20 Fantastic Halal Restaurants & Cafés

By Rania Risqilla Raiqa Pramantika  Whether you’re a non-Muslim who’s unsure of where to take your Muslim friends for dinner, or you’re a Muslim and tired of eating at the same place over and over again, this roundup will be a super-handy resource. We’ve compiled a list of restaurants and cafés that aren’t just halal or Muslim-owned, but that cover a wide range of cuisines – from burgers and buffets to Italian, Chinese and more!A Poke TheoryWhether you’re a health freak, a sashimi lover or just up to date with food trends, you’ll be very familiar with poke, a tasty Hawaiian concoction of fresh fish and nutritious veggies. A Poke Theory is one of just two halal-certified poke brands on the island, and definitely worth a visit to any of its handful of locations. There’s plenty of Instagrammable and wholesome goodness here, so get your whole crew ready!Status: Halal-certifiedTelok Ayer | Marina One | Somerset | Novena | Bugis | Kent Ridgepoketheory.com.sgMukshidonnaFans of all things Korean, or even just of good food, your prayers have been answered by the gods of budae jjigae (Korea’s famous “army stew”). We finally have a halal-certified restaurant serving this delicious dish. Mukshidonna, a franchise of the original well-known restaurants of the same name in Korea, is located in Downtown East, so there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy (Wild Wild Wet, for starters!) before or after you fill your belly.Status: Halal-certified1 Pasir Ris Close, E!Avenue #02-324 Market Square @ Downtown East6386 8562 | mukshidonna.com.sg Wanderlost LoungeThe Muslim owner of Wanderlost opened this rooftop bar with a spectacular view of Singapore’s business towers because he was inspired by the childhood fairy tales he grew up with. If you make it here just after 7pm, you might be lucky enough to catch an evening of halal-drinking before a beautiful sunset. Hang on: a Muslim bar and drinking? Well, the owner is a professional mixologist and this non-alcoholic bar serves unique, sustainable and healthy mocktails that will have you going back for more. (If you’re familiar with Atap Bar, this gem was started by the same team.) It’s a must for a romantic date or just a fun girls’ night out!Status: Muslim-owned15 Enggor Road, #12-01 Realty Centre6909 7701 | wanderlostlounge.com Fika Swedish Cafe & RestaurantFika not only serves amazing Swedish food but it’s incredibly Instagram-friendly – you won’t need much effort to come up with a food hashtag here. That could help explain why it’s such a loved place for Muslims in Singapore. Located in the heart of one of the island’s most photogenic districts, it’s an ideal place for a photoshoot, for a corporate meeting or any other event of note. Status: Halal-certified 257 Beach Road6396 9096 | fikacafe.comYi Zun Beef NoodleWith two locations now, this traditional Chinese and halal restaurant is the first of its kind in Singapore, and boasts full-house crowds – especially during Ramadan season for those breaking their fast. Yi Zun is owned by Madam Aishah, a Muslim Chinese from the mainland, and with every bite you can really feel and taste her passion. There’s a prayer corner here too, so you can take your time over the amazing hand-pulled noodles without a worry! Status: Muslim-owned, halal certification in progress45 Sam Leong Road | 60 Joo Chiat Road6291 6616 | 6909 9287 | facebook.com/Yi-Zun-Beef-Noodle The Black Hole GroupThe mastermind behind so many halal and Muslim-owned hipster cafes in Singapore, The Black Hole Group just keeps expanding its horizons, enticing customers into its foodie black hole! You’ll never get bored of the food at these venues; whether it’s burgers, tacos or truffle fries, or something else from the group’s travels around our planet. This is definitely a jackpot for families, couples and friends alike to enjoy. Status: all muslim-owned, afterwit halal-certifiedWorking Title | Tipo Pasta Bar | Afterwit | The Mad Sailors | [email protected] | theblackhole.sg IsuramuyaFancy a filling Japanese curry or some elegant tuna sashimi after an energy-expending session day of ice skating? While most Japanese stalls in Singapore are non-halal, Isuramuya located right above the ice skating rink, is an exception. Watch skaters on the cold arena below while slurping on hot green tea or a nice plate of soba. This restaurant also has its very own small halal Japanese supermarket for taking produce home. Status: halal-certified2 Jurong East Central, #04-19 JCube6262 3008 | isuramuya.com Positano RistoEver walked past those mouth-watering Italian bistros in Orchard, but had to contain yourself because they don’t serve halal food? With the rise of Muslim-friendly takes on many cuisines in Singapore, there are new halal-certified Italian diners popping up, including Positano Risto. Awed by the extraordinary beauty of Positano, Italy, during a trip with his wife, one of the co-owners of this restaurant vowed to instil the same enchantment they felt into the dining experience. As a bonus, Positano Risto is just a short walk from Sultan Mosque!Status: halal-certified66 Bussorah Street6292 1866 | positanoristo.comThe HaliaPaying homage to its location in the Botanical Gardens, this restaurant’s contours and ambience embody its natural surrounds. Built to complement the ginger garden nearby (halia means “ginger” in Malay), it also pays tribute to the warmth and earthy nature of ginger in its menu. This is a must-try for nature lovers, wholesome food lovers … or even just lovers!Status: Halal-certified1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden, Singapore Botanic Garden8444 1148 | thehalia.com FatPapasOwner and local celebrity Sheikh Haikel fell in love with Fatboy’s country-fried steak and was