Alright, Im here to review some of the services that I’ve engaged during my birthday but before I start off, here’s a shout out to JONATHAN TOH cause he said that I didnt mention enough of him in my previous post. Thanks friend/classmate/schoolmate/neighbour for all your help during the party. Deeply appreciate it!
So lets start off with the chalet…
1) Chalet – Aloha Changi Cottage
Its really a nice place I must say, a quaint cottage with the prettiest sea view. Its quite a lovely place to host a party or even a wedding. With the sea breeze and sounds of waves crashing upon the sand, its hard not to fall in love with this place. Although its not as big when compared to FP7, but its a little more nicely furnished as I think they did some renovation to it not so long ago. The grass patch outside’s spacious with plenty of space for guests to mingle if you’re having an outdoor event. However, if you intend to DO anything here, please find out some of their rules and regulations first. Though my party did went on well, but the customer-service there’s really disappointing.
Firstly, their check-in time is at 3pm. If you’re having a party on 17th Nov, lets say, you should probably check-in a day earlier to do the preparations. 3pm is REALLY TOO LATE. OH WAIT. I forgot to mention that their checkout time’s at 9.30! Thats like 6 hours to do the cleaning! That day, my party crew and I went there early to do the decorations. The cleaners came to the house at 1.30. All I wanted to do was to at least put our stuff inside the house but we were disallowed to do so. We were denied entry into the house and had no choice but to sit at the balcony with our stuff all scattered there.
Secondly, they DO NOT allow stage or tent-age set up there AT ALL. Imagine how I planned and ordered everything and had to forgo everything. We decided to talk to the staff to work out a solution and was hoping that they could be more lenient, perhaps allow a platform or something. (FYI: Platforms have no hooks and what-so-ever, just two pieces of blocks on the floor). One of the staff followed us to the house to take a look and told us that they dont even allow that cause it’ll spoil the grass.. Im like okayyyy. So, you’re saying that I can put boards on the grass, step and run around on the grass patch and thats okay, but a platform is a no..) After saying no, he just went back to his office, without giving us any suggestions or even helping. Well fine. I was disappointed cause that would mean a no-show for stage activities so we decided to go look for him again to see if there’s any other means. When we entered the office, his colleagues told us that he was on lunch break. I specifically asked if they could tell him to come look for me after lunch. Guess what! He didn’t!
I had no choice but to make a change to my plans and tell the ten-tage people to go back. Luckily, they were really nice to not charge me that much even after knowing that they brought all the stuff down for nothing. Something had to be done, so I used the balcony as the stage instead. Everything was prepared and all was going well until the staff came down again to tell us that no speakers are allowed in the chalet area and they wanted to give us a fine.. (something near to a thousand bucks) MY GOD. I felt like everything was screwed. The rest of the party was held in DEAD SILENCE. How nice… but I still managed to have a good party. LALALA.
The next morning, my family and I had the biggest shock of our lives. At 7.30am, the cleaners came and knocked on our doors. Everyone woke up despite of the late night. They told us to check out cause they wanted to do the cleaning.. Seriously, 7.30am? The best part was one of the cleaners told us to clear our own rubbish! When they noticed the catered food still outside (cause I told the caterers to pick them up the next day before 10am), the cleaners actually told us to clear the food and buffet area immediately ourselves. We rushed to pack everything and since I opened my presents that night, there were some gift wrappers on the floor. They told us to pick them up and clear them before we left? How amazing (So we clear all what you clean? You got 7 hours somemore until 3pm). We were so frustrated and left really displeased. Oh yea, and cause of the tables and chairs that night, they complained that we spoiled the grass. OHMYTIAN. The thing is, they didnt disallow that k..
So overall, the place is nice but the staffs’ very anal, rude and disappointing. You make your choice.
2a) Food – YehLaiSiang
I found YehLaiSiang on the internet. Just in case you dont know, there’s this amazing website (www.foodline.sg). They have all the local caterers’ contacts there and many reviews that you may want to go through before making your orders. The good thing about the web’s that they consist of their full menus and you can make your orders directly online. Its really useful if you’re searching for a buffet that’s suitable for your event.
Erm, YehLaiSiang’s not too bad I guess. Guests mentioned that their food’s good. I ordered their Chicken Rice, White Hainanese Chicken, Fried Bee Hoon, Curry Chicken, Broccoli with Mushrooms, Kong Bak Pau, Sweet and Sour Sliced Fish, Sweet and Sour Prawns, Yam Paste and Laksa. Their buffet comes with a bucket of orange cordial too. Funny thing is.. I didnt get to taste many of the dishes cause there were none left when the party ended. I’ve come to the conclusion that either there was not enough food or that its too delicious. Im going for the second theory since many guests did commend the food, particularly the curry chicken, the chicken rice, the Kong Bak Pau and the Yam Paste. The Laksa’s average and I was surprised to know that the first dish emptied was in fact the vegetables! HAHA. First time!
