Saturday, October 20, 2012

D.O.G.S Updates

I first wrote about D.O.G.S in July and it's time to give you all an update. D.O.G.S has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and is now in the process of applying for charity and IPC status. What that means is we will be able to enjoy tax free donations while donors will enjoy tax exemption benefits on the amount they donated. This is the most efficient and effective way to ensure all proceeds go towards helping the dogs. In future, all donations that we have collected are 100% going towards dog welfare, and no one in the organisation will be drawing any salary at all. This is our pledge to the dogs and our supporters.

It is only when we get charity status that we will start campaigning for donations. In the meantime, my co-founder Manida, and I are still using our own money to help the dogs. Here's a quick look at what we have been doing the past months...

D.O.G.S has been featured in the Oct/Nov issue of Pets magazine. The article talks about how we rehabilitate dogs to improve their quality of life at the dog shelters. If you like what we do, please LIKE our D.O.G.S Facebook Page and share it with your friends.

For the month of September, I also did a private donation drive for dog food for Madam Wong's Shelter. I am thankful to all the friends who responded and donated generously. Together, we raised 156 cartons, which is a total of 1,872 cans of dog food worth over $4,680. The dogs are happy, so are we.

While Manida and I were in Perth for work in September, we visited Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge Home and the West Australian Guide Dog Association. At the Dogs' Refuge Home, we learn why this established dog shelter has a high success rate in re-homing the rescued dogs, as well as the good practices and volunteer training program that they have in place. We hope to be able implement some of these good practices in the dog shelters in Singapore.
 Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge Home in Perth

Manida and I with the guide dogs in training at WA Guide Dog Association

With the festive season just around the corner, we have decided to launch some cute merchandise for sale to raise funds to help the doggies.

The first batch of our limited edition D.O.G.S button badges. These are given to those who have supported us and to those who purchase 5 packs or more of our Charity X'mas Cards. 

The limited edition X'mas cards in aid of Madam Wong's Shelter. The cute illustrations were done by Melissa Tan, a talented artist who is also a volunteer at the shelter. The dogs in the pictures were dogs that D.O.G.S have rehabilitated. Each pack costs S$8 and consists of 4 cards in different designs. The response have been overwhelming and they are almost sold out. We will raise over S$2,800 from this charity drive and will be using the money towards the medical welfare of the dogs at Madam Wong's Shelter.

For more information, you can visit us on D.O.G.S Facebook page.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Hola, Bomba!

Say hola to Bomba, the new hot Spaniard in town. Taking over Graze at Martin No. 38 is a new Paella Bar. Si, tapas bar is so passe. I checked out Bomba yesterday, which happened to be its second day of operation. Here's a look at why the new kid is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.

The menu at a glance

The cool graffiti on the wall reminds me of Penelope Cruz

There's no service charge at this establishment. Please tip if you like the service.

A semi-open kitchen concept. Love the red plastic crates with light bulbs. Raw creativity at its best.

Start the meal with a red and a white sangria

Courgette flower stuffed with mackerel and shrimps

Iberico ham croquettas, Iberico jamon bellota reserve, Piquuillo peppers stuffed with salt cod branade.

Grilled razor clams

Mussels, xeres vinegar, deep fried parsley

Classic tortilla with romesco sauce

Langoustine squid and prawns paella

Pineapple gazpacho, basil and black peppers granite

Bitter chocolate ice cream, sour dough bread and salted olive oil

Bomba is a great place to eat, drink and be merry. Never underestimate the power of great company and awesome food, for it helped me to cope with my migraine for the night.

For more information, please visit Bomba's Facebook page:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

W Hotel Singapore - SKIRT Restaurant

Singapore finally got its very own W Hotel. I stayed away during its opening as I did not want to be sucked into the hype and fanfare. However, I decided to check out it out tonight since I am in the mood to dine out at a new restaurant.

With a craving for steaks, hubs and I decided on SKIRT, the semi fine dining restaurant at W Hotel. A friend gave the thumbs down on this restaurant last week, so I was a little apprehensive dining here. I was glad I decided to check it out as the dining experience turned out unexpectedly well.

Once I sat down, I was drawn to the amazing decor of the restaurant, especially the ceiling.

Our dining table is just next to the open concept kitchen. As a foodie, I love seeing the action in the kitchen. 

I love the cutlery and the way they were presented. I appreciate the attention to details.

Fresh warm bread served with a pesto dip. Though a tad oily on top, the bread was delish.

Seared giant king scallops, dashi and apple sauce - S$28

We were presented with two shot glasses before the main course of steaks were being served. On the right is apple bourbon, meant to be drunk before the main course as a palate cleanser. On the left is a barbecue sauce for the steaks.

