Exploring Tokyo my way; Handmade shopping, Kawaii and Pet Merchandise

Out of the 9 days in Japan, 5 days were spent in Tokyo. In hb’s words, “The Queen dictated where we went, shopping, craft stuff, Wawa (Chihuahuahua) stuff, cute stuff…” While he still got to pick what he wanted to eat for some of our meals 😝

Shopping was centred in the vicinity that we were staying in; Shinjuku. Takashimaya, Lumine and Tokyo Hands were about a 15 min walk from the Hotel. Japanese Fashion wasn’t something I was interested in, however I was more keen on their handmade culture of accessories, and there were number of pop up shops for handmade accessories that were peppered across in the various departmental stores that we visited.

Okadaya Shibuya was the other store worth visiting, if you are like me, love handmades and are looking for fabric notions like buttons, yarn, ribbons, embroidery patches, accessories findings. We depended on Google Maps to find our way around, especially for the Okadaya store in Shinjuku that was located in an obscure hidden alley.

While Lumine the other departmental store that is trendy and carries merchandise that the other departmental stores don’t for the younger set. In Lumine 2, there is Kiwa Products which is a specialty store selling jewellery making supplies. It was at this place where I stumbled onto a made-in-Japan raw material that I am still working on to create accessories with it.

A month ago, I read a news article that mentioned that Lumine will be opening a branch in Singapore. I think it will be interesting to see what merchandise they are planning to bring here.

There were many other places we wanted to explore like Ginza and Shibuya, but we only managed a couple of hours to check out Harajuku, had some Ramen for lunch, and walked on the world’s most crowded junction; Shibuya Crossing, and chanced upon an artsy hipster street in Shibuya trying to navigate walking from one place to another.

I was thrilled when we stumbled upon Character Street in Tokyo Station when we made our way there to take the Shikansen to Kyoto. When in Japan, cutesy characters memorabilia is something that one cannot miss out. From Hello Kitty, Studio Ghlibi, Rilakkuma, Doraemon to Pokemon Memorabilia.


Dog Culture

In Japan, there are likely more pets than children. With the large variety of merchandise available for dogs in Japan, even with dog clothes being more expensive than some children clothing, it’s worthwhile for any dog owner to take the time to visit these shops.


I have to confess that I never planned in dressing up dogs until I saw how adorable the Japanese and Korean small dogs look in clothing 😬. But I caved in and bought a couple of summer tees and officially after this trip to Tokyo, I am a convert.

JapcostumeBibi and Tess in their costumes from Tokyo

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BibiTheChi Reviews : 7 Dog Friendly Cafes and Restaurants in Singapore May 2016

My family and other dog pawrents need to eat good food during their weekends. Visiting Dog cafes can get rather tiresome after a while, for my Mom especially (not me for sure), when she has to watch me like a hawk to make sure that I don’t get mauled by being over-friendly to a bigger dog, and mark (pee) around the tables or chairs.

We haven’t visited all the Dog cafes in Singapore, e.g. Happenstance Cafe or Roboeyes Cafe but from what we have experienced with most places, they focus on finger food and there really much to talk about when it comes to their food. Since I don’t get to eat what I like most of the time, as Mom is so particular about me putting on extra weight, I hardly get to try any of their selections from the Dog menu *whine*

Sunray Cafe is just about the only Dog Cafe that we have tried so far that has rather decent food, good portions and good coffee. The last time we were at Sunray Cafe, Mom was chasing after me with the mop each time I felt the urgency to mark on someone’s table or chair. Since then, we don’t frequent Dog cafes as much as I would like to :(

Screen Shot 2016 05 07 at 11 04 25 amObviously this will never be for me :( from 3 Barks Cafe in 327 Joo Chiat Road. 

Since beginning of April, my family started to scout around for Dog Friendly cafes that they can visit on the weekends, where they can get to eat good food, while I can only watch. Sadly, this is a dog’s life!

I might not be able to try the food most of the time, but sometimes, I still get some morsels of food with no salt, spices or sauces. But after hearing my Mom vocally expressing her insights of the place and my boy’s review of the food from each place, I am able to compile this post for you with a review of each of the cafe/restaurant we have visited the past 2 months.



39 Jalan Mas Puteh Singapore 128637

Tel : 96465372

Screen Shot 2016 05 07 at 11 03 16 amThat’s Seared Tuna in the foreground, looked interesting, but fish will never be my top choice, Mom loved it though.

