Blood Trail Leading Through Downtown East and E-Hub (Pictures)

My wife and I were in Downtown East tonight when we noticed this trail of blood leading past the entrance to Sakura.  At first, I thought that perhaps some poor girl was having an unfortunate night, but then I realized it was way too much blood for that.  The trail led to the door going out of the mall.  In the other direction, it headed down the stairs into the lower level of the mall.

As I started taking pictures, three police officers walked by, following the blood trail out the door.  I went the other way, following it further into the mall.

This is the handrail on the steps that go down from the entrance of Sakura into the mall.  You can see blood splashed on the wall and on the metal railing.

This is the post on the wall by the ATMs, just past the Indian restaurant towards the sliding glass door where the long escalators are that go to the 2nd level of E-Hub.

These are pictures of the stairs that lead up to the 2nd floor of E-Hub, between the escalators.

At this point I ran into a guy that was wearing a mall uniform who was taking pictures of the blood trail. I asked him what had happened.  He said there was an incident outside the mall.  He also kept saying “8 plus” “8 plus”.  I couldn’t quite understand him, but what I’m thinking is that 8 kids attacked a 9th kid, who fled into the mall for safety after sustaining heavy wounds.  The photos only tell a bit of the story.  There was a LOT of blood on the ground and walls the whole way along.  I wonder, can this much blood come from a broken nose, or is it a knife wound?

These three photos are from the landing at the top of the escalators, where you enter the E-Hub mall.

This is inside, in the “alley” area where the walkway skirts the children’s playground.

This is right in front of the virtual reality arcade game that sits under the escalator that goes to the movie house and arcade on the third floor.

This was the last bit of blood we saw.  I wonder if this was another incident of gang violence, like the gang fight masked as a lion dance reported in the news, or if it was “schoolyard” bullying taken to an extreme.

Pastamania at Downtown East – GREAT Service

This is just a short note I wanted to write to praise the customer service at Pastamania at Downtown East.

Tonight, we went up there to have dinner and there was a problem with the pizza I ordered.  Within a few minutes the manager came out, addressed the situation, apologized for the inconvenience and made sure that a replacement dish was made.

To follow up on that, he came back to let me know the pizza would be out in a few minutes and apologized again for the problem.

I was happy and impressed with the level of attention that was given to our problem.

When the replacement pizza came we finished our meal and then got up and walked out of the restaurant.

Surprisingly, we hadn’t gone more than five feet out the door when I heard the manager calling after us and running to catch up with us.  He said the problem with the food shouldn’t have happened, apologized for the extra time we had to wait, and that he hoped we’d be coming back in the future.  Additionally, he gave us a voucher for a free pizza.

That’s what I’m talking about!  This manager has a great personality and does his job well.  Pastamania in general has always had a great attitude in regard to customer service.  You can see it in how every cashier, waiter / waitress, and manager handles themselves.  Well, at the Tampines and Pasir Ris branch at least.

Despite there being something wrong with the dish I ordered, I’ll definitely be going back to the same location again.  Good service is worth repeat business.

Kopi Alley (at Downtown East)

One of the best things about Singapore, to me anyway, has been the food.  Also, as a coffee lover, it didn’t take me long to try the Kopi that you can find at most every hawker center in Singapore.  There are people that hate it, but somehow I got addicted to the stuff and love to have it after dinner whenever possible.  I won’t go into the details of how it’s prepared, because I honestly don’t know them, but it’s well worth trying if you ever get the chance.

There are plenty of places you can go to get Kopi.  Like I said, you can get it from hawker centers, but there are also fancier looking restaurants set up in malls that sell Kopi.  Some of them call it coffee, like the place on the bottom level of White Sands in Pasir Ris (Kayakun Toast I think?), but it’s still the same, and it’s still good.

Here are some photos of Kopi Alley at Downtown East:

I really like the design theme they went with for Kopi Alley, and I was a bit surprised, considering what they sell.  It looks nicer than a lot of so-called fine dining restaurants I’ve been in.  By the way, the total cost for the items in the last 3 photos was only 5.30 SGD.  That’s not too bad at all, and it was overkill.  We went there after dinner and we wound up not finishing that chocolate spread toast, so we could’ve done without it.  It was a bit too sweet too, but… what did I expect, ordering chocolate spread toast?

Buddy Hoagies at Downtown East

The first time my wife and I saw this place we kinda scoffed at the name.  It sounds pretty lame right?  So, we didn’t bother trying it out.  We didn’t even bother looking it up online.

I was really in the mood to try something new, though, so when a Friday night rolled around and we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go, I said, “Well, how about that Buddy Hoagies at Downtown East?”  My wife couldn’t think of anything she’d rather have, so that’s where we went.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  The first thing I noticed was that the place has a nice ambiance.

