Among the most daunting things about moving to a new place is establishing a roster of trusted services. Who's really going to be able to get that stain out of my accordion-pleated Marchesa gown without ruining it? Why do I have to pay $25 for a manicure, for godssake?? Is there anyone in this country who can cut curly hair properly??? The answers are you don't and yes, to the last two questions at least.
It has taken some time to assemble it, but I finally feel pretty confident about my services lineup and so I’d like to share it with you. My Most Valuable Players...
More expensive than independently run outfits, but still not exorbitant and worth every penny for the care they take with your clothes.
Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Rd, 247933
Tel. 6235 8235An express manicure goes for $12, less if you buy a package, and the manicurist called Orange does a particularly nice job. Be prepared for a postage stamp-sized shop. Call ahead.
Andy Ong at Kim Robinson
#02-12 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, 238872
Tel. 6738 8006
You may need to refinance your home to pay for a cut with Andy (a heart-attack inducing $248, as of this posting), but your hair will look expensive.
Multiple locations. I like Rachel at the Far East Plaza location, although it's tiny and not very luxe.While I wish the decor were simple—the moody colors and boudoir-theme always leaves me feeling a little like I'm at a one-woman bachelorette party—the wax is gentle and aestheticians thorough (yay!). A bikini wax starts around $40, but you can get a considerable discount if you buy a package.
And some other favorites...
REASONABLY PRICED ESPRESSO
Yes, don't scoff! I was sceptical too, but their small cappuccinos cost only around $2 and are BETTER than other chains’! Just think, you'll never have to pay almost $6 for a tall S'bux cappuccino ever again! The joy, the sheer joy!
03-16/17 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, 238872
For a delish mini croissant to go with your McCafe. (You'll have to eat it elsewhere though. For some reason Paul doesn't like it when you try to drink your McCappucino in his cafe. Paul can be so uptight...)
ELEGANT CAKES, LICKETY-SPLIT
An easy stop for lovely cakes and macarons to take to that dinner party, even at last-minute, thanks to Canele’s many locations.
559 Thomson Rd, Tel: 6251 3963
While the orchid plants you find here will already be in full bloom, I've found they still last for weeks, and at $12 a stem, how could you not? Read more here.