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18 June, 2024

What Do Customers Expect from Your Business

Market research and understanding your target audience are two fundamental pillars of business, so it might feel like you already know exactly what your customers want. However, this perception might not always take into account changes occurring elsewhere that inform their expectations. For example, if other businesses in other industries have taken on a certain approach that has proven to be dramatically successful, that could impact how you are perceived – fairly or not.

There is also the debate of whether you should wait for customers to indicate what they want or whether you should carve the path ahead and illustrate to them something they didn’t know they wanted until they saw it.

A Brand Worth Following

The benefit of taking that proactive approach is the confidence that comes with it. Customers can develop a sense of trust that you know what you’re doing, which might lead to a greater degree of faith in your latest ideas and developments.

This isn’t to say that you should never ask your customers for their opinions – gaining customer feedback can be an incredibly valuable way to make improvements. That being said, it’s important that your approach is a healthy mix of understanding the specifics of what your audiences want and forging your own path – avoiding a situation where you’re simply representative of what your audiences demand of you. Innovative new ideas tempered by a commitment to customer-friendliness might help you strike a balance.

The Basics

That being said, there might also be several baseline expectations that prove ultimately essential for your business. This might be by way of competition – all of your competitors are offering this, which might make you stand out by comparison.

A robust delivery service might be an example of this. Of course, this will depend on the industry you find yourself in. If this does apply to you, it’s something that you’re likely going to be enthusiastic about establishing as early as possible. However, while you have your own resource concerns to deal with, you don’t want the credibility of your own brand to be impacted by your choice of delivery company. You need your customer experience to be consistently robust, and that means that you want your deliveries to reflect the qualities of your brand, arriving effectively and in a timely manner – something that might lead you to research options like shiply.com.

Outside of Your Operations?

In this regard, it’s easy to put all of your focus on what you’re directly offering your customers. However, it’s just as important to think about what surrounds that. As mentioned previously, your customer experience encompasses delivery, which means that it also includes things like customer service – something you must consistently make as effective as possible.

That still might sound straightforward enough, but then you also have to consider the general perception of your brand – how your audiences might want you to react in response to social issues or how you plan on taking action on issues like climate change. It’s easy to see yourself as separate from the world around you, but customers might see things differently.

12 June, 2024

[TRAVEL] 5D4N Shanghai Itinerary - Exploring the City & Water Town!

Hello from Shanghai, China!  It is my first time spending a week in China, after hearing so many good things about this country in terms of the cutting-edge technology and enormous architecture that wows the world.

If you plan to visit China for the first time, I think Shanghai would be a perfect start. Having only a short visit to Shenzhen when I was 9, I barely have any memories about China in general. I have always been wanting to visit Shanghai and I am glad that I finally made this trip because the city is way more impressive than I thought.

Being the most populous city (a whopping 29 million people live here!) of the country, the city is so vibrant, futuristic (being modern alone is an understatement) and full of excitements. Personally, I’d think a 8D7N trip covering Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou would be ideal. But due to time constraint, I can only do a 5D4N trip focusing on Shanghai alone.

But hey the 5D4N spent in Shanghai is nothing short of fun and adventure. Here’s the itinerary for 5D4N (not including Shanghai Disneyland – please allocate an additional day if you plan to visit the Disneyland).

❤ ❤ 

5D4N Shanghai Itinerary
Day 0
- Flight - SIN-PVG via China Eastern airline
- Hotel check-in @ 上海人民广场全季酒店 
- Supper @ 半酌烧烤小酒馆 

Day 1
1. 南京路步行街 Nanjing Pedestrian Street
- Breakfast @ 萊萊小籠
- 邵萬生 
- 沈大成 糕点  
- Lunch @ 上揚府 (淮揚菜) 
- 上海第一食品商店
- 新世界大丸百货

2. 豫園 Yuyuan Garden
- 豫園商城 / 豫園老街 
- 城隍廟
- 哈茶福

3. 外灘觀景步道 The Bund
- Dinner @ 鮮得來 @ 云南南路百年美食一條街

Day 2
1. 朱家角水乡 Zhujiajiao Water Town
- Breakfast @ Drunk Baker
- 大清邮局 Qing Dynasty Post Office
- 阿婆茶楼
- 放生桥
- 课植园
- 圆津禅院
- Lunch @ 小杨生煎

