Wednesday, June 22, 2016

U Escape @ Plaza Singapura

[Media Invite]

Escape Room games has become increasingly popular and it is the latest trend where families or a group of friends can team up together, get themselves locked in a room and figure out how to escape from it in the stipulated time limit.

Our family is always game to take on the Escape Room challenge as we love to crack our brains and put our skills to a test. To date we have yet to escape from one successfully and that somehow motivated us to keep on trying! I also realise Escape Room is extremely effective in getting children and adults to put away their gadgets, and dedicate their time to work together as a team and focus on solving the puzzles together.


Keen on taking on the challenge and do you have what it takes? Check out U Escape - the latest Escape Room in town, is powered by Timezone, in partnership with Breakout Kansas City (Breakout KC). Cunningly designed and crafted by founders, Matt Baysinger, Ryan Henrich and Luke Thompson, U Escape features all the original themes from Breakout KC.


Located on level 7 of Plaza Singapura, U Escape has FOUR themed rooms. You have 1 objective - to ESCAPE in 60 minutes! The thrill of solving the puzzles and breaking the codes is enough to keep our hands tight and busy throughout the 60 minutes of lock down. Let's check out the rooms!

GAME ROOMS THEMES

River Quay Casino (33% success rate)
Take on the role of an eagle-eyed investigator and find out a corrupt employee who has been looting the Casino!

Room 13 (29% success rate)
You don't know how you checked in, that's why this is one hotel room you would want to check out as soon as you can!

The Atomic Bunker (24% success rate)
Imagine stepping into an atomic bunker only to realise that the only way to save mankind from world destruction is to stop a reactor meltdown! And you have only 60 minutes!

Szechuan Street (22% success rate)
Ever fantasized about stepping into the polished shoes of brilliant Government Agent and tackle adventurous missions? Well, here's your chance to live the fantasy!


PRICING

Adults - $26 per pax (off peak), $29 per pax (peak)
Student - $20 per pax (off peak), $26 per pax (peak)

Children under 12 years old will be charged as student price. All prices includes GST.
Off-peak (Mondays to Thursday before 6pm)



Are you ready!? YES, WE ARE!
Do you have what it takes? SURE! WE DO!

 We took on SzeChuan Street which is one of the harder rooms at U Escape. Let's see how well we will fare! 


Unlike some Escape rooms, there are no lockers at U Escape. Visitors will bring their bags/belongings along with them into the locked rooms. However, visitors should respect the intellectual property of U Escape and refrain from using their gadgets/mobile devices to take pictures.

Before we begin, a staff did a short briefing to bring us on how the game is played. We have 3 clues and every additional clue after which will add on 3 minutes to our time!

During play, there will be a dedicated staff to observe and service us throughout our game play. Our progress is closely monitored and observed through cameras. At any point in time, if we got stuck in the game, simply wave at the cameras and shout out for help! U Escape staff will assist us by typing out the hints and projected it on the monitor screen. It is a seamless gameplay without any physical interference.


The entire 60 minutes is pretty nerve wrecking as everyone is busy digging out for clues and trying to crack them. Every corner and item looks suspicious and we are constantly on our toes, keeping watch of the time that is tickling away.


We did not manage to complete the game but it was a good try. The children were disappointed and really wanted to complete the game but we did our best! Well... we did not make it to the Hall of Fame, but everyone gets to take a group photo together.


Here are some tips for you if you are planning to take on U Escape.

1) Before entering the locked room, do remember to visit the toilet and empty your bladder!
2) Teamwork is an essential part of success. Shares out the information and think out of the box! Keep your eyes and mind open for all options!
3) When in doubt, ask for help! You have 3 chances so use it wisely. 
4) Always remember to keep a lookout on the screen for the clues and keep watch of the time!

U Escape
Address: Plaza Singapura, #07-08A, 68 Orchard Road, Singapore 238839

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dark Art 3D Studio First in Malaysia

Taking wacky and fun shots with 3D interactive artworks that appear to come to live in your camera has been a pretty common trend in the recent years. But how about taking 3D artworks that glows in the dark?

