Tips for sensitive skin that work

No vague tips like “eating healthy”. Here are actual tips that work.

How many of us have experienced troubled skin?

When I was younger, I had blemish-free skin. Things changed after I started work. I narrowed it down to stress and exposure to alcoholic drinks.

I went from living a very healthy and regular lifestyle to drinking with friends and colleagues and dealing with an irregular schedule.

First skin nightmare

My first skin nightmare started when I was 22. I broke out into huge red spots on only one side of my face.

I went from living a very healthy and regular lifestyle to drinking with friends and colleagues and dealing with an irregular schedule.

I tried the usual remedies: cleaning up visible dust, changing pillow cases, chugging green tea, and avoiding dairy products.

For days, I avoided seeing my family without makeup.

One day, my father said to me gently to see a dermatologist. He’d pay for the visit.

So I visited a dermatologist from the National University Hospital Singapore. I paid about SGD100-200.

Sadly, my experience was terrible. I was diagnosed (wrongly) with adult acne.   

When I asked the doctor why I only had acne on one side of my face, he said, “Well, only God knows.” It was a very unscientific answer and I felt that he did not take my concerns seriously.

Over the past few years, I learned what works for me and what does not. Here are the tips which really worked for me and my sensitive skin.

1. Know if it’s acne or an allergy

The diagnosis I received from the dermatologist was inaccurate.

I was given a topical steroid to use on my face and a treatment called clindamycin gel.

I had an adverse reaction to the creams which included peeling and itching skin. It took a long time before I felt the irritation really subsided.

Take a look at these side effects of using topical steroids.

I felt my skin was really damaged for a while. Since I did not apply the cream to my entire face and only the areas with bumps, I could see that the patch of skin was affected adversely by the steroids. The skin quality felt different and was more sensitive. I felt the worst culprit was the clindamycin gel.

I eventually found out that I did not have acne. I noticed that my skin was not red and itchy in the morning, but was red and on the verge of breaking out in the evenings after work.

I realized it was the Dior Nude powder compact that was affecting my skin!

After I stopped using the powder compact, my “acne” disappeared.

My only advice here is to really make sure you are actually suffering from acne and to closely observe any adverse reactions from using cosmetic products or your diet.

If you get “acne”, examine your lifestyle (has there been any changes recently?) and other symptoms (are you feeling unwell in other areas of your body?).

Before you figure out your answers, don’t go to the derm.

woman girl beauty mask
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

2. For sensitive skin, refrigerate skincare products

I still got bouts of pimples randomly, especially after drinking alcohol. They would be really deep cysts and my scars would not heal properly.

I also noticed that as I aged, my skin looked drier.

As my skin got drier, it also got more sensitive and breakouts started to occur.

Now, I think I know what works. First of all, Peter Thomas Roth products have been great for my sensitive skin and any acne marks.

The Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask reviewed here has been really effective.

The trick I discovered was to refrigerate skincare products.

Excess heat is an enemy of sensitive skin and when I consume alcohol, my face heats up a little. This exacerbates the effects of drinking alcoholic drinks.

But by applying a cool gel, especially the rose stem cell mask, I was able to reduce the sensitivity and reactivity of my skin.

Some beauty gurus suggest massaging or tapping the product into your skin. Big mistake for people with sensitive skin – any massages, excess rubbing, and even the heat from my hands can flare up pimples and flaws.

If you REALLY need to touch your face, do it with cooled products or frozen spoons.

I noticed that when I travel to cool climates, such as Korea, I have no skin issues. I attribute it to the cool air decreasing the sensitivity of my skin to my cosmetics and reducing oil produced.

spilled bottle of yellow capsule pills
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Random discovery: spamming fish oil pills

It was a totally unexpected discovery, but I noticed my skin quality increasing after taking fish oil pills: inflammation decreased, scars cleared up, and my skin looked like it was back in its early twenties!

There are tons of studies online that shows that omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation (when your body fights something harmful and may cause the affected area to be red and hot).

I also noticed that I had less mood swings, especially pre-period. I felt less tired. I assumed I was just happy or excited to get out of bed, but I realized it may be the fish oil pills.