2. 靜安寺 Jingan Temple area
- 靜安寺
- 百丘 Pain Chaud
- Dinner @ 人和馆  

Day 3
1. 陸家嘴 Lujiazhui City Walk
- Breakfast @ 老上海双档
- Ferry ride to cross 橫渡黃浦江
- 陸家嘴 三件套City Walk
- 上海环球金融中心(Shanghai World Financial Center)
- 上海金茂大厦(Jinmao Tower)
- 上海中心大厦(Shanghai Tower)"
- 方塊咖啡 Coffee Cube x Merakicoffee  
- 迪士尼旗艦店 
- Lunch @ 桂满陇 
- 52樓朵雲書院

2. 濱江大道 North Bund Riverside
- Dinner @ 蟹江南•蟹黄面 

Day 4
1. 武康路 Wukang Area
- Breakfast @ 小桃园
- 武康大樓 
- 酷矿手作霜淇淋 Corner Cone Gelato   
- 宋庆龄故居 Soong Ching Ling's Former Residence
- Birdie Cup Coffee @ 武康路
- Fontaine

2. 思南路 Sinan Area
- Lunch @ 阿娘面馆
- 思南公館
- Sinan Books Poetry Store 
- 思南露天博物馆 Sinan Open Air Museum
- Dinner @ 紐約貝果博物館 New York Bagelous Museum
- 安福路
- 新天地

3. 人民广场 People's Square Area
- Dinner @ 裕興記
- Cocktail @ 1989 Bar (人民广场店)

Day 5
- Breakfast @ 星巴克臻选 上海烘焙工坊
- Lunch @ 新白鹿 (南京东路店)
- Hotel check-out @ 上海人民广场全季酒店
- Flight - PVG-SIN via China Eastern airline
 
❤ ❤ 
Flight (both ways)
中国东方航空 China Eastern Airline

I have a few options on hand – Singapore Airlines, China Air and China Eastern – but I go for the latter after comparing the prices. It is a pretty comfortable 5.5-hour flight from Singapore to Pudong International Airport, fully equipped with entertainment, blanket, decent meal and the local Tsingtao beer. The flight experience definitely exceeds my expectation for the price paid for.

The only downside of the flight is probably the arrival time, which is 10+ pm where the Shanghai Maglev and train services are no longer available. So I hop onto a cab and head straight to the hotel (the journey is approximately 1 hour).

Accommodation / Hotel
上海人民广场全季酒店 Ji Hotel Shanghai People's Square
上海市黄浦区西藏中路500号思源商厦2-9楼(靠近凤阳路)
(Hotel check in at Level 9)

Accommodation options are aplenty in Shanghai, widely ranging from an affordable $80 to various luxurious options that can go up to thousands. 

Ji Hotel is a very popular hotel chain in town – there is a Ji Hotel tucked along every other row of shop in the city centre – and the price is incredible for a comfortable 172sqft room. I opt for Ji Hotel People’s Square (上海人民广场全季酒店) which is just a stone throw away from the famous Nanjing Pedestrian shopping street. 

The location is amazing, cleanliness is great, service is impeccable – I have no complaints at all. Highly recommended for those who are on budget but want to stay comfortably in a private space.

半酌烧烤小酒馆
(上海人民广场全季酒店店)

Interestingly, there is a late night drinking spot right at the ground floor of the hotel where I have a really great time tucking into the China’s famous grilled skewers and beer. The vibes here are super on point – funky decors fill up the space, full-house crowd during weekends. 


Travelling in China is made smoother by having these apps installed into your device - e-sim (I use Nomad), Gaode Map (高德地图), DianPing (大众点评) and TaoBao (淘宝). 

As Google Maps does not work well in China without VPN, GaoDe Map comes in handy for navigation. The taxi booking function works seamlessly in this app too - all you need is a local Chinese mobile number, and you can go anywhere without hassle. DianPing, on the other hand, is great to search for recommendations / reviews of restaurants and tourist attractions. 

TaoBao, on the other hand, is my favourite shopping platform while in China. Just place your orders using your hotel address, inform the hotel receptionist and you'll receive your shopping haul swiftly. 
 

Can’t wait to share with you my travel diary for the following days.
Stay tuned for the next update!

❤ ❤ 

- FiSh | Shanghai | Spring 2024 -

31 May, 2024

Dear Diary | May 2024 Edition

Hello, May!  

May -- is a month full of hope and possibilities, just in the name itself. May we chase nothing but a better life. Hence I have been trying my best to cope with "life" - work, studies, health, family, etc. 

This month has been filled with a lot of personal time, allowing me to learn to see the things that made me feel uneasy through a different light...which are exactly all I needed in order to change my life for the better.

My kind of happy place 

01.05.2024 | Happy Labour Day! It's been a long time since I last visited my happy place. Going through the MacRitchie nature trail always gives me a sense of peacefulness and reminds me of the freedom I have to do what I enjoy.