inspired to start his own burger joint. After eight years of trying to get Fatboy’s co-founder and creator Bernie Tay on board, Haikel finally convinced him to open a Fatboy’s halal counterpart: thus, FatPapas was born. Known for its country-fried steak and Wimpy Burger, the joint is not only a hit amongst the Islamic crowd but with people from all walks of life.Status: Halal-certified17 Bali Lane | 922 Yishun Avenue 2, #01-150 |2 Tampines Central 5 #03-05/31 fatpapas.sgThe Dim Sum PlaceEnvious when your non-Muslim friends brag about their Din Tai Fung dinners on social media? Craving some dim sum but don’t feel like going all the way to a halal hawker or eating house? Fret no more. This restaurant, within walking distance of Sultan Mosque, specialises in dim sum and other Chinese food that is rarely halal-certified. It’s also very family-friendly, as you’ll see when looking around at kids laughing and enjoying themselves and the food.Status: Halal-certified791 North Bridge Road6655 8787 | thedimsumplace.sg Royz Et VousWith non-alcoholic wine and some of the best steaks you can get in Singapore at such a reasonable price, this is an adored local gem. Be it as a break from an afternoon of shopping at Decathlon, a cute date night out or for some family fun, you can always crack open a cold one with the loved ones the halal way at Royz Et Vous!Status: Muslim-owned137 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01 | 750 Chai Chee Road, #01-16 Viva Business Park,6293 0270 | 6636 3537 | royzetvous.com.sgThe Ramen StallGot a sudden ramen craving? Don’t worry, The Ramen Stall has you covered. With its 5pm to 5am hours on weekdays, you won’t have to worry about suppressing your late-night munchies ever again. Even at the most nefarious timings, you’ll notice how this place is never empty. Yet the restaurant is just as accommodating if you want to pay a visit with family or friends for a weekend lunch, thanks to new Saturday and Sunday opening hours of midday to 5am.Status: Halal-certified787 North Bridge Road6655 0800 | theramenplace.sgTok TokTok Tok is about the most Indonesian spot you’ll find in Singapore, not only for the food, but for the fact that no stone is left unturned in recreating the ambience of our wonderful neighbour – yet without an overdose of Balinese décor. Surrounded by rustic street art, it’s great place to hang, and has a more affordable price range than most Indonesian restaurants here.Status: Halal-certifiedAnn Siang Road | [email protected] | Paya Lebar Square 6221 1760 | 6334 1501 | 6904 3171 | toktok.com.sg SofraYou don’t have to travel far to get a taste of the magnificent land of the Turks, with Sofra, Singapore’s very own “Little Turkey”. The place is drenched in authentic décor and artefacts from the country, and the staff are all Turkish. There’s plenty of good food here, mixed with great cultural elements.Status: Halal-certified100 Beach Road, #02-42/44 Shaw Tower, Shaw Leisure Gallery,6291 1433 | sofra.sgKatong KitchenTravel back in time and experience Singapore’s diverse heritage at Katong Kitchen, where you can taste a range of different cuisines, enjoy the Peranakan ambience and try out a series of harmonious fusion dishes. It’s undoubtedly a great dinner spot for family or friends to appreciate all that our unique country has to offer.Status: Halal-certified25 Marine Parade, Village Hotel Katong, Level 46551 2141 | katongkitchen.com.sg IndoChiliNot for the penny-pinchers, IndoChili has one of the best Indonesian eateries in Singapore, and is absolutely worth every cent of its higher prices. Unlike many eateries in Indonesia itself, you won’t have to be concerned about added MSG here, as the team is committed to their pledge of providing a healthy, fresh, homemade escape into the heart of Indonesian cuisine.Status: Halal-certified54 Zion Road | 7 Wallich Street, #B1-03| 2 Science Park Drive, #01-096445 1766 | 6386 6427 | 6909 0177 | indochili.com 665ºFWho says you can’t have a halal fine-dining experience in a hotel in Singapore? Andaz, a boutique hotel by Hyatt, boasts a steakhouse, 665ºF, where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Singapore’s skyscrapers and the Bugis area, and where non-Muslim diners can choose from a vast collection of wine or other alcoholic beverages – so, a little something for everyone. There’s a halal kitchen led by Chef Josephine Loke, who has cooked in Singapore’s Michelin-starred restaurants.Status: Halal kitchen5 Fraser Street, Andaz, Level 386408 1255 | hyatt.comCarouselWith such an internationally diversified buffet, you’ll be spoilt for choice at Carousel. This is among the best-known halal buffets in Singapore, so you can expect quite a crowd – don’t forget to book beforehand! Bring your Muslim and non-Muslim friends alike for a celebration, or get together here with your work team or for a corporate gathering. Status: Halal-certified buffet100 Beach Road, #02-42/44 Shaw Tower, Shaw Leisure Gallery6219 3780 | carouselbuffet.com.sg  AquamarineLike Carousel, Aquamarine is an international buffet that serves alcohol but has MUIS halal certification for its kitchen and food stations. The central location – it’s in the Marina Mandarin hotel – and plush interiors make it a perfect place for lavish family dinners, dates and other big occasions. The buffet is popular for its delicious seafood – so fresh that it feels like it’s just been scooped from the sea – and also has a special focus on Asian cuisine.Status: Halal-certified buffet6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Mandarin, Level 46845 1111 | meritushotels.comLike this? Read more in our Wine & Dine section:Veggie burger battle – who comes out on top?Work in the CBD? Here are some great bitesGula Melaka: Cooking with Asian ingredients