I should have known that dry skin, brittle hair and nails, mood swings, and fatigue are all signs of lacking omega-3 fatty acids. The most telling sign is that I have extremely brittle nails.

I only made the connection to lacking fatty acids when I saw my skin clearing up after eating pills regularly.

If you’re suffering from the same symptoms I had, know that this worked for me. I strongly recommend Blackmores and any of their products containing marine omega-3 fatty acids.

Some brands of fish oil pills and vitamins give really unpleasant smelling belches and nausea, but I have not experienced any negative effects from Blackmores’, especially if they’re fresh pills and refrigerated.

I seem to sleep better as well.

If you have issues with your skin, try having the recommended amount of fish oil pills or less daily and green tea.

There was no way I could have eaten that much omega-3 fatty acids in my natural diet. Realistically, it’s costly to have fish every day. Moreover, it’s difficult to cook and prepare food as I am working. When I’m working, I also find it difficult to eat enough healthy food due to a lack of time. Therefore, supplements are a really good investment.

Hopefully, these tips help you live a healthier life!

6 reasons why you shouldn’t visit Estetica Singapore (Updated and resolved!)

Questionable selling practices, Mandarin-heavy service, and customer data privacy issues.

Update: This has been resolved with Estetica very pleasantly. The full original review is below the update which spans from March 20 – 25, 2018. Read on! 

March 20, 2018

I’m going to Korea in a week, so I decided to use my package with Estetica to clean up my face.

It’s been 5 months since I bought my package. Overall, I think the package has been fairly pricey to me plus the first encounter with Estetica was not great, but it’s undeniable that the effects have been good. My skin is clearer (I also stopped drinking as often as I did last year).

My scars from the pimple scare are still there, but I don’t feel super bad without concealer or makeup now. And the pimples that my therapists pop never scars.

Verdict? I might continue treatments with Estetica if my wallet allows it.

Estetica’s team read my blog 😱

But before my third treatment, account manager Vivian came up to me and asked to meet in a room. I knew something was up, probably with this blog. Oops.

She was pretty nervous but to her credit, everyone in Estetica Yishun was super nice to me despite the negative review! Plus I was going to have my facial after the meeting with her, so I felt worried.

The main takeaways from Vivian were:

  1. “Sorry, it’s Estetica’s mistake and we’ve reviewed all our mistakes.”
  2. “We read your blog and thought it was actually a balanced review.”
  3. “We’re hoping you can pull the post down, even though it’s your right to air your opinions.” (For this, management actually clarified that this was not what they wanted to communicate.)

Her response was totally reasonable! I was surprised that Estetica thought my review was balanced since I added all the reaction gifs just to make it a more engaging read.

I offered to unpublish the post and get a refund since I was worried it would get awkward. To Vivian’s credit she insisted I keep my package and it would be “very bad” of them to refund me over a bad review.

I was honest about the fact that I wasn’t sure what to do as well.

Truth is, I wrote the review hoping to be totally honest about my experience. But it’s not my intention to damage anyone’s career or reputation or business. Afterall, this blog isn’t monetized or read widely.

A refund would mean at least, my issue has been resolved. Taking down the post would be goodwill and a sign that the case is closed from me.

Deep down inside, I hoped for a resolution which would not require me to unpublish the post since my objective has always been to write the truth.

Vivian then said she’ll call the management to discuss further.

When I was done with my facial, we arranged a meeting with the management on Friday.

Kept thinking about that between Tuesday to Friday! I felt so stupid about posting a bad-ish review. And I thought they might sue me.

My reaction ranged between:

And:

I was a bit scared about the upcoming meeting, but I received a meeting confirmation call from one of their corporate office staff, Karen, who sounded a bit nervous and apologetic.


March 23, 2018

I met with the director of Estetica, Lim Ker Han, at the Yishun outlet. What happened next surprised me greatly!

After admittedly one or two sleepless nights wondering if Estetica would sue me for defamation or something, I turned up for my appointment with the management.

Throughout the meetings with the staff and the management, they’ve been nothing but non-defensive, courteous, and apologetic.

This was a very pleasant surprise especially after I was thinking of all sorts of doomsday scenarios.