We have been here twice and the experiences have all been very pleasant. The ambience is good seated outside, and there are ample seats outdoors on a weekend evening.

W39 have good cakes and they have a small section of baked bread that patrons can buy home, but a limited selection of food from their menu. However having a small selection is alright when u do it well, and we have not been disappointed with their Seared Tuna, Steak, Wagyu Burger, Chicken wings and their good selection of non alcoholic drinks, beers and ciders. We have yet to try their brunch selections and their weekday lunch selections, as we have been there for dinner the both times we visited, but the cakes are good. Must try favourites are Warm Chocolate Cake and Sea Salt Caramel Cake. One of each isn’t enough for Mom. *snigger*

When u visit W39, do say Hi to Mimi the neighbourhood cat if you see her. She isn’t friendly with dogs and there was quite a bit of staring exchange going on when I was there the both times, but she is not hostile as long as you don’t go too near to her.

Seating Outdoors but sheltered.

Food : 8/10 Mostly Western Food Selections, with a good variety of cakes. 

Service : 7/10

Ambience : 10/10

Price : About $40 per head (with non-alcoholic drinks), with 2 slices of cake to share 

Overall Experience : 8/10



55 Lorong L Telok Kurau, Singapore 425500
Tel : 6346 0504

Screen Shot 2016 05 07 at 11 05 21 am

The Garden Slug was one of the first few Dog Friendly cafes we scouted in the East and we weren’t disappointed with the food each time we visited. The pastas are generally consistent, except for the tomato-based one that we order during our last visit that was a tad bit salty, Mom and my boy loved the Salmon Carbonara though.

You wouldn’t go wrong with ordering any of their selections from their all day breakfast, however, we are going to go back for their steaks the next time when Dad joins us for dinner. The meat portions are rather large so it will be helpful if you have a family member/friend who love meat to share the platter.

Friendly and attentive service staff overall who will provide your dog with an icy bowl of water.

The cafe is located in the quiet neighbour with a Dog Therapy indoor swimming pool, Pet shop and Pet Groomer along the same stretch of shops.

Seating Outdoors but sheltered.

Food : 8/10 Mostly Western Food Selections

Service : 8/10

Ambience : 7/10

Price : About $35 per head (with non-alcoholic drinks), with no dessert

Overall Experience : 7/10


200 Netheravon Road Singapore 508529

Tel : 6475 0200

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.04.44 amCoastal Settlement with my friends, Sweetheart and Mao Mao

This place can be quite far to get to especially if you live in the West like I do, and if you don’t drive. The first time we visited was after visit to Pet Expo, and a few days after, we returned again when we were in that vicinity.

So far we have only tried their Fish and chips, Chicken Wings and Fried Calamari that are cooked rather competently. It will be a nice place to drop by for lunch if you reside in the Tampines/Pasir Ris/Changi neighbourhood. The outdoor area is spacious but most tables are under big umbrellas, so it will not be a good place to go to if it rains. I would also avoid going to the place in the evenings or nights, as it is surrounded by a small forested area, so there will be likely swamps of mosquitos lingering around the place at night.

Do make sure to go through your bill very carefully, especially on the weekends when they get crowded with pawrents and their dogs seated outdoors. The first time we visited, they overcharged Mom by more than $50 as Mom was busy chatting with friends and didn’t do through the bill carefully. She ended up paying for another table and didn’t realise it until she saw the bill again when we got home. *tsk tsk so careless, got too much money is it?* Also their service isn’t attentive at all, especially if you are seated outside.

But I guess we will still go back to try their other selections in the menu if we are in that vicinity.

Seating Outdoors, limited seats are sheltered. 

Food : 6 to 7/10 Mostly Western Food Selections but we haven’t tried much variety from their menu yet

Service : 5/10

Ambience : 7/10

Price : About $30 per head (with non-alcoholic drinks), with no dessert

Overall Experience : 6/10



205 Upper Thomson Road SIngapore 574345

Tel : 90041800

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.04.01 amSeated on one of the indoor bench chairs in Pasta J

The pastas are really of good quality and very tasty, our favourite is the Salmon Carbonara, the best we have even tasted. It’s one of the rare non Dog cafe that allows dogs in their indoor seating. Service is attentive and personalised as the owner himself greets the patrons and often is the one who takes the orders, all 3x we have been here. The owner of Pasta J has 2 Schnauzers and a dog lover, so I always get extra hugs and smooches by him each time I visit, which I don’t mind.

