MeetDrinks venue review: Kokomama

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Situated at a prime location where we are nurturing our burgeoning artistic talent at School Of The Arts (SOTA), KOKOMAMA has a vibrant and wide range of fusion dishes and korean bingsu that are perfect for sharing on dates. I was ushered in by the marketing coordinator of KOKOMAMA, Jerrel, who presented me the menu.

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I get a little excited whenever I get to look through the menu of a fusion eatery and to taste the possibilities of a good mix. My eye got drawn to the Salted Egg Prawns Pasta, which Jerrel recommended. Knowing it to be a gamble, I went for the Honey Ice Lemon for my drink, to act as a good refreshing beverage and to prep my tastebuds for the Mango Madness Snow Storm which is one of their best selling desserts.

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The main came with a slice of garlic bread and mini cup of creamy mushroom to act as a dip and a tiny side serving which was a new addition from what Jerrel told me. I initially had some reservations about having salted egg as a flavouring is not as easy to pull off with a main, for the most part, as much as salted egg goes well with shellfish, it runs the risk of being overpowering. I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. The prawns have been pre peeled and easy to separate from the shell without any mess (EXCELLENT for first dates where you wouldn’t want to make a mess)

Though the salted egg taste remained strong and distinct it did not cross the point which would fatigue my dining experience. Having the mushroom soup  and the crispy, sharp garlic bread helped in maintaining the creamy texture and consistency of the main while giving me a means to taper off the salted egg flavour before it became too overwhelming. The tang and kick from the copious curry leaves added a much appreciated complement to the savoury salted egg. An array of colours added a zest to the dish, with light brown from the sliced mushrooms to the red, orange and green of assorted bell peppers.

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“We believe the magic of the first date to be like our fusion dishes, where distinct flavours added together hold a unique surprise.” Mentioned Jerrel as I was down to my last bite, before he brought the last thing on the menu to me.

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The Mango Madness Snow Storm came in a portion which was larger than what I expected for one person but it is a perfect serving for two. Smooth, finely grated ice hiding under a generous mound of fresh creamy mango lathered modestly with condensed milk, it harboured thoughts of indulgence. Hiding between the fresh cut mango pieces are small, delectable bits of citrus flavoured jelly mochi, carrying just a hint of a sour signature to add to a larger palette to the sweet and sour juiciness. The dessert presented itself with a scoop of mango ice-cream, crowning the top and begging me to dig in more.

 

Like I said.

 

Indulgence.

 

Use MeetDrinks to meet someone new today for a drink at Kokomama – located at 1 Zubir Said Drive #01-01, School of The Arts, 227968.

 

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MeetDrinks venue review: CATO

Nestled along South Bridge Road across from the Sri Mariamman Temple, CATO sports a humble exterior which belies much more when you enter.

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I was ushered from the first floor, which was a large restaurant space, to the second floor bar area. Sharm, the managing director of CATO told me that couples from Meet Drinks would be brought to. There were enough seats around and the arrangement made it easy to mingle or keep engagements more closed and intimate.

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“Definitely the G’Vine gin and tonic and the Thai style glazed crispy squid.” Said Sharm, a recommendation for a first date at CATO that took the better part of a split second. “CATO has a myriad of craft beers and a crafted contemporary cuisine to match the pace and excitement for your first date”

 

The Thai style glazed crispy squid was served on a board, neatly stacked in a well balanced mound in the center, a good portion to snack for two. The crisp, golden batter wrapped evenly around the squid, the batter was thick enough with a crunchy consistency that held throughout.

 

The squid blazed a clear path away from the pitfalls of squid being too damp and wet, holding too much of a pungent fishy taste, and especially in this case with batter, being overly dry. Fresh and chewy, each bite was met with the juicy flavour of squid.

 

Holding the traditional standout tastes associated with Thai cuisine, my tastebuds were rushed with a very light touch of sourness, with a large majority being split between sweet and salty. The aftertaste held a tinge of peppery spice. A side of sea salt at the corner of the board allowed me to add more zing to the catchy dish.

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The G’Vine gin and tonic exceeded my expectations. With many gins, there is a strong bitter citrus taste that holds the drink, and once downed, the citrus fades and gives way to a distinct dry bitter quality as the aftertaste, which tends to colour everything eaten and drank after with its stamp.

 

However with the G’Vine gin and tonic, I enjoyed the characteristics that marked an enjoyable gin and tonic. Most gins are made from grain whereas the G’Vine gin is made from grapes, the citrus bite was less and instead held a honeyed sweetness that didn’t make any of the drinking feel like it was overpowering, and I enjoyed the aftertaste, dry, less bitter and citrusy, but more importantly, it stayed long enough to leave an imprint but not overstay a welcome that would overly dominate drink and not let the food complement it. The aftertastes of both squid and gin and tonic melded like harmony. I found myself experimenting with the amount and time in between each bite and drink to experience how the synergy would be like.

 

I had to go for a second serving to sate my appetite for the night.