Resolutions

I offered Han the chance to do a written line-by-line rebuttal of what I said since that’s only fair, but they declined. So, I’ll go through what Hans said to me here.

Here are the cons which might be misunderstandings or minor inconveniences:

1. The staff I’ve met thus far speak very little English.

Han told me that he wishes Estetica staff could speak all four languages in Singapore complete with Japanese and Korean chops. They do send staff to a four-week English language course, but to be reasonable it’s really hard to expect staff to be able to speak fluently. Some don’t speak English at all. “Please be patient with us,” he told me.

2. Even if you sign up for the trial promotion facial, you might end up being persuaded to buy an SGD7,800 package first without having the trial.

For this, Han apologized. All staff go through sales training and learn sales tactics. He said that my experience might have crossed some boundaries for me, but to another, it might be reasonable. Nonetheless, Estetica will avoid making customers feel uncomfortable, as my first experience with them was.

The manager of the store has been with Estetica for over 20 years, and I was worried she would be awkward with me. But she’s really nice to me thus far in the short time I met her.

3. The staff may try to sell you a semi-permanent makeup treatment without making it clear.

Vivian told me on March 20 that following my review, Estetica researched it and have stopped using the term “micro needling” or “derma rolling” to talk about this treatment. She apologized for the miscommunication.

I checked Estetica’s website and true enough this language was avoided for the BB Dewy Shine Therapy treatment. Kudos to them for rectifying it and clearing things up! 👍

Next up, the scary part.

4. Be prepared for your data like your name, age, date of purchase, and amount purchased to be shared during the consultation. Maybe your picture too.

Han apologized for this mistake and have counseled his staff. It was inexcusable.

I did not realize it when writing my review but this might be the most damaging thing to Estetica.

Moving forward I’m not too sure what will happen since this is a mistake made in the past. But at least I flagged it out and Estetica will never make this mistake again.


What I felt about this

Overall? I think Estetica’s response has been very apologetic and they’ve been working hard on rectifying the issues I raised.

Estetica has been very apologetic and they’ve been working hard on rectifying the issues I raised.

I sincerely appreciate that they reached out and the director came down to speak to me directly, with zero intimidation and a lot of warmth.

I can’t say they will do that for every negative review posted online, but I think the management did their very best. It’s not easy to run a business and have zero errors.

Gifts of goodwill

To be clear, even if Estetica did not gift me anything, I would have written the clarification above.

Han gave me some Estetica products as a sign of goodwill for the negative experience I had. He said that these were gifts and he’s not buying a good review. I appreciated that!

Since it’s a gift and not in exchange for a follow-up review, I accepted it. I’m declaring the gifts here:

Estetica-goodwill
The range of Estetica products Han provided for sensitive skin. In particular, the sunscreen is popular.

Personally, I’m quite excited to try the sunscreen. I’ve been using Kose’s sunscreen for a long time and it’s non-oily and clogging. But as my therapist noted in my third facial, I have some congestion so I think a change might help.

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Note: I reviewed the products above here.

I was curious about how the products looked so I took them out. They’re in a really nice shade of rose gold and I admit that I love rose gold.

That was all about the meeting!


March 25, 2018

Estetica reached out to clarify the data claims. They gave me a missed call.

Here is their message to me in full:

Estetica data response

(On Friday, after the meeting, I got Starbucks cards for involved staff at Yishun’s outlet to show that I have moved on and appreciate their kind gesture of picking out products suitable for my skin.)

I’ve not made any changes to the original post below, which you can read here.


October 25, 2017:

I had an outbreak of pimples recently and decided it was a good time to have some loving self-care for my skin. I decided to pay a visit to Estetica Beauty in Yishun.

But after visiting, I felt that there were more cons than pros. The service I’ve had on my one visit so far has been pleasant, but I’ve been left with more questions than answers.

Firstly, these were good signs in my opinion:

  1. The staff there seem pretty nice and happy to negotiate the prices.
  2. The therapist extracted my pimples successfully and my skin was better after the first treatment.
  3. The therapist plucked my brows and I got a fantastic shoulder massage.
  4. I had no downtime or negative effects from the facial.
  5. The staff genuinely believe in their beauty services. The manager was doing a facial as I did my treatment in the next room.