Lately, we chanced upon Dark Art 3D Studio that offers visitors a different and unique experience of photo-taking against the art of Luminous Glow 3D.

Luminous Glow 3D is an art exhibition that transform between 2 different light sources. Luminous effect is an art that combine study of science perspective and design. Through the refraction and conversion of light sources, the hidden secret in the painting is emerged.

Sounds really interesting and we decided to give it a go!


Dark Art 3D Studio is located within a quiet estate in Bandar Baru Kangkar Pulai. The nearest AEON mall (Taman Universiti) is 10km away and Johor Premium Outlet approximately 25km away. From Sutera Mall, we drove about 18km, which took us about 30 minutes to reach Dark Art 3D Studio. The area is very quiet and secluded but luckily there is a big signboard to direct us to our destination.

Take a flight of stairs up to the 2nd storey and it lead us to the entrance of Dark Art 3D Studio. Entrance fee is RM30 for adult and RM25 for children. Occupying only level 2 of the shop, the entire area is not very big. With about 23 pieces of artwork, we spent about 1 hour posing and taking fun shots.

What is unique about Dark Art 3D Studio is the gallery will change lighting between normal and luminous effect. When the background is changed into luminous lighting, visitors are advised to pause and leave from the painting to enjoy the stunning visual and capture the photo in the 'night' scene. Use of flash is not advisable.


View of the gallery in luminous effect


View of the gallery in normal lighting

The staff is very friendly and gave us a brief introduction and photo-taking tips before leaving us. She returned shortly to help us take some family shots together.


I love this photo particularly as it is against a vibrant and colourful backdrop. Really felt as we are travelling back in time with Doraemon.

Photo view in luminous effect

It is up to individual creativity to pose with the 3D artworks and it is fun to think about how you can pose differently when the lighting effect changed. I thought it was fun when the luminous light effect was switched on and the entire space is darkened. It turns out to be a perfect spot for hide-n-seek.





Despite the small space, we managed to snap a lot of photographs with famous people like Mr Bean, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Heavenly Kings and Spiderman.





It was equally as fun to pose with the different vibrant backdrops














 Which one is your favourite? Normal lighting or Luminous effect?


Before leaving Dark Art 3D Studio, remember to take some fun shots with the 3D artworks on the stairways!



Family photo with the marine creatures

Planning on a shopping trip to JPO or Sutera Mall? How about driving by Dark Art 3D Studio for an hour of fun and bring home some beautiful photos as remembrance.

Dark Art 3D Studio
Address: 26A, 28A, Jalan Pulai Ria 9, Bandar Baru Kangkar Pulai, 81300 Johor
Website: http://darkart3d.wix.com/dark-art
GPS: 1.564411,103.5864019

Pricing (Adult - RM30, Child - RM25)
Opening Hours: 12pm - 6pm

Thursday, June 9, 2016

GIVEAWAY - Choo Choo Train Ride along Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove

[GIVEAWAY]

School holiday is not only a time where children can temporary get away from their books and have some fun, it is also the period where we, as parents, can wake up slightly later, relax our minds, and plan for family trips or outings.

This June Holiday, Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove, together with Uncle Ringo are bringing fun in along the waterfront. A Choo Choo Train, proudly known as the Quayside Express will run along Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove from 3 June to 26 June 2016! Visitors can hop on board the Quayside Express from 5pm to 10pm on Fridays to Sundays, and admire the breath-taking views of the marina while enjoying the cool breeze as night falls.

Diners of Quayside Isle @ Sentosa Cove restaurants enjoy a discount of $4 ($6 to the public) when they present a same-day receipt with a minimum spend of $100, valid for 1 redemption per receipt.


~ GIVEAWAY ~

Families can enjoy a meal at the restaurants along Quayside Isle and children can hop on a ride on Quayside Express!

We have 2 sets of 2 train ticket rides to giveaway to 2 winners.

To participate in the giveaway, simply leave your name and email address on BPDGTravels fanpage entry or on this blog post "Comments" section.

Details:
* Giveaway ends Sunday, 12th June 2016, 2359hrs (Singapore time)
* Winners will be announced by Monday, 13th June 2016 (Singapore time) on BPDGTravels fanpage and via email.