Tables indoors are limited, as the cafe is quite small but comfortable seating as they are not too close to one another.

Parking is limited alongside the cafe, but many lots available at Sin Ming Plaza across the road. I think it’s perfectly alright walk a little to find your way to good food.

Seating Indoors or Sheltered Outdoor Area

Food : 8/10 Mostly Pastas selections with some Grilled Meats 

Service : 9/10

Ambience : 8/10

Price : About $35 per head (with non-alcoholic drinks), with no dessert

Overall Experience : 8/10

**Our top choice when we are in Upper Thomson


1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Bishan Park 2, Singapore 569931

Tel : 65561533

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 12.41.03 pm

This is the only place, that no photo was taken of me in the cafe. So I can only share this one above. I was decked out in my black/white bow tie that evening, dressed well to be ready to be stepped on 😛 You will understand why when you read further on the review of this place.

We were there on a Friday evening, about 8.30pm. An hour before, Mom called to make a reservation, and the Cafe Manager who picked up the call told us we could just walk in.

When we arrived, there were hardly any tables at all, and we were given a seat in a dark and cramped walk-way, where the only light was streaming from the indoor area and a tealight candle on the table. Such low lighting that my Mom didn’t want to waste any of her time snapping a photo of me there. We were shown a leaflet of sorts with the house-rules for patrons who brought along their dogs, like keeping us leashed within their premises and listed out obvious no-no-s like pawrents sharing the utensils with us dogs *duh*.

Somehow having that list of house-rules started off our experience in this food establishment on a wrong footing, especially since Mom is the fastidious sort. We really frowned on the rule that dogs were not allowed on chairs, even tiny ones like me, who will only sit in my pet tote bag or on the cloth that Mom usually brings along to line the chairs, to make sure that I don’t dirty the chairs in the cafes or restaurants.

So the only option I had was on the floor and risked having my tiny foot or tail being stepped on.

So with me on the ground, in a cramped walk-way, I was nervous and Mom even more stressed that I would get stepped on by the service staff walking up and down hastily or by other patrons, so she ended gobbling up her food quickly and watching me most of the time and pulling back my leash each time someone walked past. Obviously with that, I couldn’t enjoy any of my dinner that Mom brought along for me, and I decided to go hungry for the evening.

The grilled Salmon that my boy order was simple but tasty, while the Teriyaki Cod Mom ordered was good as well but we don’t have much to say about the ambience and the seating overall.

Generally the food or service isn’t that fantastic for Mom to consider buying a foldable chair for me to sit on, to patronise this place. So we will be hard-pressed to consider this place again when we are back to Bishan Park on a weekend, instead we will be heading next door to Cornerstone Cafe instead.

Review of Cornerstone Cafe coming soon.

Tip to Save : Considering that Mom got the Entertainer App which gives us a free main course for any main course order, there were some savings of $20+ from our meal there.

Seating Outdoors, but limited seating that are sheltered. If you need your dog to sit on chairs (especially with the small toy breeds) please bring our own foldable chair. 

Food : 6/10

Service : 5/10

Ambience : 4/10

Price : About $45 per head (with non-alcoholic drinks), but without dessert

Overall Experience : 3/10  (A place that markets itself as being Dog friendly, but really isn’t that friendly)



11 Dempsey Road, Singapore 249673

Tel : 64768748

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.02.34 am

Mom used to visit their first Dome outlet at Park Mall and loved their sandwiches and Citron Presse drink when she was a young adult and visiting this chain of cafes brought back memories for her. In recent years, they have expanded the selections on their menu and there are many different non-alcoholic beverages to choose from apart from Coffee and Tea.

We went for the Club Sandwich and Steak the first time. The Club sandwich was good as usual, but quality of meat for the Steak can be improved. My boy, having ‘gourmet’ tastebuds, rejected the whole dish after a few bites and Mom being thirfty, ended up finishing what’s left. I didn’t mind to help too, but Mom refuse to let me have any bite of the beef, the only thing I got to eat were bits of fried egg from the Club Sandwich *cheh*

The second time we visited like 2 days after our first visit, we ordered Seafood Pasta and Grilled Salmon in Brown Rice. The Seafood Pasta portions were generous, with fresh seafood and it was delicious (according to my boy). While Grilled Salmon was a healthier choice for Mom, and with a healthier choice, you can expect that it isn’t impressive in the taste department. Forgot healthy choices Mom! You know you want something rich and sinful.