Overall, I would say Estetica helped improved my appearance after the first facial.

However, there are some aspects of their service that I disliked.

This is my word against Estetica’s, so please take it with a pinch of salt.

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Image credit: Pixabay. My visit to Estetica Singapore in Yishun left me with more questions than answers.

1. Language: a serious obstacle

The staff at Estetica Yishun spoke mostly Mandarin instead of English.  If you’re more comfortable speaking in English and want to understand exactly what is going on, go to Aeon at Orchard Road instead.

The language problem was exacerbated when the manager was selling the package, which I explain below under the semi-permanent makeup procedure section.

2. From SGD68 to SGD7,800 – even before the trial facial (which never happened)

During the consultation, pictures of my skin were taken for analysis. To be honest, when I saw the images, it looked like something any layman could analyze based on the lines and the color of the skin.

The consultation process was more focused on selling than on prescribing services.

I had signed up for this promotion to understand what Estetica’s facial experience is like.

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Image credit: Estetica. The banner says “1st Trial Promo”. It’s misleading. What I understand from a “trial promo” is that I can try out a business’ service before purchasing more. It isn’t the case for my experience at Estetica.

From many online reviews, most reviewers went through a consultation and then enjoyed different facials recommended for their skin.

The Smart Local, which I thought was reputable, did the OxyGeneo 3-in-1 Therapy in 2016. The Honey Combers did the Derma Calm Facial in 2015. This review featured on Yahoo had a two-hour facial.

However, instead of being escorted to do a recommended facial immediately for the price of the first trial, I had to decide on a package immediately and buy it first.  

That’s not a first trial promo.

What I understood from the trial promotion was that I could do a recommended facial for SGD68, and then decide if I wanted to commit to buying a full package. I know packages can be pricey.

I didn’t get to do the trial facial, but was pressured to purchase a SGD7,800 package immediately. 

When I asked why I wasn’t doing the trial facial, I was told that the “customized facial” advertised was just a basic facial. They told me my skin condition was bad and so I couldn’t do any “basic facials” but the costlier “special ones” instead.

The classic bait and switch!

I said I signed up for the trial promotion in the first place because I wanted to know what Estetica’s facials were like and how my skin reacted to Estetica’s products before committing to a pricey package.

In response, the manager gave me…

… A one thousand dollar discount, from SGD7,800 to SGD6,800.

I should have walked out there and then, but I really wanted to do the facial in the end. While the selling process was unpleasant, I do think Estetica’s treatments may not be inherently lousy.

I can’t help but compare my Estetica experience to Aeon Medical’s half-hour consultation, where I felt the doctor actually knew what he was talking about. Rather than taking just skin samples with a brightly lit camera-pen, Aeon took full-face photos that showed both freckles or UV damaged areas and sensitive skin areas.

The selling was done after the doctor’s medical advice, which means that you get a clearer idea of what you’re paying for.

3. Tried to sell me a semi-permanent makeup procedure without making the procedure clear

I was not looking to do a semi-permanent makeup procedure. All I wanted was a facial near my home.

My interest was piqued when I heard them mention “micro needling”.

To convince me to buy more services, the manager showed me before and after effects of the treatment taken on the phone. True enough, the customers’ complexion had improved significantly.

But the customers’ pictures immediately after the first session of “micro needling” looked too good to be true. There was no blood, no punctures, just smoother, whiter skin.

Redness is a side effect of derma needling procedures. Here’s an example. No pain no gain.

Not believing my eyes, I specifically asked if the treatment was derma/micro needling and whether it would cause redness or bleeding.

“Micro needling (also known as collagen induction therapy) involves using fine needles to create hundreds of tiny, invisible puncture wounds in the top layer of skin.” (Source)

The manager said, yes, it is micro needling, and no, there is no downtime or redness! She held up a bottle and said they’ll inject the “serum” into my skin with tiny needles.

The serum looked like foundation. I didn’t notice it at first and just thought it was the way the “serum” looks.