Buddy Hoagies at Pasir Ris White Sands / E-Hub

Buddy Hoagies at Pasir Ris White Sands / E-Hub

Buddy Hoagies sitting area.

Buddy Hoagies sitting area.

The place is really relaxed.  The lighting isn’t too bright either, though it seems that way in the second photo.  That’s just a bad shot!  I think it helped that there weren’t too many other people in the place at the time.  It gave the whole dining experience a relaxed feel and was conducive to conversation.

The place also has a fun look to it, with nifty little pictures up on the wall, a cafeteria style bar, and (though you can’t see them in the photo) a section of seating with nice, cushioned seats that help you relax.

The service was pretty good.  I got the impression that our waitress wasn’t having a good day, but she still forced a smile and was passably polite, if a little brusque.

The food itself was another surprise.  For what we paid I wasn’t expecting a miracle, but you definitely get a lot of value for your money.  I was so happy with our food in fact that at the time I snapped these photos on my phone and put them out on Twitter.  Some of my Twitter followers were quite jealous of my meal that night!

Buddy Hoagies sirloin mushroom steak.

Buddy Hoagies sirloin mushroom steak.

Buddy Hoagies sirloin steak.

Buddy Hoagies sirloin steak.

The Sirloin Steak

The veggies were crunchy, the meat was well cooked, and I was actually kinda shocked to see baked potatoes.  I think this was the first time I’d had one in over a year.  Too bad there was no sour cream, chives, and bacon bits to go on it, but hey, can’t have everything right?

Overall, Buddy Hoagies was a great dining experience.  The food was fantastic and the value for the food was great too.  We’ll definitely be going back.

Just Acia

Just Acia is a restaurant located in the Downtown East Mall in Pasir Ris, Singapore. My wife and I went to the mall to meet up with friends we hadn’t seen in months. Singapore is such a small island, but life gets so hectic that we still seem to only find rare opportunities to hang out with our friends.

When we arrived, the first thing on everyone’s minds was dinner, so off we went. One of our friends already had a place in mind that she said was fantastic, and had a great deal. We’re always keen to find places that are both “fantastic” and have a “great deal”. She didn’t disappoint!

Just Acia is on the ground level, back past a huge children’s play area. We’d probably never have even found it without her taking us to it. I didn’t even realize that the mall had a back area before tonight.

As we walked up to the restaurant I saw a sign that said all “set meals” come with freeflow (as in free refills) ice cream and drinks. That got my interest up, because free refills on anything isn’t common in Singapore. I was extra excited about the ice cream, because ice cream in Singapore is sold for a fairly high price. Most dairy products here are quite a bit more expensive than what I was used to in the US, because it all has to be imported. For those of you who don’t know and don’t care to Google it, Singapore is an island nation and a city-state.

When we got to the table and flipped through the menu, I was surprised again. The set meals were reasonably priced and the food looked really good. My wife placed an order for beef bulgoggi and I got the deep fried chicken, as well as a side dish of steamed dumplings. Right after ordering we were given cups and small metal dishes so we could start getting our drinks and ice cream from a buffet style bar near the front of the restaurant. The drink choices included Pepsi, Mountain Dew, some teas, cappuccino, lattes, and mocha. Again, impressive for the price.

By the time we sat back down our orders were hitting the table. The meal came with a bowl of rice (no surprise, this is Asia), a small bowl of broth soup (standard fare in Singapore), and a small dish of what I think was kimchi, though I could be wrong.

The food was fantastic! The first thing I tried was the dumplings. They were so much better than I had hoped. I’ve had a lot of dumplings in Singapore and these were the best so far. The deep fried chicken was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It wasn’t over cooked, and it tasted like the oil they used was fresh. My wife and I swapped a portion of our meals and her beef bulgoggi was great as well.

The cappuccino I had after my meal was fairly strong. It was nothing special, but I have no complaints about it either. The ice cream also wasn’t anything premium, but it did have a good taste to it, and I wound up getting three servings.

The last thing I’d like to mention is that the staff is very friendly and very helpful. They were always smiling and always quick to ask if you needed any help. The only drawback I found was that the hostess seemed a bit hard of hearing. She spoke English, but she either didn’t listen to or didn’t understand what I said back to her. When we first approached the restaurant, two of our group had gone on ahead, with the rest of us lagging behind. I tried to explain that we were with the other two people, but she kept saying, “Group of four? Please come this way!” Finally, we just ignored her and walked past her into the restaurant to where our friends were waiting. Later, I stepped out for moment and when I came back, she asked me if I wanted to be seated, as if she hadn’t just seen me 4 minutes previous. Still, this is Asia, so you can’t expect everyone to be as proficient in English as a native speaker, so I can’t even call this a bad mark against the restaurant. It was just a minor annoyance that most foreigners have probably come to occasionally expect while traveling abroad.

All in all, this place serves some great food for a great price, and we’ll definitely be visiting them again.