Swee Lee, the musical instrument store that we have grown up with since their earlier days in Bras Basah, is undergoing some changes. According to Straits Times article Wilmar founder’s son Kuok Meng Ru building cloud-based music community BandLab, the younger Kuok had bought over Swee Lee in 2012 and is now making it into a modern enterprise. Sales have doubled since then. The smallish Swee Lee store at Star Vista has been converted into a 5,000 sq ft flagship store. A cafe called Swee Lee Social Club is tucked away in an inner part of the store. Looks like Mr Kuok is really refreshing the musical scene. There was another Business Times report on his inroads into the global music business Kuok Meng Ru wants to buy 51% of Rolling Stone he doesn’t own.
Katong is an area known for good food and a wide range of eateries. There are all sorts of tempting and often calorie-rich food. Just take a short walk from Odeon Katong to Joo Chiat Road and there will be several very inviting ice cream parlours – like Scoop Therapy, Brownice Italian Vegan Ice Cream and Birds of Paradise Gelato Boutique – to test your self control. For those who like to indulge without feeling too guilty, there is An Acai Affair which offers acai bowls that look like ice cream and taste like ice cream.
It has been some time since we last visited the basement level of Raffles City shopping mall. At a recent stopover, there seemed to be quite a few changes and new stores have emerged. Bonheur Patisserie is a cake shop in Raffles City that we have never heard of until that visit. The cakes on display caught our eye as we passed by the store. In the darkness of the basement level the colourful display was prominent.
Jones the Grocer Great World City is the new outlet of this gourmet grocer from Down Under. It has been more than two years since the Straits Times 17 Apr 2015 article “Jones the Grocer’s Singapore stores up for sale“ which highlighted some challenges facing this celebrated cafe. At the end of that article, a loyal and optimistic retail manager was quoted as saying: “If your clientele hasn’t given up on you, why should you give up on yourself?” It would appear that she is right and things are looking up again with the addition of the new store, Jones the Grocer Great World City. Indeed, the loyal clientele has turned up in numbers in support of the new River Valley outpost.
Katong is a food paradise. With the opening of Project Acai East, we can now even enjoy sweet indulgence in Katong without feeling overly guilty. Project Acai East Katong is a new acai and smoothie bar which serves smoothies and organic acai bowls topped with fruits and other super foods. The acai bowls look great and taste good. Best of all, acai berries are known to bring a host of health benefits.
Tachihara Coffee Singapore at Millenia Walk is a new Japanese cafe. It is related to the Pullman Bakery which is a few doors away in the same mall. Tachihara Coffee serves light food such as toasts, hotdogs and sandwiches. It is a simple but delightful cafe. We have already been there for lunch and just for snacks and coffee. Here is a compilation of what we have eaten at Tachihara Coffee so far.