Emily of Emerald Hill is back!

2nd August 2019 by Lindsay Yap 3 Min ReadPopular local play Emily of Emerald Hill is returning for another run, from 4 to 28 September. Written by Stella Kon, this Singapore theatre classic tells the story of a young underprivileged girl who eventually becomes the matriarch of a prominent Peranakan family. Staged by Wild Rice a number of times over the past 20 years, the production’s leading lady will once again be played by talented Singaporean actor and director Ivan Heng. Here, he tells us about the show and why he loves what he does.How did you first get into theatre?When I was seven, my parents bought me a magician’s box of tricks. I performed a magic show with my sister as my assistant. We passed around a hat, made lots of money and the rest is history. (We’re still passing around the hat these days, except now it’s for donations to run our theatre!) Why did you decide to set up Wild Rice and what challenges have you faced?Having lived and worked in the UK, I saw the potential for theatre to be part of public space and national conversation, and I wanted to do that for Singapore theatre. So I set up Wild Rice to tell our stories. Making theatre in Singapore is challenging because it’s a society that’s quite regulated and rigid. We have experienced difficulties because theatre often asks hard questions, challenges the status quo and speaks truth to power. Nonetheless, we have continued to make theatre in good faith – believing that it inspires empathy and creates a space for diverse views.What do you love about performing and directing?Performing affords me the privilege of walking in another person’s shoes, exploring and understanding worlds beyond my own. I think we should do that more often. I love directing as it’s about inspiring and leading a company to tell a story through one of the world’s most collaborative art forms.What are some of your favourite Wild Rice productions?Emily of Emerald Hill was our very first show so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Another show that comes to mind is Hotel – a four-hour epic production spanning a hundred years of Singapore’s history – as it gives viewers a better understanding of who we are and how we came to be.What can we expect from this year’s production of Emily of Emerald Hill?After more than a hundred performances, this is the first time I will be performing Emily of Emerald Hill on a thrust stage. It will be a unique and intimate experience, and I’m looking forward to making a connection with our audiences. I’m also close to two decades older compared to when I first played Emily. I’ve experienced more of life and I’ve no doubt that this will inspire and inform my performance.Do you have a favourite part of the story?I love that fact that Emily of Emerald Hill spans an entire lifetime. I will play Emily from the ages of 14 to 84. As she grows from a girl to a woman, the play makes us to think about the different roles Emily plays throughout that lifetime: a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. Playing the role has helped me better understand my own mother and sister! What do you like the most about performing as Emily?The dresses, darling! My costumes will be haute couture, created by some of the best designers in Singapore, from kebayas by Raymond Wong to cheongsams and gowns by Goh Lai Chan and a fabulous fur coat by Frederick Lee.What is the main message of the play?Emily of Emerald Hill is a play about a woman’s struggle to survive in a man’s world. This still resonates today. Of course, the coup de théâtre in our production is that I am a man playing this role: it’s a conscious irony that brings the play’s ideas to the fore, while provoking thought and inspiring debate. Any encouragement for those venturing into the theatre scene?Working in the theatre is not like any other job. It’s a profession and a calling. If you’re lucky enough to make the decision to work in theatre and the arts, be aware that your rewards cannot always be measured by conventional yardsticks of success. You might not make lots of money. But I believe the rewards are immense and in their own way, invaluable – you learn to become a better human being.Catch the show!When: 4 to 28 SeptemberWhere: The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre @ Wild Rice, Funan Level 4How much: From $20Get your tickets now!Wild Ricewildrice.com.sgLooking for more things to do in Singapore?35 Cool & Fun Things To Do In SingaporeThe best places to watch the sunset in Singapore