I left thinking that the customers did micro needling only. It was so miraculous that they had instant results instead of looking like they were bleeding from every pore of their face.

I realized only when I got home that Estetica was trying to sell me the BB Dewy Shine Therapy: a semi-permanent makeup treatment using MTS (Micro Needle Therapy System).

Image credit: Jessie Ting. It finally clicked when I saw the bottles of foundation on Google Image Search.

“A semi-permanent make-up treatment using MTS (Micro Needle Therapy System) with skin colour brightening ampoules infused with healing properties.” (Source)

Injecting color into your skin for a semi-permanent effect is different from inducing collagen with micro needling.

I felt like an idiot. Of course, the customers’ complexions improved. They might just as well be wearing BB cream post-treatment.

During the sale process, it was not clear that they were trying to get me to buy this semi-permanent makeup treatment. If they had referred to the bottles of “serum” as “BB cream” instead or even said the name of the treatment, I would have told them that I wasn’t interested in semi-permanent makeup.

Because the manager spoke mostly Mandarin, omitted mentions of “BB cream”, and did not use any of the names of Estetica’s services, she successfully made me think that I would eventually receive a micro-needling treatment. 

It reminds me of what this lady, also a negative reviewer, went through. For this reviewer, at least she had a trial facial first before paying for her package. I didn’t even get a trial!

Estetica told her: “我们一定会把你的皮肤治好.” (“We will definitely cure your skin.”).

Estetica told me: “You no longer have to wear foundation when you go out.” I thought this meant that my skin would be cured and healed so nicely I won’t need foundation.

Perhaps, Estetica thought customers would have been ok with getting their face semi-permanently tattooed without describing the actual process.

To me, this procedure involves injecting foundation/colors into your skin – even if the colors are mixed with “ampoules”.

Imagine getting a face tattoo and not knowing that it was a face tattoo because they called the ink a “serum”.

Wow. Close shave. Imagine if I had requested this “micro needling” treatment.


You’ve read so far and probably have your own gut response or criticism to what I wrote.

For instance, signing up for a trial promotion facial doesn’t mean I’m necessarily entitled to one. Taken in good faith, maybe the “customized facial” (or “basic facial”) really wasn’t suitable for my skin.

And perhaps I misunderstood them when they were explaining the micro-needling treatment. I’d like to give the specialists the benefit of doubt.

Here is where it gets serious.


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Image credit: Pixabay.

4. Forget customer data privacy

I was undecided at signing such a huge package especially without being able to try out the facial.

Shockingly, the manager whipped out past receipts of other customers to show that some customers bought SGD6,800-7,800 worth of beauty services to last over three to five years.

I know she wanted to help me make my decision, but I could see customers’ information and she made no effort to hide it.

During the skin consultation, I also saw the names and gender of customers before me.

5. Packages and extra comments offered

Estetica offered me packages in this order. I did not include the value of the products given except for the package I bought:

  • SGD7,800, no expiry
  • SGD6,800, to be used in 3 years
  • SGD2,800, for any facials or services
  • SGD1,800, credits for any facials or services, and SGD300 worth of products – I bought this package.
  • SGD 1,200, for only one type of facial

But during the consultation, the manager commented on my personal belongings. They seemed to be actively looking for income indicators, such as handbags and jewelry.

Later when I was paying, they commented that I must have a lot of savings. Such comments are definitely not warranted.

To recap, here are the pros:

  1. The staff there seem pretty nice and happy to negotiate the prices.
  2. The therapist extracted my pimples successfully and my skin was better after the first treatment.
  3. The therapist plucked my brows and I got a fantastic shoulder massage.
  4. I had no downtime or negative effects from the facial.
  5. The staff genuinely believe in their beauty services. In fact, the manager was doing a facial.

Here are the cons which might be misunderstandings or minor inconveniences:

  1. The staff I’ve met thus far speak very little English.
  2. Even if you sign up for the trial promotion facial, you might end up being persuaded to buy an SGD7,800 package first without having the trial.
  3. The staff may try to sell you a semi-permanent makeup treatment without making it clear. If you feel negative about semi-permanent makeup, beware.