The most rewarding part of the walk is to sit by the lake and watch the kayak slowly floating amidst the reflection of the deep blue sky in the water. 

Lad & Co @ Tanglin Rd | Nico Cafe @ Wheelock Place

Since it is a Labour Day, it is always good to reward myself with some good food, such as tucking into the popular fish and chips in town, followed by a relaxing afternoon in a quaint café located at the corner of the Orchard area. 

Chen's Mapo Tofu @ Downtown Gallery

04.05.2024 | Back to content creation, something which I never stop loving and learning. Thanks for the invited food review. And their award-winning Mapo Tofu is really good - smooth and chunky, with the right amount of spicy-savoury minced meat. Worth revisiting!

Brunch @ Symmetry

05.05.2024 | Back to one of the better cafes I visited during the early days in Singapore. Spending a lazy Sunday brunch here reminds me that it's been my 18 months here and still counting. Thank you for the great food.
 
11.05.2024 | My running diary. Back to my running routine after months of hiatus. It helps a lot to keep my sanity especially during the rough days in May. I am happy to see some progress in my stamina lately, hopefully it continues to get better over time...

My first Microsoft certification!

15.05.2024 | I spent the past week attending virtual sessions and studying for PL-900 - Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification and went through the pain of switching from having a proctored test to sitting for the test in a test centre. Finally, I am glad that I made it! ❤ 

Technology advancement is really catching up lately, and I am glad to be working in an environment which I get to learn and grow while remaining agile towards the technological change. More learning to come, hopefully. 

CHANEL Parfumeur Masterclass: A Fragrance Experience

17.05.2024 | Happy to be here to discover the 19 different fragrances of Les Exclusifs De Chanel, a collection imbued with a special narrative about Gabrielle Chanel. It is a pretty impressive experience to learn about the elegant collection of fragrances in which each scent evokes a chapter from the story of Gabrielle Chanel, reflecting the life and character of Mademoiselle.

My favourite: COMÈTE 

Among the 19 scents, this newly-launched item is my personal favourite. COMÈTE is a trail of stardust, a celestial jewel and a halo of light, spreading a force of optimism for those who are convinced that the planets will align with their lucky star.  

Rich, elegant and complex in nature, it has sparkling and powdery notes on the nose, then slowly releasing the intensely floral and luminous notes from the cherry blossom. Definitely a more unique scent as compared to the classic N°5.

Madu Bakery | Favourite cereal prawn croissant

18.05.2024 | Revisiting one of the quaint cafes near home since we had a pleasant experience here back in October 2023, before they close down on 2nd June. The cereal prawn croissant is really good and I gonna miss this...

Back-of-House Tour: "Former Supreme Court: Unseen, Unheard"

18.05.2024 | Happy to explore part of Singapore Heritage Festival 2024, by joining the exclusive tour to the former supreme court. It offers a glimpse into restricted areas of the former Supreme Court, usually out of bounds to the public, including going behind-the-scenes and experiencing how a person on trial traverses a network of hidden passageways and climbs through a trapdoor into the prisoner's dock.

Here we also get to sit at the Viewing Gallery where members of public used to sit during court hearings and discover the stories of some highest-profile cases in Singapore's history since 1939, tried in these very courtrooms. Overall, it is an unexpectedly pleasant and interesting 75-minute session! 
 
Lovin' the beautiful architecture of National Gallery Singapore!

A date with Aurora Borealis 

20.05.2024 | Happy 520; We are here celebrating the little meaningful day of love experiencing the magical splendour of the Aurora Borealis / Northern Lights amidst the supertrees. 

Created by the Switzerland-based artist Dan Acher, the outdoor art installation combines layers of light and cloud particles where the magical splendour of the aurora borealis is recreated to illuminate the night skies of Supertree Grove. What a fascinating blend of art and technology!
 
JOIE Korean vegetarian casual fine dining 

22.05.2024 | Happy Vesak Day! Our lunch at JOIE is full of surprises as it serves innovative creations with Korean-European flair. Coincidentally well fitted for the occasion itself. Read more about my review here.

Favourite Senryo dinner date 

25.05.2024 | Homebound. Back to the usual dental visit and hospital runs. Nothing much really, but good enough to take a break from the constant feeling of chaos in my mind. 


May has been a month full of surprise gifts!

Hello, Singpen twinnie! 

Miniso Citypen Singapore edition is finally here! Thanks for pampering me with these two cutie lions... ❤ Excited to have them at home to be part of my favourite penguin family now. 

Thank you! | Favourite stuff from Hong Kong  

520  | Happy 520 gifts // Thanks for always pampering me.