We chat with Ou Baholyodhin

On the eve of his company’s latest rock-star condominium opening in Bangkok, Matthew Scott sat down with OU BAHOLYODHIN, chief creative officer for Sansiri, one of Thailand’s largest real estate developers.The wanderer in Ou Baholyodhin took him around the world as he sought to expand his horizons, both figuratively and creatively. But Thailand was always calling. “Coconut trees, sandy beaches and gentle people,” says the designer, when asked what it was that brought him back home after a career in the United Kingdom and beyond – a career that saw him lend his talents to furniture, architecture, cooking and writing. OU BAHOLYODHINBorn in Thailand and schooled in the UK, Baholyodhin’s creative journey started more by chance – but he suggests that sometimes in life, things seem meant to be. “While still at university, I entered the Muji international design competition,” he recalls. “Out of 5,000 entries from over 50 countries, I was one of only a handful who received an award. It may not have affirmed that I had a talent for design but it was a much-needed morale booster, which has kept me going until today.”The 52-year-old first carved a niche for himself among the world’s creatives through the Ou Baholyodhin Studio (OBS) he opened in London in 1997. Through OBS, the Baholyodhin touch could soon be found through the re-imaging of the K-Bars brand, at destinations such as its club on Wardour Street in London’s Soho, and the K-Bar Chelsea. Later would come Mayfair’s first Patara Fine Dining Restaurant, which helped bring modern Thai dining into the collective culinary consciousness.There was also work on the restoration of one of London’s most acclaimed private residences. Baholyodhin bought and then helped return to its full glory the “Penthouse at Highpoint” that modernist pioneer Berthold Lubetkin had built in the 1930s. The 1,550-square-foot apartment had become known as a classic example of the very best in British pre-war architecture.“I learnt so much from 10 years of living in London,” he says. “Firstly, that design isn’t just about style but rather about substance, about sensitivity and sensibility. I learnt how to be soulful and at the same time whimsical.”  New directionsJim Thompson, Thailand’s silk manufacturing giant, brought Baholyodhin on as creative director in 2000, and allowed his talents to flourish. There were acclaimed moves into literature – with Living with Zen (2000) and Being with Flowers (2001) – and then, after seven years of driving the ambitions of the design and manufacturing giants, there was a retreat back from London and to the south of Thailand.Some time to rest and to reflect followed, and when Jim Thompson called again in 2013, Baholyodhin helped recreate and redirect the company’s luxury textile business. There were eight collections.Since February 2018, his attentions have been fully focused on a new role, that of chief creative officer for Sansiri, among Thailand’s largest real estate developers. It’s a different life entirely, given the fact that Sansiri is currently driving dozens of projects across the nation, with a combined worth of more than 46.6 billion Baht. “Office hours at Sansiri are extremely intense as we tend to work on about 30 projects a year,” says Baholyodhin. “Having said that, I don’t get to spend much time in the office since work takes me away almost half the time. During these frequent trips, I tend to have much more of a work-life balance, jet lag aside …”Pride of place is taken by the Sansiri Luxury Collection residences in Bangkok and the Khun by Yoo flagship project (which is officially titled “Khun by Yoo, Inspired by Starck”, as it takes its inspiration from global design doyen Philippe Starck), opening in November. Set against the backdrop of the capital’s trendy Soi Thonglor district, these residential spaces have been designed with “industrial heritage” as their motif, using naked concrete, copper, whetstone and marble to capture the area’s “contemporary spirit”, according to Sansiri. The 27-storey landmark will features 148 residences, along with a swimming pool, library, rooftop garden and movie theatre. These are some very modern touches in a city rich with history, and Baholyodhin reveals in closing how his inspirations come from projects that show a similar inventiveness.Asked to look back through history, and nominate one property or building anywhere in the world that he wishes he could have been involved in, Baholyodhin opts for a famed residence in Beverly Hills, one that showcases its creator’s pure passion. “There are so many very impressive buildings in the world by great architects and developers, but if I had to roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty I would choose Dawnridge, the home of artist and decorator Tony Duquette,” he says. “It’s a testimony to the creativity and intricacy an artistic, inventive and resourceful mind can achieve.”

