OK, it’s probably not really Samuel L Jackson but I did a double-take. When I saw this gentleman selling flowers along Cambridge Layout, Bangalore (India), I had to steal a snap.





This is going to be a quick post. I need to get ready for a whole day of meetings.

I love Shanghai so far. Arrived yesterday and checked in at 2pm. I’m staying at this really interesting hotel called Shanghai Hengshan Group Moller Villa Hotel, which is an old preserved mansion from 1936 that used to be the home of a certain Mr. Moller. Go and wiki him.

The hotel is Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale style. It’s almost like living in Hansel and Gretl’s little castle. I felt like licking the outside walls to see if tasted like gingerbread. I didn’t. Though I admit touching it and smelling my fingers. The rooms are well appointed and there is a really surreal fairy tale-ish cafe at one end of the garden where a friend and I had coffee and cognac.

I also love December Shanghai weather. I take the cold very well and I was walking around taking in the city in nothing more than what I would wear in Singapore with an addition of a leather jacket. 9 degrees celcius, light wind. No sweat. Pun intended.

From 2pm, I walked around the hotel area for about an hour or so then a Singaporean gentleman met me at 3pm and took me driving around the city. The Bund area, the jewish quarters, the financial district, etc. The architecture really struck me. Beautiful and eclectic and most fascinating. Whetted my appetite for more.

Hey, I’d like to go on but I really have to rush out of here. No Facebook or Twitter here so I’ll post the pictures I was able to take when I get back to Singapore tomorrow. In the meantime, here are some photos of the lovely, quaint and almost surreal Moller Villa Hotel. Click the pictures to enlarge.

One Sunday, driving back from church, I decided to take an alternative route and drove back home through Guillemard Road. As I was approaching the corner at which I would turn right to go home, I caught a glimpse of a little restaurant called Little Vietnam in Grandlink Square and made a mental note to check it out.

That very night, I had dinner with CWF and decided to go there.

Firstly, due to its location, we were expecting shall we say a fairly base place like the Vietnamese joints along Joo Chiat. Initially, we wanted to sit outside al fresco but due to the presence of many stray cats (my dinner companion has a cat phobia), we decided to sit inside. We were actually surprised with the interior decor. It was café-like with a book shelf in the corner with design books and a whole stack of magazines. The place was entirely run by young Vietnamese men and women.

The menu had its usual suspects like rice paper rolls, Phở , salads and a whole host more. The prices were most reasonable with a bowl of Phở going at $5. For $1, you could add extra beef which I would recommend because they are quite sparing with the amount of beef in a $5 bowl. As Phở should, it comes with a plate of bean sprouts, chilli, onions, basil, etc. Rice paper rolls were fairly good and a plate cost only $3.

Bowl of Phở

Bowl of Phở

Little Vietnam does not charge GST or service charge so as far as prices go, what you see in the menu is what you pay. We also had morning glory (kind of kang kong, I think) with beef which was excellent and this one I will surely repeat. Dessert was Vietnamese chendol (which includes yellow beans as opposed to our usual red beans). A pint of Tiger, $4.50.

Fried Spring Rolls

Fried Spring Rolls

The whole meal which included:

1. Bowl of Combination Beef Phở with extra beef

2. Bowl of Regular Phở

3. Fried Spring Roll

4. Rice Paper Roll

5. Morning glory with beef

6. Pint of Tiger

cost around $32 all in.

Rice Paper Rolls

Rice Paper Rolls

Fried Morning Glory (?) with Beef

Fried Morning Glory (?) with Beef

How was the food? Decent but not the best Vietnamese food in the world, I’d admit.

Would I go again? Surely.

Why would I go there again?

Decent food, great prices and I love these hidden gems in off the beaten track sort of locations. And with all the Vietnamese twenty-somethings (I’m guessing) running it and the surprising setting and decor, it made me feel I was on holiday. 🙂

Little Vietnam Restaurant and Café

511 Guillemard Road #01-25 Grandlink Square

Singapore 399849

Tel:   +65 65478587  

Note to photographers: Pictures taken with my Olympus point and shoot. I broke my 50mm f1.4 and haven’t got it repaired yet 😦. Lighting inside at night is dim so bring a fast lens or a flash. I think you’ll be sorted above 800 ISO and a large aperture of 1.4 and above though. Should be okay during the day.

Click here.

Free Image Hosting at

This picture above is just a teaser. Take a look at the rest of the set here. Enlarge the picture to really appreciate the colours. We were so lucky to catch spring in resplendent bloom.

I come back not feeling like blogging…

But take a look at some shoes from Tokyo here…. Singapore is quite conservative in comparison!

No blogging most likely.

Back for Easter Sunday.

Have a blessed week all !

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