Thank you, May, for making me realise that I can change the way I react on things that I cannot change. Hopefully I can learn to be happier by making little changes to my mindset. 

Way towards a better self, once again!


xoxo,
FiSh
31.05.2024

24 May, 2024

[Food Review] JOIE Korean Vegetarian Casual Fine Dining

Let's have a fine Korean gastronomical adventure at JOIE! 

Fancy some Korean vegetarian fine dining at the garden rooftop? Right in the heart of Orchard with a garden rooftop view, JOIE (pronounced as "joy") is a pure pleasure of gastronomical experience of modern meatless cuisine which enlivens the five senses. 

The modern interior feels so lively yet exudes a flair of tranquility.

Embodying the Japanese-European flavours, our 5-course lunch menu includes a starter, side, soup, noodles and dessert. We truly enjoy the authentic Korean flavours curated in unique ways, as JOIE's meatless philosophy is well complemented by the vibrant flavours of fresh Korean ingredients and innovative cooking methods.

"Omija" - Korean classic welcome drink / palate cleanser

Jeju Tangerine Pear Tea

(Trio Starter) Watermelon with Jeju Green Tangerine, 
Rice Chip with Truffle & Smoked Paprika, 
Charcoal Eggplant with Korean Soy Sauce

First to arrive is the beautifully presented appetizer which comes in three little portions.
My favourite is the crispy rice chip which pairs well with the truffle and smoked paprika. 

(Side) Charred Cabbage with Jeju Mandarin Puree 

The cabbage is served as its best self: Grilled to charred, tender perfection, then doused in a creamy Jeju mandarin sauce and cheese shavings. Simple yet interestingly delicious!

(Soup) Pumpkin Rice Soup with Delicate Seaweed Panna Cotta 

As for the soup, the pumpkin puree is extra sweet on its own. To my delight, the sweetness of the pumpkin rice soup is well balanced out with the savoury flavour of the creamy seaweed panna cotta.

(Myeon) 100% Buckwheat Noodle with Perilla Dressing

The noodles are surprisingly refreshing especially when drizzled with the oil-free dressing made with perilla seeds and a soy sauce base. Definitely a healthy low carb option!

(Dessert) Dried Korean Persimmon Cream Cheese Roll with Seasonal Fruit

Lastly, the finale of the meal is the showstopper of the day. The fresh crunchy strawberry and grape are wrapped with cream cheese and dried Korean persimmon - something that reminds me of the Japanese daifuku. Both are refreshingly light and juicy! 



(Side) Bailing Mushroom on Paper Hot Pot
Slow braised Bailing mushroom served on paper hot pot
 
Apart from the above premium set lunch, we also get to try the basic set lunch menu where there are plenty of options for each course to choose from -- Starter, side, soup, main and dessert. Each and every dish is, again, a pleasant surprise to us in terms of the complexity of textures and flavours, 

(Soup) Japanese Kunbu Broth with Hand Carved Tofu
Double-boiled Japanese Seaweed consume with hand-carved tofu

(Main) Silk Lasagna with Broccoli Riso & Cashew Nut Sand
Layered pastry with chickpea, spinach, & tomato sauce roasted broccoli riso,
brussel sprouts, cashew nut sand

(Dessert) Red Wine Poach Pear with Lime Sorbet

Verdict:
It is a great place for contemporary vegetarian dining, with added Korean touch. No doubt it is the most reviewed fine dining and Singapore’s authentic Korean dining collaboration ever! Perfect spot for a romantic date too.

Joie Vegetarian Casual Fine Dining
181 Orchard Rd, #12-01, 
Singapore 238896.
WhatsApp: +65 9663 0901 (Message only)
Reservations: https://joie.sg/

Instagram: @joierestaurant

Operating Hours:
Lunch : 12pm to 3pm
(2pm Last Order)
Dinner : 6pm to 10pm
(9pm Last Order)

21 May, 2024

A Guide to Crafting Your Dream Outdoor Wedding

Your wedding day should be one of the most special and important days of your life. And if you dream of an outdoor wedding surrounded by nature, you'll want to make sure every detail is perfect. With careful planning and preparation, you can create a gorgeous outdoor wedding that you and your guests will always remember. This guide will walk you through the key steps to crafting your ideal open-air celebration.

Choosing the Right Outdoor Wedding Venue

One of the most critical decisions when planning an outdoor wedding is selecting the right venue. The venue sets the entire tone and feel for your special day. When evaluating potential outdoor wedding venues, consider the capacity, layout, scenery, and amenities offered.