What to wear to high tea

1st August 2019 by Anthia Chng 1 Gather your girlfriends for a fancy tête-à-tête over high tea and bubbly! Set against the stunning backdrop of the Pan Pacific hotel lobby, this month’s special photoshoot features lovely dresses from Shopping at Tiffany’s and MAH Collection, as well as a jumpsuit from Capsule Collection by Juliette. We’ve also rounded up our favourite accessories brands, including Embrace Jewellery, Stones that Rock and Lustre Jewellery.Look 1 As worn by Monica:
Julie jumpsuit, Capsule Collection by
Juliette, $179, ccbyjuliette.com
Sagoma silver ombre sunglasses,
Retrosuperfuture, $370, retrosuperfuture.sg Multi-gem long necklace,
Embrace Jewellery, $288,
embracejewellery.com Mi Amore bracelets,
Fervor Montréal, $90 each,
fervormontreal.com Yun aventurine hook
earrings, Embrace Jewellery,
$76, embracejewellery.com Superlight silver sneakers,
Superga, $109.90,
superga.com.sgLook 2 As worn by Susan: Hone nude beaded Troubadour cover-up,MAH Collection, $529,mahcollection.com Petra earrings, Stones that Rock,
$80, stonesthatrock.com
Petite Gems necklace, Fervor
Montréal, $150, fervormontreal.com Velatti adjustable citrine ring, $139,embracejewellery.com Semele sand round bag,
MAH Collection, $349,
mahcollection.com Maddie beige bracelet set, Stones that Rock, $95, stonesthatrock.comLook 3 As worn by Amishi: Kenz and Kate Luna blue silk tunic dress, Shopping
at Tiffany’s, $195, shoppingattiffanys.com
Naked gemstone bracelet, Lustre Jewellery, $49,
Agate baby geode ring, Lustre Jewellery, $49,
shoplustre.com Mother-of-pearl swing hoop earrings, Lustre Jewellery, $109, shoplustre.com Coffee stingray leather with rose quartz cuff, Lustre Jewellery, $269, shoplustre.comLook 4As worn by Monica: Shanti dress, Capsule Collection by Juliette, $179, ccbyjuliette.com, Rose mahogany espadrilles, Superga, $99.90, superga.com.sg CREATIVE DIRECTION, STYLING AND WORDS: ANTHIA CHNGPHOTOSHOOT ASSISTANT: MICHAELA BISSETPHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL BERNABEHAIR AND MAKEUP: TRIMMINGS SPA & SALON, 123 TANGLIN ROADLOCATION: PAN PACIFIC SINGAPORE, 7 RAFFLES BOULEVARDFOOD: ATRIUM ENGLISH AND PERANAKANMODELS: MONICA PITRELLI, AMISHI JARIWALA, SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLESWant more? See our Style & Beauty section or one of these articles below:Best facials in Singapore: We review 7 treatmentsWhere to go for high teaThis article first appeared in the July 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue

How to rock the IB Diploma exam

5th August 2019 by Expat Living 4 Min ReadMelody Song achieved an incredible 44 out of 45 points on the IB Diploma exam! We caught up with her at Chatsworth International School to ask her how she did it, and what advice she has for other test-takers in international schools in Singapore.First things first – how exactly did you prepare for the IB Diploma exam?I started to focus on preparing for the exams around the final quarter during the winter break before the mock exams were coming up. I tried to keep my study schedule consistent and prioritise subjects which I found difficult. For instance, I would allocate time to study for subjects such as maths and biology every week, but I would alternate other subjects. How did you feel when you found out you scored 44 points?Based on the mock exams I had taken, I was predicted to score 44 points. Yet many times I felt dubious in my ability to reach the high expectations my teachers set out for me. Therefore, achieving 44 points was an extremely surreal but rewarding experience. I felt validated for all the time and effort I spent studying in my final two years at Chatsworth. I was also very grateful to my teachers. They dedicated so much to helping me and believing that I could attain this score.What was your biggest challenge in the DP programme, and how did you overcome it?Paradoxically, my biggest challenge was trying not to be score-orientated. At the start of the programme, several low grades really decreased my confidence. For instance, I performed well in maths during the Middle Years Programme, so I applied to take it as a HL, or Higher Level, subject. But I failed the entrance test, so I was dropped down to SL, or Standard Level. I think giving myself enough time to adjust to the rigour of the diploma programme and learning to pace my learning to my own speed was definitely fundamental to my success.What advice do you have for other students sitting for the IB Diploma exams?It’s important to find a style of learning that suits you best. For instance, for content-heavy subjects such as biology, I relied on handwritten notes to memorise key terms and answer formats. Yet for chemistry, which is more application-based, I watched chemistry videos from YouTubers such as Richard Thornley and MSJChem. The hosts are engaging and cogent in their explanations.Also, in science subjects – particularly chemistry – there are often questions about generic equations, units and definitions that you can memorise and secure marks on. Try not to lose marks on questions that ask you to define a catalyst, ionisation energy, entropy or a Lewis acid because these can be answered with textbook knowledge and practice. There are conceptual application problems that are more challenging than those. Melody playing badminton at an ACSIS competitionWhat’s next for you?I’m enrolled in the Life Science programme at the National University of Singapore.How many years have you attended Chatsworth?I’ve been at Chatsworth for nine years at all three campuses – I started at the East Coast campus which later closed, so I moved to the Orchard campus and finished at Bukit Timah, which is where the older students attend.Do you feel Chatsworth has helped you achieve your goals?Chatsworth provided me with dedicated teachers who always gave detailed feedback and who were easily approachable when I was struggling with my subject assignments, Internal Assessment and Extended Essay, the latter two being required parts of the IB Programme. Their support and guidance definitely played a huge role in helping me overcome difficulties during my last two years. Secondly, Chatsworth is a very comfortable environment for studying. The community and class sizes are quite small, which creates close, interactive and friendly conditions to study and hold discussions in.Chatsworth has been a really welcoming and understanding community. It was like this when I first joined in year 5, up until my last year. I made lifelong friends there. And, I’ve gained life-long knowledge for the future. Chatsworth really did “educate, inspire, and enlighten” me in a way that has enabled me to become the person I am today.You were awarded Chatsworth’s IBDP scholarship for Years 12 and 13. What has that meant to you and your family?The Chatsworth scholarship helped to relieve my family’s financial burden. It allowed me to focus on my studies, especially with the provision of a MacBook Air, which I heavily relied on during my last two years. It also taught me a sense of responsibility and helped me to maintain high expectations for myself. I needed a minimum score to maintain the scholarship, which provided me with a reference point and guided me to achieve higher scores later.Fast Facts about the IB 2019: Candidates worldwide: 166,278Candidates in Singapore: 1,544Average score: 29.63Number of candidates scoring a perfect 45 points: 213 (or about .1%)Chatsworth International SchoolBukit Timah Campus (K-Y13)6737 5955 | chatsworth.com.sgRead more in our Schools section: 5 wiley ways to get kids to love readingTop international schools in Singapore

15 Reasons (or Excuses…) for Man Time

Man Time (noun); Any period of time spent in the company of fellow men or alone, doing manly stuff. Life is like a box of chocolates: if you don’t take the occasional break, too much can make you feel nauseous. It’s good to take some time out now and again, plus it can come with a whole host of psychological, social and health benefits. So, if anyone asks, here are JONATHAN WARD’s 15 reasons to step away from the office or house, clear your schedule, put the smartphone in the freezer and make some man time.#1It’s Economics 101. The law of diminishing returns states that you can have too much of a good thing. Getting your own space every now and then has a positive effect on relationships, providing a period of psychological renewal between you and your other half.#2A study by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation found that men who find it difficult to share and talk about their feelings open up more when they’ve watched football. It enables them to express and release internalised emotion that they don’t feel able to express otherwise. Best excuse ever to catch a game!#3A healthy gamble. Harvard law professor Charles R Nesson says poker nights teach you how to take good risks and recognise your opponent’s strategy without revealing your own. “Put those two together and you have a dynamite businessman,” he says.#4A moderate amount of Tiger Time with your buddies can have a few health benefits. Some research has shown that beer may reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and dementia. (Note that word “moderate”, though.)#5Psychologist Dr Jason Goodson of America’s Utah University found that watching stand-up comedy had a significant effect on patients, easing stress, promoting social bonding, lowering blood pressure and possibly boosting the immune system.#6Reading your favourite book improves your brain health. Researchers at the University of Sussex found that reading for only six minutes can reduce your stress levels by more than two thirds. The study also found that reading was more effective at reducing stress than walking or listening to music.#7If helping avoid a heart attack and diabetes isn’t enough motivation to eliminate that gut in the gym, consider this. For every point your body mass index is under 25, your testosterone levels increase, giving a very literal meaning to being told to “man up”.#8Taking some time to be more metrosexual can boost your salary by 10 per cent. According to a paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research in the US, men who are attractive enjoy a premium on salaries, upwards of 10 per cent, compared to their less appealing colleagues.#9Hobbies can help stave off burnout. Research shows that those who are in stressful jobs that normally contribute to burnout (for example, low-control, high-demand jobs) feel less need to “recover” from their day at bedtime if they participate in more physical or social leisure activities that aren’t work-related.#10Make some man time for your man parts. 99 per cent of testicular cancer can be cured if caught at an early stage. So, give some time to the family jewels to check for lumps, swellings, or changes in firmness, and be sure to see your GP if you notice any abnormalities.#11A day on the golf course can help you live longer. A study by the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet found the death rate for golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status. Swing like Tiger (only on the golf course, mind) and reap the rewards with an extra five years of life expectancy.#12Afternoon sleeps are not for the idle. A University of Düsseldorf study found superior memory recall once a person had had six minutes of sleep. In other words, a power nap promotes mental performance, so no need to feel bad about slinking away for those 40 winks.#13Embrace the outdoors. It’s one thing going to the gym, but the great outdoors isn’t called great for nothing. Austrian researchers found that hiking reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels (fat which narrows the arteries), removes blood sugars and improves glucose tolerance.#14Go buy a new suit. Researchers discovered that giving your Amex a run-around increases activity in the pre-frontal cortex of your brain (the part associated with pleasure and positive thinking). Increased levels of dopamine are released, making you feel as happy as a British prince in Vegas.#15You man; you make fire! Going camping and building a fire creates an environment so different from what you’re used to that it provokes psychophysiological stimulation associated with learning, improving your cognitive functions.Keen to read more stories like this? Head to our Mens section!