 Argentinean tenderloin 250g - S$42

US rib eye 350g - S$58

 Grilled pumpkin, charred sprouts and feta cheese - S$8

Hand cut garlic fries with saffron mayonnaise - S$8

Hazelnut cream, crepes, dulce de leche - S$15

Vanilla mascarpone - S$18

The verdict? Definitely W-orth checking out. The service was good right from the start. We were kept waiting upon arrival as the hostess was nowhere in sight. However, when she did appear, she apologised with a sincere smile and showed us to our table. When one waiter overheard that our bottle of wine was too chilled, he came by with a decanter and offered to decant it for us.

Perhaps I was prepared to expect disappointment after hearing a bad review, but the quality of the ingredients and the cooking techniques totally surpassed my expectations. I could sense the pride and passion of the kitchen crew in the food that I was served, as well as feel the sincerity to please the diners by the service staff. If I have to nit pick, it would be that some of the service staff do not have a strong command of English, making the ordering process a tad difficult. Other than that, I have no complaints and will be happy to dine there again.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PFF Report - Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge Home

4th October is World Animal Day and it is apt for me to dedicate today's blog entry to dog welfare. During my visit to Perth as the ambassador for Perth Fashion Festival, I specifically requested to visit a dog shelter. Why? Because I would like to learn from established dog shelters on the methods utilised and procedures implemented. 

The Dogs' Refuge Home is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the rescue, care and re-homing of dogs. Established in 1935, it is one of the oldest animal welfare agencies in Australia.

I had the privilege of having Ian Coombes, Vice President, to show me around this amazing well-run facility. 

The luxury of land and space is something we lack in Singapore. I was told that even though this shelter receives no funding from the government, it does enjoy low or almost rent-free space. I really hope the Singapore government can allocate a piece of land for us to build a world-class shelter to provide good welfare for the dogs in Singapore.

This no-kill dog refuge home is capable of housing up to 150 dogs. Ian told me this shelter has a great success rate of rehoming the dogs. A whopping 90% of the dogs were being rehomed last year!

Adoption fees vary from A$320 - A$530, and the fee includes microchip, vaccination, sterilisation, worming and flea treatment. The best part, it comes with a temperament assessment. I wish all dog rehomers in Singapore will assess the dogs before they rehome them. It is important to also assess potential adopters to make sure they make good and responsible dog owners.

Communication is key. This shelter sets a good example by having a huge notice board so all volunteers get the latest updates on all the dogs.  

All the dogs are colour coded according to their personality level. White (easiest), Yellow, Green, Blue (most difficult). A magnet on the day means the dog has been walked. This is so volunteers won't walk the same dog twice and give other dogs a chance to be walked. Volunteers also have to undergo training and be graded according to their knowledge and experienced level. Even though I am fairly experienced, I was not allowed to bring a dog out as I have not been assessed yet! Blimey!

Let's do a pictorial tour of the shelter...

There are several kennels and I love the paintings on the wall. The shelter receives good corporate sponsorships and the logos of the sponsors are painted on the walls too.

There is also a pet cemetary on site that is available to public. It is really touching to see the respect that dogs get here. 

The luxury of having fenced up dog run areas at the back of the shelter. Dogs can learn to go off leash within a safe environment. It does wonders to the dog's well being when they are walked daily, let off to run and play frequently. Perhaps that is the reason why the dogs in this shelter are so balanced and happy. I can tell the big difference between the dogs here and the dogs in Singapore shelters.

See the yellow tag. This dog is coloured coded as Yellow. Her temperament is also recorded and displayed for the volunteers to see.

This puppy gets to stay in the office so he can get used to human interaction on a daily basis.

The kennels are spacious and the resident dogs get a big space to live in. They have elevated beds so they stay dry when the floors are being washed. They also have heating lamps above their beds to keep them warm on cold days.

Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge Home also runs a boarding facility for owners to board their dogs. Check out the cute signage.

There is also a quarantine section for dogs that have just arrived. New dogs have to be quarantined for 7 days and have to be medically assessed before they are being taken in and housed on a permanent basis. This is such a good practice! There is also a medical facility on site where the in-house vet performs sterilisation and medical procedures. World class facility indeed!

A photo to remember our visit. Left to right: Manida (my co-founder of D.O.G.S), Ian (Vice President), me, Karen (President). I hope to visit again next year and stay long enough to attend the volunteer training program.

I bought a cap for myself at the Shenton Park Dogs' Refuge Home shop.

I bought these cute Fuzzyard plushies for my doggies too. All proceeds go towards the funding of the dogs. Definitely shopping for a good cause!

For more information, please visit