Couples in the UK looking for a quintessential outdoor wedding often choose wedding venues in Shropshire. With its rolling green hills, flowering gardens, and stately homes, Shropshire provides an idyllic backdrop for weddings. You could consider a Shropshire wedding at Bromwich Park, for example. There are many great Shropshire wedding locations to choose from. From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, Shropshire offers spectacular spaces for weddings of all sizes and styles.

Picking the Date and Time

Once you've secured your dream outdoor venue, the next step is choosing the right date and time. For outdoor weddings, the weather and daylight hours are critical factors. Consult historical weatherdata to select a date with the highest probability of sunny skies. Many couples opt for summer or early fall weddings to maximise their chances of ideal weather.

The time of day also impacts your outdoor wedding. Afternoon ceremonies take advantage of daylight, while evening receptions allow for romantic lighting. Talk through scheduling with your venue to identify the best timeslots for each event. You may even decide to provide a rain backup plan like a tent or covered pavilion, just in case. With the right date and time, your outdoor wedding will unfold seamlessly.

Building the Design and Décor

The design and decor details bring your outdoor wedding vision to life. Play up the natural beauty of your venue with organic decor elements like flowers, greenery, wood, and stone. Incorporate the surrounding scenery through your colour palette, linens, and floral designs.

For seating, consider chiavari chairs, farm tables, or wooden benches to complement the outdoor setting. Vintage-style lighting such as string lights, lanterns and candles add ambience after the sun goes down. The goal is to enhance, not overwhelm, the innate beauty of your outdoor venue. Let Mother Nature shine while infusing personal details and touches to make your wedding feel completely yours.

An outdoor wedding blends romance and natural splendour for an unforgettable experience. With careful planning and attention to every aspect, you can craft your dream al fresco celebration. Select a venue with stunning outdoor spaces, choose a date to maximise great weather, and decorate to highlight your venue's natural charm. Following this guide will help you bring your unique outdoor wedding vision to life.

03 May, 2024

Why It’s Important to Hire Driver in Bali

Hello from Bali!

The Island of the Gods, as Bali is famously known, is renowned for its diverse array of tourist destinations that seem endless to explore. Therefore, vacationing on the island of Bali requires a considerable amount of time to fully enjoy all the attractions and beauty of its various tourist spots.

Not only that, due to the multitude of tourist destinations, you may need a driver who knows the ins and outs of Bali as a whole. Moreover, hiring a driver in Bali can save you vacation budget. It's a consideration for an economical and efficient transportation option.

Why Hire a Bali Driver?

Drivers can be a great asset when touring Bali, especially if you are not familiar with the country's locations. They will help you navigate roads, find your way around, and take care of other emerging needs.

They can also act as translators and guides during your stay in Bali. You'll be able to explore Bali at your own pace, without worrying about finding your way back to the hotel or restaurant.

3 Important Tips for Hiring a Driver in Bali

Here are some things you should consider before hiring a professional driver in Bali.

1. Broad Knowledge

The driver you hire should have knowledge of the Bali region and safe, comfortable, and positive driving behavior.

When you're hiring a driver, it's crucial to look for someone who knows Bali like the back of their hand and can ensure a safe, comfortable, and positive experience.

They should be familiar with the region, not just in terms of geography but also its culture and customs. Safety should be their top priority, with defensive driving skills and a well-maintained vehicle. 

Comfort matters too. A good driver ensures a smooth ride and attends to passenger needs. And of course, a positive attitude goes a long way in making the journey enjoyable.

2. Responsible

Drivers should have awareness and responsibility towards their profession. 

Responsibility is essential for any driver, especially when it comes to their profession. They should be fully aware of the importance of their role and the trust passengers place in them. This means adhering to traffic rules and regulations, maintaining their vehicle in good condition, and prioritizing the safety and comfort of their passengers at all times.

A responsible driver understands the impact of their actions on others and takes their duties seriously, striving to provide a reliable and trustworthy service to those they transport.

3. Highly Skilled in Driving

They should have good driving skills and be able to adhere to all traffic signs and regulations. 

A good driver needs to be really good at driving. That means they know how to handle the car well and follow all the rules of the road. They should be able to drive safely in different situations, like bad weather or heavy traffic. And most importantly, they always pay attention to signs and follow the traffic laws.

Other Important Tips You Need to Know

Apart from information about the driver, there are some other tips you need to know, that you need your preferred car to be checked thoroughly.

If you decide to choose a driver and rent a car, it's important to check the car. This check should be done in detail, from the physical aspects to the completeness of the vehicle's legality.

Even if you are just a passenger in the vehicle, you need to ensure that the physical condition and legality of the vehicle are in good condition and usable.
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