The story behind Dempsey Hill

5th August 2019 by Michaela Bisset 3 Min ReadDempsey Hill is named after a British commander-in-chief, General Sir Miles Christopher Dempsey (1896–1969), and today is a thriving retail and entertainment hub with a rich heritage. We look back as a salute to the bicentennial …In the 1850s, Dempsey Hill was known as Mount Harriet, and was part of a huge nutmeg plantation of 1,600 trees, reaching all the way to what is now the Singapore Botanic Gardens. A nutmeg-beetle blight forced the estate to close in 1857 and made the land useless for growing. The owners sold the land to the British Forces in 1860 for a mere 25,000 Spanish dollars. Blocks 7, 8 and 9The BarracksSingapore had become an important strategic stronghold for the British Empire by this time, and the Tanglin area was the perfect spot for new troops to be kept safe. Ten service barracks for 50 men each were built in the early 1860s, in addition to washhouses, cookhouses, a school and more. The buildings had plenty of windows and doorways to help with air flow – architecture that is now protected by Singapore’s conservation guidelines.World War II saw the barracks used by the Japanese to store medical supplies and house POWs. After the Japanese surrender, British forces retook Tanglin Barracks, making them the General Headquarters of the Far East Land Forces. Inside Block 9Former British Serviceman Gary Bennet shared his memories from that era: “At the time, there were probably 500 servicemen housed in identical, nondescript buildings in Blocks 7, 8, 9 and 10 at Dempsey Road. They had access to facilities such as a swimming pool and cinema, both now demolished, and a gymnasium overlooking the cricket pitch – a building that still stands today.”Bennet lived in Block 9 (now REDSEA Gallery), which had enough accommodation for 45 to 50 servicemen. Each block was split into three sections with the middle section used for communal washing, showers and toilets. Christmas Day 1953New DirectionsWhen the last British forces left in 1976, Singapore’s government took ownership and used “Tanglin Camp” for military purposes. As you walk between Blocks 15, 17 and 18, you can imagine anxious parents gathering to wave off their sons as they reported for conscription back in the 70s and 80s.The area was vacated in 1989 and gradually the old military barracks were converted into the unique and special enclave it is today.But even now, you can visit some very special historical spots in Dempsey.St. George’s ChurchThis Anglican church was built as a garrison church, only becoming a place for civilians to worship in 1971. During WWII, Japanese forces stored ammunition in the building. Fearing the stained-glass windows would be destroyed, the colonial chaplain had them dismantled and buried. Unfortunately, he died, and nobody knows where those original windows are today. The classical Basilica-style church is now a national monument.Ebenezer Chapel (The White Rabbit)The beautifully restored chapel was used as a school for children of British soldiers. This is now a perfect spot to get an exquisite European meal in a stunning setting.Singapore Civil Service Clubhouse (Samy’s Curry)Block 25 was originally a sergeant’s mess, but became a clubhouse for Singapore’s civil servants in the 1970s, where inter-territorial games between Singapore and Malaysia were played. Now, the legendary Samy’s Curry occupies the space, still serving the same yummy Indian food it did then.Old Military Hospital (Loewen by Dempsey Hill)This special area within the Hill was originally the military hospital that overlooked the housing facilities and the parade grounds. Today, the area has been carefully restored and transformed to an education and lifestyle destination the whole family will love.Did you know?The barracks inspired young Rudyard Kipling to write Barrack Room Ballads. Check out this story at expatliving.sg to hear the song.dempseyhill.comFor more helpful tips head to our living in Singapore section.Churches and other places fo worship in SingaporeBringing up children in Singapore?Our go-to tailorsThis article first appeared in the August 2019 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