Here are the serious cons:

  1. Be prepared for your data like your name, age, date of purchase, and amount purchased to be shared during the consultation. Maybe your picture too, since I do not know if the manager had received the customers’ consent to share their treatment photos with me.
  2. The staff will zoom in on things that indicate your ability to pay.

Verdict: Why I still bought a package

I thought the price was still reasonable enough for specialized care. Also, I didn’t want to head all the way to town to do a facial.

I was simply desperate for a solution to the 10 pimples and scars on my face, but not in town so I won’t have to walk around without makeup. The first facial went well.

Nonetheless, the consultation was a negative experience. I never did my trial facial before I was pressured into buying a package. Estetica staff showing me other customers’ receipts may be an invasion of their privacy.

If you think I’m biased, there are other negative reviews on Yelp about Estetica at Northpoint.

Muji’s Molded Cups will help women go braless

That was when I knew what it means to trust in Japanese engineering.

Ok, some girl talk here.

For years even before I “became a woman“, I’ve been squished, prodded, stuffed, and sliced by bras. Stray underwires prod me in my flesh, leaving me with a sore red mark. Straps press into my shoulders. Needless to say, on sweaty days, an ill-fitting bra can be tortuous and even infuriating.

Hell hath no fury like a girl with compressed underboobs.

I first went into Muji in one of Bugis’ malls to get a clear storage box. It keeps my things in office from spilling over to my colleagues’ desks – the perils of an open concept office. The design is minimalist and transforms my obtrusive belongings into a decoration.

After purchasing a number of wonderfully clear boxes, Muji has become one of my favorite haunts. I’ve discovered the variety of instant food, useful organization aids, and clothes.

Bugis is a hot, sticky, and crowded area in the city. By the time I get into office, I’m panting and pulling at my tee.The main offender is my bra. Escaping into the pantry for a cold drink and to avoid committing any public acts of indecency is my priority.

Thus, one pleasant and wholly unexpected discovery has been their no-bra gear.

Relax la, they aren’t “indecent” – they’re tops with built-in bras. These braless tops consist of:

  1. A mesh layer to hold everything together
  2. A strap at the bottom
  3. And two molded cups (no nipples!)

“Horrors of horrors! I can’t imagine going braless for a day, even at home!” I thought.

Then again, the Asian country with arguably the most conservative day-to-day dress code in the world is helping us go braless? Surely this flimsy thing should suffice!

I needed innerwear for some of my shirts and took the plunge to buy one.

The Asian country with arguably the most conservative day-to-day dress code in the world is helping us go braless.

I walked out of Muji carrying my loot.

“This is the end. I am going to walk around braless at some point in the future. OMG.” I thought to myself.

The next day, I wore the black top with the mesh cups under a lace throw over for a day. That was when I knew what it means to trust in Japanese engineering.

muji-braless
I think she’s wearing the braless camisole. Looks ok, doesn’t it? Image credit: Muji.

The slim elastic which provides support never once rode up my chest, or worse, my underboob. It stayed where it was supposed to be – silently strong and providing the adequate support I need.

Here are a few more observations of my new gal pal:

  1. FREEDOM! I could do whatever I wanted with my arms, chests, and back – wave them around, stretch, and so on.
  2. I ran for the bus and it definitely felt weird, but not uncomfortable. Once I hopped onto the bus, I wiggled my shirt a little and that was it.
  3. I did not look rude at all. My nipples weren’t sticking out. My boobs weren’t hanging out. I looked perfectly normal. Starting is the hardest part.

Starting is the hardest part. Go braless.

I could lie down comfortably. If you can’t sleep without a bra for any reason, you can wear this to sleep. And perhaps, your mom will finally stop telling you that you’ll get breast cancer. Yes, some people think that sleeping in a bra can give you breast cancer. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

I can imagine wearing this under, for instance, a stuffy suit just to provide some shape and absorb sweat.

The cons:

  1. It offers less support than an actual bra. I won’t know how women with E cups and above would feel. But I’m guessing that it could actually be extremely comfortable. A braless shirt could potentially provide light support without feeling like a sausage.
  2. I’ve only worn this a couple of times, so I don’t know how well it holds up in the wash compared to a bra that has more structural integrity.