The service can be rather slow while seated outdoors as the service staff are usually indoors but all you will need is to get the attention of the staff near the entrance each time u need service. But they have no problems at all with me seating on their chairs, best if you can bring a cloth like how Mom does to line the chairs before letting your dog sit on it (and the service staff serving us was a Malay guy some more!).

Perhaps the next time, I will show you what Mom lugs along in my Pet Tote each time we go out.

Tip to Save : Sign up for the Dome ‘Circle of Friends’ dining priviledges at $80 entitles you to a chockfull of benefits. A $20 dining voucher to offset your first bill, 10 cups of complimentary non-alcoholic beverages (we have been having free drinks for both times we were there), 1 complimentary main course, 1 complimentary welcome drink, 1 complimentary soup of the day, 50% off 1 slice of cake, 10% off regular menu price for 2 years and 20% regular menu during your Birthday month.

Seating Outdoors but sheltered. 

Food : 6/10

Service : 6/10

Ambience : 8/10

Price : About $30 per head (with drinks, but without dessert)

Overall Experience : 7/10

**Our top choice right now whenever we are in Dempsey, as we like the quiet and breezy area where we are seated. 



20 Lorong Mambong, Holland Village Singapore 277679

Tel : 6464 5238

Screen Shot 2016-05-07 at 11.02.55 am

We haven’t tried the Korean BBQ both times we visited this place but tried their Bulgogi Beef and Japanese Cuisine, which is quite good. There is another outlet in Novena Square 2 but only this one in Holland Village is Dog-Friendly as there is outdoor seating. We were here for lunch the first time and was initially concerned that it might get hot seating outdoors, but we were pleasantly surprise that it was quite cool seated outdoors with their ceiling fans turned on. The second time we visited was for dinner and it was even more pleasant seated outside in the evening.

Interestingly, Hansang Korean is one of the few restaurants in Holland Village that is Dog Friendly, despite being in a place where there are many cafes and restaurants that have outdoor dining areas. There are 2 more cafes that are dog friendly along Lorong Mambong but are only open for lunch, which we have yet to visit. While there is another place known as Park which is Dog-friendly, but have extremely limited seats.

Generally the availability of Dog friendly cafe/restaurants in Holland Village is disappointing, so we only visit Hansang Korean when my family goes to Holland Village for their meals.

Seating Outdoors but sheltered. 

Food : 7/10

Service : 7/10

Ambience : 7/10

Price : About $30 per head (if you don’t order the Korean BBQ meats), at least $50 per head if you are having Korean BBQ

Overall Experience : 7/10

**Our top choice right now whenever we are in Holland Village


I really hope that there will be more Dog Friendly places sprouting from all over the Island, so that I can get to go out with my family everytime for their meals.

However, we do need the help of fellow dog owners too, to be considerate of others and think for the service and cleaning staff in these places. The more we are considerate for others, fewer places will slap us with details of their house rules which leave a bad taste in our pawrent’s mouth even before they can eat anything from the food establishment.

Also there will be a chance that more food establishments will go that additional lengths to apply for a license for Dogs to accompany their Pawrents during their visits to these places. Often cafes/restaurants with outdoor seating do not want to allow Dogs in their premises, due to negative encounters of patrons who bring their dogs to these places that are NOT civic minded (too common in Singapore).


Some tips when bringing your dog along with you dining in these Dog friendly (but not Dog cafes) :

  • Keep your dog leashed at all times, to ensure that they do not disturb other patrons in the cafe / restaurant
  • If your dog is not friendly and have a tendency to bite if they are touched by strangers, do let the other patron sitting near you know, especially if they seem keen to pet your dog.
  • If you have a toy-sized dog who prefers to sit on chairs, do bring your own cloth or mat to line the chairs to ensure that they do not dirty the chairs for other patrons. Or if the food establishment is very particular about dogs sitting on their chairs, bring a foldable canvas chair along with you (can be purchased at $9.90 from Giant Supermarkets).
  • Get your dog to wear a belly-band if your dog is male and leashed on the ground, and have this habit of marking places where they are scent of other dogs. Make sure your dog have done his/her toileting before settling down in any food establishment.
  • This might be common sense for most pawrents or dog owners, but please do not allow your dog to eat from their plates or eat from their utensils. Or put them on the tables.


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Bibi Blogs : Pet Subscription Box – Pupbox Review

One the few gripes that my human Mom has of local subscription boxes are that the products offered are quite common, and can be purchased easily locally from various Pet Shops or through sites like Taobao.com.