Drama and arts for kids

2nd August 2019 by Expat Living 2 Min ReadThough soft skills like collaboration and interconnectivity are more important than ever, it’s still common for kids to learn art, performance and music through separate classes. But this art programme at a new international school in Singapore teaches these talents together.The School: The Grange InstitutionThe Art Programme: Creative ExpressionsWhat it is:Creative Expressions is an art programme at The Grange Institution, a new-ish school in Singapore. It’s a way for students to demonstrate what they’ve learnt across different disciplines – be it literary, performance or visual arts – in one cohesive  production. Who teaches it:Two classroom teachers, one music specialist, one PE specialist and one guest drama professional combine efforts to lead the programme.What kids learn:Students learn how to become illustrators, authors, artists, performers and musicians – and, most importantly, how to tie all these talents together. For example, as part of a larger project about “Our Global Village”, the students were inspired to create a project after reading Bamberina, the Turtle, a book about a turtle who is at risk due to excessive pollution in the ocean. First, they created new characters and brought them to life through 2D illustrations during their visual arts lessons. Then, with the help of a drama professional, they wrote original stories which they turned into a script for a play. The students then made props for the play out of recycled materials during their visual arts classes. Later they learned how to dramatically act out the play during their performing arts classes. Finally, they planned a short musical performance at the showcase’s conclusion. Last year, they even broke into an impromptu singing session belting out songs in Japanese, Mandarin and Bahasa learned in their foreign language classes.Who participates:While classroom learning is aged-based, this art programme is a joint effort by students aged six to eight. The Grange wants students to collaborate and partner across different year levels, ages and nationalities. The school feels this is essential in today’s context as the world is more connected than ever before. The big finale:An invitation-only event, the Creative Expressions programme ends with a showcase held in the school’s multi-purpose hall at the end of the term. For more on this art programme and to find out what’s happening around The Grange Institution, click here.The Grange Institution449 Yio Chu Kang Road tel://+65-6817 3630| thegrange.edu.sgRead more in our Schools section:Best school facilities and programmes Top international schools in Singapore

Celebration of life – after death

1st August 2019 by Melinda Murphy 3 Min ReadAlthough we don’t want to think about anyone close to us dying, how we manage our lives afterwards and how we keep them alive in our thoughts after death is an interesting topic. The team from Flying Home shares some of the wonderful ways our loved ones continue to live on in our own lives.To many, death is the absolute end: the end of life, the end of the person, the end of companionship and so much more. After all, you can’t see your loved one anymore; you can’t touch their hand or hear their voice. Death seems to bring a big, black full stop. But death, in fact, is not the end of a person in your life. Your loved one continues to live on … in you. Losing somebody you love is an incredibly hard transition – it can leave a hole in your life that feels impossible to fill. The truth is, though, that void is already full in many ways, if you just pay attention. That’s because those we’ve lost live on in many ways. # Through children and grandchildrenWe are the offspring of our parents and grandparents, the product of half of each of our parent. Our parents are in us. Our grandparents are in us. When you look at your family members, you always see shared characteristics in each other. There are times you will feel like you are talking to your grandpa when it is, in fact, your dad you are looking at.# Through family recipesOften, we hear people reminiscing about their beloved parent or grandparent’s cooking. “My mum made the best cake ever!” Sharing those family recipes can keep us connected to the past. As we cook their best dishes, it reminds us of the things they did and the times spent sitting together, enjoying the food they made. # In our motivation in lifeOur loved ones live on as motivations. The values and aspirations that they have shared and passed on to us are motivations and reminders to us in our lives. To follow their values can constantly remind us to be better versions of ourselves. # In stories and memoriesSharing stories about family members and friends we’ve lost brings those people to life in many ways, connecting those who knew the departed, or introducing them to those who didn’t. Remembering old times keeps those we love alive in our memories. For this reason, it’s important for us to spend more time with our loved ones and make those memories before they leave us. That time spent together is imprinted in us.Death is like a finishing line of being a human only. Our relationships don’t stop there. Loved ones continue in our lives for every important moment – even just as we start reminiscing about their presence and thinking about the words they said or would say if they were sitting next to us.The lesson? Start creating memories now with the people you love, then keep them safe, deep inside your heart, so they’ll never truly leave you.World United for a Life DayYou can join Flying Home in commemorating the lives of loved ones on World United for a Life Day. Celebrate how they continue to live on with you by sharing your memories via the website at flyinghome.com, or on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #WorldUnitedForLifeSG #DeathIsNotTheEnd and #FlyingHomeSG.Flying Home is a funeral company specialising in repatriation.flyinghome.comFor more helpful tips, head to our Living in Singapore section.A cool black-and-white on the East CoastSpruce up your kitchen!Where to get customised furniture