~ RESULTS ~
*Updated: 13 June 2016

2 winners have been picked! Each winner will receive 2 train ticket rides on Quayside Express. You will be contacted shortly on how to receive your prize. CONGRATULATIONS!


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

烤妖 Botak BBQ @ Mount Austin

There has been a lot of rave about 烤妖 Botak BBQ and we finally made our way here to have a taste of the best BBQ in Mount Austin! The shop space has no signboard and it may not be very easy to spot (particularly for first timers). Tuck quietly along Jalan Mutiara Emas 3/1, it is located along the shop houses, across the road, opposite PappaRich and Hotel Vistaria,

Learning that there is always a long queue before its opening hours, which starts at 6.30pm, we drove down and started waiting from 5.50pm. There wasn't any queue upon our arrival but we spotted another couple, who arrived before us, waiting in their vehicle.  While waiting, we thought we could rest in our car as well, but more cars starting to drive in after 6pm and soon there is a queue forming. Not wanting to lose out, we got down from our vehicle and was third in the line. By 6.30pm, more cars drove in and very soon there were more than 10 families in the queue.

Botak BBQ started setting up their stations the moment they open for business. One station for salmon fish, one bbq station for lamb and pork, one table for frying the dumplings and one counter for taking orders and collecting of food. Everything is very systematic and orderly, A lady then started taking food orders and assigned tables for the diners.


There are only 4 selections to choose from the 'menu' - Pork, Lamb, Salmon Fish and Pan-Fried Dumpling. Since this was our first visit, we decided to try them all! The shop is not air-condition, but it's furnishing is neat. Seats get filled up very fast and some customers were seen seated outside, along the road side. 


While waiting, another lady walked to our table and took orders for our drinks. We ordered 100 plus and green tea, selling at RM2 per can. The scent of the bbq meat soon filled the entire shop space. Gladys and I could not resist taking a peek at the chefs in action as they stood by the fire, very focus in grilling the meat.

Juicy salmon getting heated up in the frying pan

Strips of marinated pork on the grills.

Botak himself in action grilling the marinated lamb chop.

I can feel the heat just merely standing there for a short moment. You can imagine the number of hours they have to stand by the fire to grill every piece of meat to perfection. I take my hats off to them for their hard work and effort!

After about 10 minutes of waiting, our number was called and we can collect our first dish - Salmon. This is Gladys' number one pick as the salmon is juicy and tender. Every bite is heavenly and we nearly wanted to order a second plate!


Grilled Pork Belly! For those who knows us well, we love pork belly and hence we ordered two servings in advance! Thankfully we did, as the meat was all wiped off shortly! I applaud for their grilling skills as it was done beautifully. Every piece of pork belly is juicy, sweet and tender. Hubby was a little disappointed as the skin of the pork belly was cut off and he actually wanted to try the skin as well. I thought it was because the skin could be too hard after the grilling and it will affect the overall taste and flavour of the dish.

Botak's grilled lamb chop is a must try as it is chewy, tender and sweet. It does not have the lamb smell and the meat is leaner and less fatty compared to the pork belly. It goes well with their chilli which is sweet and sour yet not too spicy.


Pan-fried dumpling is another highlight at Botak BBQ. Crispy skin on the outside and delicious filling of vegetable and pork within. Plus, it only cost RM10 for 9 pieces which is really a steal!


Food is placed on a brown paper, served on paper plate. Each serving of pork/lamb is about 300 - 350g and it is written on the brown paper. Our total bill comes up to RM115 (including drinks) - less than SGD40. I can understand why Botak BBQ is so popular as not only the quality of the food is good, it is also affordable. Mount Austin houses lots of cafes, restaurants and eateries offering good food and Botak BBQ is definitely one that should not be missed.  

Here's a breakdown on the charges

Salmon Fish - RM18
Pork - RM48 for 600g (RM8 for every 100g)
Lamb - RM31 for 350g (RM9 for every 100g)
Pan Fried Dumpling - RM10 for 9 pieces

烤妖 Botak BBQ
Address: Jalan Mutiara Emas 3/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.5591979,103.7819588
(Opens from 6.30pm onwards)

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