To end off this post, to answer your question of why you would even want to not wear a bra, here are some outfit suggestions:

  • When you run out of bras
  • With your yoga pants for a low-impact workout session sans bounce, or under a leotard for ballerinas
  • With shorts and a stole on a warm casual day
  • Under a pullover just to feel like you’re wearing something underneath
  • When you want to wear something under a revealing top such as singlets with huge armholes
  • For lounging around at home

All in all, I truly recommend going braless with these Japanese inventions. It’ll provide you some respite from bras on stuffy days.

And to all the hardworking people who’re helping women go braless, thank you.

Sumiya at Orchard Central

A Japanese gem in the heart of town.

There’s a gem in town.

Sumiya at Orchard Central (Facebook) has a “happy hour dinner”. The price of a meal that is typically very luxurious costs 50% less. Moreover, I’ve been there twice, once directly after my trip in Japan. The quality of the food here is comparable to that of food served in restaurants in Japan.

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The menu. Do you see something you like?
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The menu. Do you see something you like?

The price is reasonable for the taste of the food. I think this restaurant cares about the aesthetics of the dish as well, which is important to me when assessing the quality of a Japanese restaurant. For example, the plates they use are very beautiful such as this seashell shaped dish.

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This seashell dish is so cute!

Here’s the food!

sumiya-orchardcentral-1
Unagi and tempura double don.

The tempura is well done. Not oily, lightly fried, and I can still taste the fragrance of the prawn. I love that they didn’t douse the rice with tons of sauce as some restaurants do. Wet rice is not nice. I was able to eat the entire dish with only chopsticks, Japanese style!

Needless to say, the unagi is very good. The egg is also a winner in my heart. It isn’t heavy at all. That’s the reason I keep going back – to get that taste of Japan back in my mouth.

On to the next don…

sumiya-orchardcentral-6
Seared Japanese Wagyu Shabu Don with Crab Meat and Salmon Roe

The crab which I think is the main draw isn’t very flavorful. I clarified with the staff there that it’s snow crab, which I really love for its taste. Altogether, this was a very nice tasting and well-balanced dish. The wagyu is quite tasty, and I could tell it was not the usual shabu meat. I would say nothing really sets this dish apart, but I could be wrong, as I had finished the entire bowl previously. Good to give it a go nonetheless.


Why do I look for high-quality Japanese restaurants in Singapore?

Usually Japanese restaurants are very expensive, but I find that the taste is lacking or incomparable to the food I had in Japan. That’s totally understandable. That is why I am happy with Sumiya.

A couple of months ago, I returned home from Japan. It was my second major trip away from Singapore with my boyfriend. Also, Japan was one of the countries I wanted to visit for a while. So we went there, and even till now, I am craving all the food from Japan. Tamago, dorayaki, tea, and even konbini foods like the latest spicy mentaiko onigiri.

We ate this tamago at Kyubei Sushi in Ginza. We really recommend this place for sushi! The service we received was top notch and the food was beyond words. Again, my boyfriend is Korean and intercountry relations are iffy. We didn’t experience any racism in Japan and not in any of these restaurants. People were very kind to us.

Tamago, one of the dishes served at Kyubei Sushi, Ginza

I really wanted to have eel in Japan, especially after our insane sushi experience. I was especially blown away by the fact that the chef made the distinction between sea water and fresh water eel. The Japanese really care a lot about food and the quality of their work.

Nearing the end of our trip, on our 5th anniversary, we decided to go to this place in Kyoto to have eel. I had mine paired with hot sake.  It was my treat to my boyfriend 🙂 Service in this restaurant was impeccable. Japanese girls are all so cute.

Boyfriend’s food. One way to eat this is to have it like a normal rice bowl. Another way is to pour the “tea” provided into the bowl, mix, and slurp it up.
I chose the set which was slightly more expensive. It was very good.

The trip to Japan was very memorable, especially because we celebrated our fifth anniversary in Kyoto. This is a pendant from J.estina. I’m a fan of ice skater Kim Yuna and she endorses this jewelry.

fifth-anniversary-necklace
Gift from my boyfriend for our fifth anniversary!