Although the food wasn’t too bad, but they did give me quite a scare. Im not sure if its my fault. You see, I told them that my guests were arriving at 7.30pm. I expected them to had arrived earlier to do the set-up. However, they came only at 7.25pm sharp with only one man working. It was tedious for him to do the set up and carry the huge trays of food alone. He took quite awhile to set up and my guests, those that arrived earlier or on time, had to wait for a rough 45mins to an hour before they could start eating the buffet. That was really embarrassing on my part.. You may just wanna take note of this point when doing your buffet booking. Also, I’d say that the food portion tallies with what you ordered for YehLaiSiang, not really a lot of extras given, so do order enough! The set-ups’s normal so don’t expect too much.
2b) Food- BBQ Wholesale
Other than having a buffet that day, BBQ food was available too and I got the food from BBQ Wholesale. I’d consider them to have quite a good reputation and thus chose them instead of the rest of the caterers. The food arrived correctly and on time, no trouble given. Sadly, the food’s only just alright with a few stinky stingrays mixed with some fresher ones. On a side note, their spicy stuffs’ really spicy especially the Stingrays and the Sambal Sotongs!
3) Birthday Cake – Pine Garden’s Cake
Yes, many were amazed by my lovely pink cake and I actually had it customized at Pine Garden. There’s been a lot of rave about them lately, with their delicious soft-to-the-point-they-melt-in-your-mouth cake slices of different flavors. You’re not gonna believe this but I went down to the shop twice to buy different flavored cakes to try them out. In the end, I decided on having Lychee Martini and Bailey’s Chocolate for my birthday cake.
Mine was a two tier cake, so its one flavor on top and the other one at the bottom. If you want a personalized cake, I’d recommend you to do some research first before going down and know exactly how you want your cake to look like. Its best if you have pictures so that its easier when you’re explaining the details.
The staff there seems to be quite busy so they’re probably not gonna approach you. Approach them with a smile and ask for their services. They do have a sample book there if you’re not really a cake-designing person. Do note that there’ll be some discrepancies in how the flowers look like or how the ribbon looks like. Its still gonna be flowers there, just a different-looking one. Oh yes, I didn’t trust them enough to draw or get a perfect Hello Kitty figurine for me so I bought my cake toppers myself and added them on. One thing important to note would be that you’re not supposed to refrigerate the cake. I placed mine in an air-conditioned room but it started melting within 1.5 hours. It was VERY VERY soft during cake cutting.
As for the taste, its special but its different from what I tasted during my self-held cake tasting session. Probably due to the decorations, it became too creamy. 😦 But its okay, its a pretty cake!
4) Photobooth – Image Setters
And if you did follow my blog posts, you’d have known that I hired a photobooth for my birthday. I’m not gonna lie to you but its not cheap. I searched online for several companies and looked through their prices and packages and finally settled for them. Here’s how their machine looks like..
They’re really nice people, especially Rachelle. As some of my guests would be coming late, I decided to have a last minute extension for the photobooth and they agreed. I initially engaged their services from 7.30pm till 10.30pm but extended it till 11.30pm. I also had them shift the booth out from the guestroom to the living room halfway through the party so that they’d be more eye-catching. They did so without any complains.. KUDOS. Whatsmore, Im really happy with the designs. Everyone said that the template and backdrop’s pretty and everyone had a good time!
Rachelle was very patient when we were discussing bout the backdrop design and the template. She made sure that I was happy with the end product despite me having loads of minor stuff that I wanted to modify. (Stuff like, its not pink enough.. so they had to adjust the tint.) She called me to clarify some of the changes I wanted and was really helpful.
The only down part of their service I guess, would be not having personalized props (Hello Kitty themed), only those normal ones. (There are some companies that includes customized props in the package). Also, their machine was faulty at times and they had to keep restarting the program. Other than that, its cool!
Here’s another picture of Jonathan Toh, the camera person on my bday and the baokaliao. Okay, I’ve completed the reviews and hope that they’ll be of use to you. And here’s a tip if you’re hosting any outdoor party.. Its rumored that when they do filming outdoors for variety shows, they’ll place some onions and chilies on the floor as the pic below.
I did it on my birthday and the drizzle stopped like 15 mins after we placed them around the chalet! MIRACULOUSLY, THEY WORKED! But do remember to take them out after your party k! If not we’ll die of heat. As if Singapore not hot enough already!