep a cool head and remember that the police aren't your objective/target. Stay safe everyone, we are praying for you!

Edit: A previous version of this post stated that tear gas was last used in quelling the 1967 riots. It has now been amended - thanks to my Malaysian senior at university Len Foong.

Porsche Design x Blackberry P'9983 launch event

Last Friday, I got invited by some girl friends to the launch event of the P'9983, a collaboration between Porsche Design and Blackberry. The launch started from 6 pm onward and was graced by local pop star Andy Hui - which I sadly missed. When I turned up close to 8 pm, the place was buzzing with people and beats from the DJ - a great club-like atmosphere, perfect for Friday night.

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Getting up close and personal with the Blackberry, I'd say I do prefer its keyboard... the only other comparison I have really is my office Blackberry, which is onerous to type on. Generally speaking though, I've yet to see any feature that really makes it pop compared to the numerous smartphones crowding the market.

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Guess which colour I'm digging?

Some photos:

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The ladies - thanks Emily for inviting us!

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Photobooth pic with an awkward angle - taken from above
All the same, it was an interesting experience - thanks Emily for inviting us! Now, if only my job entailed more fun stuff like this... (not that I don't enjoy my job :D )

September 20, 2014

Sassy Hong Kong's Around the World Food Tour!

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Thanks to my fellow "falafel" (it's an endearment, really) e.g. my ex-housemate Jiyoung, I had the chance to join Sassy Hong Kong's Around the World Food Tour this weekend! Held at Souvla, a Greek restaurant tucked away on D'Aguilar Street - that's Lan Kwai Fong, HK's party hub, the event showcased restaurant group Concept Creations' various outlets, with their chefs teaching us about their cuisine.

There were four stations... so Jiyoung and I started, along with several others, at the Tapeo station. Tapeo is a popular Spanish tapas bar and restaurant, which is always bustling come Thursday... and the rest of the weekend! We were taught about Iberico ham and how to make a basic aioli. Such simple ingredients: garlic (raw and roasted), egg yolk, white wine vinegar, a dash of sea salt and a healthy helping of olive oil, but such rich flavour!

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Aioli ingredients and Iberico ham!

August 28, 2014

Current Obsession: d'Orsay Flats with Ankle Straps

I know they're not the newest things on the planet, but the pointy toe of d'Orsays + ankle straps = my small sliver of shoe heaven. I managed to snag this pair from Forever 21 (see below). However, it was rather painful to wear - the back kept rubbing against the back of my ankles and the continuous friction resulted in some not-so-ladylike cuts :'(. I suppose I'll just have to pre-emptively plaster myself...

Forever 21 Posh Ankle-Strap Pumps... ALL MINE >:)
The d'Orsay obsession continues though... If you're a fast walker like me, you don't have to miss out on wearing them, as d'Orsay flats are equally elegant as their high-heeled counterparts. Check these beauties out:
Salonthesis.com
I love the wrapped straps and the understated lucite heels. It's tough finding shoes with lucite heels that don't look like strippers' shoes.
Abbee Almond Toe D'Orsay Ankle Strap Flat
(DNA Footwear)
So clean and beachy!

Forever 21 Luxe d'Orsay Flats

San Juan d'Orsay flats
(Moorea Seal)
The bright fabric (above) comes from the Guatemalan village of San Juan, and the weaving is identical to that worn by the indigenous men and women. Besides that, each flat has its own unique pattern. I can see these flats being paired with denim cut-offs and a beachy top or a cute summer dress to create the perfect summer vibe.

Kuzzle Mint Green Two Part Strap Flat Shoes (ASOS)
Aqua d'Orsays?


August 26, 2014

'Sea Fever', by John Masefield


'Sea Fever' (John Masefield)

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

August 22, 2014

5 Things Friday: 5 Crave-Worthy Rose Gold Inspirations

It's official: I'm obsessed with rose gold... and mint, but mint deserves its own blog post later! I used to favour silver jewelry but I now find rose gold less ostentatious than gold and it goes great with warm skin tones, which is what I have. 

Slight disclaimer: I don't consider myself a fashion-worthy person, so take my fashion cravings with a pinch of salt. If you really had to classify me, I'd say I'm a classic dresser - I invest in clean, structured, classic pieces. Coming from a humble background, I haven't acquired the taste for brands so you'll probably still find me sourcing my clothes from flea markets and roadside bazaars and doing a little DIY-ing every now and then! 

To the countdown!

5. Hazeline Black Diamond ring by Anna Sheffield: I love the contrast between the delicate rose gold band and the intensity of the black Very elegant and has a tinge of goth.

4. Wonderfully delicate detailing in this Fiori fragrance by Vince Camuto:

3. Loving the romantic curls vibe and red lip here. (Fancy.com)

2. Urban Decay's Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette: What a feast of rose gold shades!

1. Movado's bold round bracelet watch: Love, love, love the minimalist face and rose gold sheen. Usually I'm a fan of watches which exhibit their inner gears and spring mechanisms, geek that I am, but I'll take this one any day. (Nordstrom)

Are you sold into rose gold yet, or do you prefer other metals? 

August 20, 2014

ferm LIVING's Autumn/Winter Collection is Out!

If you follow my Pinterest account (@yiweilim), you'd realise that I love Scandinavian design for its minimalist look, usually featuring clean lines, light wood furniture, and a subtle balance between muted neutrals and pops of colour. 

A Scandinavian interior design brand I adore is ferm LIVING. Founded by Trine Andersen and rooted in Denmark (like my other fave Scandi-brand Hay, featured here), ferm LIVING combines the sleek, retro charm of Scandinavian design with a strong graphic, geometric aesthetic which makes all of their products firmly contemporary.

I'd been following their Instagram account for awhile, so I was quite excited to see that their A/W '14 collection is now out. Here are some of my favourites:

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Angle Wallpaper

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The Kelim cushion set

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Mohair throw
How cosy is that mohair throw! Perfect for snuggling into when the weather cools.

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Brass toilet paper holder
Even their TP holder has a strong aesthetic feel. I say, shut up and take my money... if I had some to splurge on a specialised TP holder, that is)!

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Brass salad servers

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Cabinet
The grey-mint paneling and metal lattice behind come together to form a mid-century look. 

Check out ferm LIVING's A/W catalogue here or below. For more visual candy, follow them on Instagram @fermliving.