So as to experience a range of products that cannot be purchased locally, Mom subscribed to PupBox for 6 months to see what we will get.

At USD$39 each month, PupBox will have 7 items consisting of treats, toys, chews, accessories and a monthly training guide. Since Pupbox did not deliver to Singapore, Mom used a freight forwarder’s service to get the items shipped to Singapore.

Screen Shot 2016 02 17 at 6 17 18 pm

The only downside with using a freight forwarder is that we don’t get the items in the original box, but the items are repacked into another envelope to be sent to us. But what really matters were the goodies inside :)

Here are the goodies from the February 2016 PupBox:

IMG 3698

Top (left to right)

1. Valentine’s Bandana – Estimated USD$5.00

2. Mighty Dog Toy Safari Series Gina the Giraffe Retail Price USD$12.00 

Pink is not just for girl pups, but boy pups who are masculine enough to carry the colour! This line of products is made to be tough to withstand any over-enthusiastic chewer (like me, who recently de-squeaked one of the squeakies from my other toy) This is fast becoming one of my favourite squeakies, together with Flopps the Bunny (toy on the right) that came with the January Pupbox.

IMG 3629

3. Gnawsome Light and Squeak Ball Red USD$5.99

The soft spines on ball promotes dental health and it is bite tested and durable to withstand the toughest of chewers. The ball has an internal LED light that lights up when the ball is pressed. This ball had the ultimate squeaky, the oudest I have heard and the fun is seeing the ball light up when I run after it.

4. The Natural Beef Chew USD$3.00

100% Beef Offal Low Odor Bully Chew sourced from Free-Cattle Range. Since the Chews are not sold individually and can be found on Amazon.com in a 25 piece pack, this was a good opportunity to sample the product

5. Smart Pet Love Pupsicle Chew Toy USD$12.00 

Add water to the chew toy and freeze and the cold melting ice soothes the puppy’s aching and itching gums

6. I’d Rather be with my Dog, Paleo Tummy Love 5oz USD$10.60

A soft and chewy snack made with coconut oil and two quality protein sources. Without grain, gluten or soy.

7.  Dogswell Sweet Potato with Chicken Broth Super Boost Veggie Chews USD$8.80

Sweet Potato Chews with flaxseed, Omega 3 vitamins A & E to maintain healthy eyes, skin and coat

Total value : USD$57.39 (SGD$80.35)

6 months subscription costs a total of USD$164.00 (with a $10 off from $174.00). This works out to be USD$27.40 (SGD$38.30) per box and with added shipping cost to Singapore of SGD $13.00 (Freight forwarder : 65daigou). The cost of one subscription box is SGD$51.50, and the total value of the items were SGD$80.35.


Is Pupbox worth it?

Pupbox is a good value subscription box with a variety of toys, chews and accessories that cannot be found locally in Singapore. These things make it worthwhile to spend that $51.50 a month, for a nice surprise monthly for 6 months.

However, If you have a pup like me, who tends to be rather fussy about what I eat, you might not like some of the treats that are in the box. I didn’t fancy the treats that came with the February Pupbox, but the January Pupbox had a Primal Beef Liver treat (I am eating Primal Freeze Dried daily now!) and a Bully stick from The Natural Dog Company (not sold to retailers in Singapore) which I loved. While Mom liked the Spotty Treat bag, a really useful item which she has been looking for, but could not find in Singapore, to be used for storing treats for me when I have my training sessions.


Mom have since added a note in my Pupbox online account that I prefer to have more Toys, Chews and Accessories and less treats.

Screen Shot 2016 02 23 at 4 51 04 pm

Overall, I feel that Pupbox is the best subscription box I have received so far.

I am a believer of this quote ‘When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.’ An average price of $20+ a month is considered affordable for an average person. And if you have seen how much are the dog toys and treats at the local Pet shop, you will expect that there will not be too many things found in a $20+ local dog subscription box. Some people reading this, might say, “But of course Pupbox costs almost double the price of a Singapore-based subscription box.”

If you are like mom, who have almost combed the shelves in the chain Pet Shops and some others for their toys and accessories, in the hope to buy interesting and useful merchandise, then I think the Pupbox is worth subscribing. And if you have a pup that eats everything and anything without any allergies, then I will say “Go for Pupbox.” It’s good value for quality and unique items for your pup.

In the meantime, I will be sure to enjoy my other Pupboxes which will be arriving in the next 4 months!


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