orchard road


I am probably ignorant about my surroundings whenever I head down to Orchard because yes, I have heard of the sleazy Orchard Towers, the shabby Far East Shopping Centre, and the big Toys “R” Us outlet at Forum The Shopping Mall; but I have never heard of Palais Renaissance.

If not for a media event that was held last week at Palais Renaissance, I will probably still be a suaku [mountain tortoise] and not know that such a place exists in Singapore. Well, getting to Palais Renaissance is not that difficult but finding the way that leads to the carpark is. With just 32 tenants that caters mainly to an upscale clientele, Palais Renaissance is a small cosy shopping mall that has escalators that are wide enough for only 1 person.

Negative much?

Not really.

In fact, there are a couple of things that we uncovered about Palais Renaissance that truly makes it a well-hidden gem.

First and foremost, Palais Renaissance does not cater only to an affluent clientele. What we found quite affordable at Palais Renaissance are the dining options that are available even for the casual passers-by. Whether it is Jing Hua Xiao Chi, Ishinomaki Grill & Sake Bar, P. Bistro, or PS.Cafe; you will not burn a big hole in your pocket for dining at Palais Renaissance.

When we were there at Palais Renaissance, we had the privilege of dining at Jing Hua Xiao Chi and it was a dining experience that I will never forget because the taste and the flavours of the food evoked so much personal memories of my childhood days.

Founded in 1989, Jing Hua Xiao Chi was started by native Singaporeans, Mr. and Mrs. Han, and was located at the place first known as the “Qun Zhong Eating House”. The family started Jing Hua as a means to make ends meet, and took their recipes from Mr. Han’s mother, who lived in Shanghai, and from Mrs. Han, who made good dumplings at home. That is how it all began, and over the years, the family slowly adapted their recipes to suit Singaporean tastes.

It is interesting to note that Jing Hua’s menu has remained unchanged at Neil Road since its beginning and this is a true testament of how consistent quality can withstand the test of time. Prepared with ingredients sourced from Chinatown’s wet markets, Jing Hua has built a strong reputation for serving up delicious homemade dumplings over the years.

Needless to say, we will definitely be patronising Jing Hua Xiao Chi again and if you are searching high and low for an affordable homely fare that has a traditional taste [古早味] to it, Jing Hua Xiao Chi is the place.

Apart from dining at Jing Hua Xiao Chi at Palais Renaissance, we also visited DeFRED Jewellers and TOUCHE Elite to find out more about the products and services they have to offer.

DeFRED Jewellers was established since 1984 and it is a brand name that is synonymous with precious pieces of fine jewellery. They are a specialised quality jewellery boutique so prices for their intricate jewellery are expectedly exorbitant. If splurging is your cup of tea, get SGD$200 off when you “like” DeFRED’s Facebook Page, follow them on Instagram, and quote DeFRED’s slogan, “Ultimate Gift of Love by DeFRED”.

As for TOUCHE Elite, they offer aesthetic treatments that are mainly for the ladies and they recently launched a new and advanced C Plus Anti-aging Treatment with RF Tech; a remarkable advanced scientific breakthrough medical-aesthetic technologies that defy skin’s aging and helps combat pigmentation.

Well, we haven’t had any treatments done at TOUCHE Elite and so we can’t really share much but if you would like to find out more about the aesthetic treatments that are available, you can visit their website at http://www.cls-touche.com/.

Having been to Palais Renaissance, we must say that the experience has been overall a pleasant one. If we ever visit again, it would most probably be to dine at the rest of the other food and beverage restaurants or to probably get an exclusive gift that can’t be found elsewhere.

So… have you been to Palais Renaissance? Yes, you have just been there after reading this blog post!

Two months ago, Baby and I celebrated our anniversary with a staycation at the Far East Orchard Parade Hotel and in this blog entry, we will share about our 2 days 1 night stay over there.
We drove to Orchard Parade Hotel, parked our car, and carried our barang barang to the front desk where we were supposed to check-in. The checking-in process was rather SOP [standard operating procedures] and nothing much to rave about. Our expectations of their service would have exceeded if they at least offered to carry our stuffs to our room; but well, that did not happen.

While walking to the lift, we passed by some retail stores and a bar at the lobby area of the hotel but it was nothing out of the ordinary.

From Anniversary 2013

Looking at the key card, we were allocated the Premier Room on the 16th level and yes, complimentary breakfast for 2 at Tung Lok Classics was included with our stay as well.

From Anniversary 2013

We entered our room and this is how the room looks like with a king-sized bed. The lightings were rather dim and shooting photographs of the room were quite difficult.

From Anniversary 2013

Although we requested for a non-smoking room, the room smelt smoky and we confirmed our suspicion after spotting a smoking tray on the desk.

From Anniversary 2013

The amenities in the room are pretty standard and average. There’s a desk for you to do your work, a mini-bar fridge filled with some soft drinks and beer, an electric kettle, complimentary bottles of water, and coffee/tea packets.

From Anniversary 2013
From Anniversary 2013
From Anniversary 2013

The bathroom had a small bathtub [meant for slim people] but other than that, it was quite the norm. And yes, complimentary toiletries were provided

From Anniversary 2013
From Anniversary 2013
From Anniversary 2013

We highly doubt we will ever consider staying at the Orchard Parade Hotel in future but honestly for the price of SGD$306.02 [including all taxes], I think going for a staycation with Boutique Hotels like Klapsons or Naumi Liora would be a much better idea.

Anyway, we will not be blogging about the complimentary buffet breakfast at Tung Lok Classics because there’s nothing really fabulous to blog about their breakfast. The variety of food offered was rather little and the service level was a disappointment.

With that being said, not all is bad about staying at the Orchard Parade Hotel. As a matter of fact, the only plus point about staying at Orchard Parade Hotel is its close proximity to Orchard Road. So, walking to the main shopping area from Orchard Parade Hotel takes about 5-7 minutes, depending on your walking speed.

Stay tuned to more updates from us!

God bless!