 

Notes:

 

Thai style glazed crispy squid and G’Vine gin and tonic

 

Modern asian cuisine

 

Thai style glazed crispy squid

 

– Sweet and savoury batter

 

– Crunchy batter

 

– Side of sea salt to add more twang

 

– Fresh and chewy

 

– tangy after taste that matches drink

 

G’Vine gin and tonic

 

– G’Vine Nouaison gin, only grape based gin

 

Use MeetDrinks to meet someone new today for a drink at CATO – located at 237 South Bridge Rd, 058786

 

 

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Do you even, group date?

Traditionally, dating is a one-to-one affair. In middle school, you may need a chaperone or back in Sicily (aka the old country), your whole family accompanied you out on a date. Even in modern times, with online / mobile / internet dating where you can meet thousands of men and women in one evening sitting on, the end result is still to meet up by yourself in person.

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Group dating is loosely defined as a modern pattern for dating where there are more than 2 people organise a night out together, with the hope of forming romantic partnerships. Apparently, it is most popular in Japan, where it is known as gōkon. So, are the Japanese once again onto something great or is it an acquired taste for eccentric people?

 

Pro: More fishes in the sea

On a regular date, you only have one person to interact with. More often than not, it ends in disappointment – either he is too quiet or she is too ditzy or etc. In a group date, both parties bring a friend or friends and now there are more choices to have.

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Con: Conflict of interests

You and your buddies may end up vying for attention from the same person. Even the strongest friendships may not withstand this type of competition. This is probably best described and solved with the Equilibrium Game Theory.

 

Pro: Safety in numbers

There is nowhere to hide in one-on-one situations – when there is nothing to say, the silence is rather awkward. In groups, there will always be a quiet few while more vocal ones will keep the interactions going. Also, if the date is going south, you and your friends will have no problem just walking out together.

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Con: Little to lose but little to gain

If the group is too big, there will be very limited interaction with the person you really came out to see. It will not be clear if there was a connection at all with anyone. The best that you can gleam is whether your target is sociable in a group setting.

 

Pro: Sharing is caring

All venues love big groups who spend more money, order more food plus make the place look lively while they meet and drink. There are group discounts, sharing platters, jugs of beverages and more to be shared. Also, splitting the bill with more people means enjoying more variety at a cut price.

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Con: Subdued personalities

It is often said that on dates, you are meeting your date’s representative. We tend to put our best foot forward and hide our truer / uglier selves. This gets multiplied even more when trying to win the approval of many potential candi-dates.

 

Group dating has pros and cons – as do everything else. If you do want to give it a shot, here’s how to make the best of it.

 

  1. Choose a suitable date venue – pick an interesting bar/cafe/restaurant that is conducive to conversations with intriguing activities for the group.

 

  1. Make eye contact – with the one you like, try to catch a glimpse into the windows of his/her soul.

 

  1. Focus on your target – don’t be rude in ignoring everyone but put in more effort to listen to him/her speak or laugh at their jokes.

 

  1. Share private time – after making some connection, sometime in the night, try to separate him/her from the pack to have one-on-one time i.e. ask for accompaniment to get drinks from the bar.

 

  1. Give up when pointless – sometimes, nothing works. Everyone is quiet and/or boring so the evening is going nowhere. It is just the nature of dating, its a toss up. You can always call it a night and walk away.

 

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What is MeetDrinks?

Get straight to the point of dating – MeetDrinks

 

For immediate release – Singapore, 29/10/14Modern life sees us toiling longer at work and less time enjoying at play. With the few precious hours left, eligible singles can get straight to the point of dating – to meet and have drinks.

 

Aptly named for the exact purpose, MeetDrinks is a social meet-up application that brings like-minded people closer together over a mutual appreciation for drinks and conversations. With a slogan of “Better Matches, Better Times”, MeetDrinks promises to match compatible urbanites in the same area on a first date.

 

“Buying a drink for someone is the perfect way to start a date, ” says Laid Sahraoui, CEO of MeetDrinks. “By removing the chatter of other dating apps and focusing on people meeting up, we bridge digital socializing with the real world of dating.”

 

Here’s how MeetDrinks works. First, enter a profile to indicate preferences and interests. Second, take a selfie (no uploaded pictures) for easy recognition. Third, state your general location to narrow down the search.

 

Then the app will allow you to choose from a list of people with similar tastes in your area. When one counterpart agrees, both will be directed to a venue to meet for drinks at mutually convenient time.

 

To help break the ice and confirm a reservation, you will pre-order drinks in-app. One or both parties can buy drink credits – starting from as low as $10SGD. After that, show up to meet your match.

 

The app is perfect for Professionals, Managers and Executives who have everything – except time to waste. Meeting new people who are in sync with their schedules and interests will be high on their priorities list.

 

To enhance the experience, MeetDrinks has signed up interesting and conducive venues for dates. Users will be directed to quaint locales with unique atmospheres to be in the mood. With an extensive list of bars, restaurants, clubs, cafes and more – meeting new people has never been simpler. Also, participating venues will see increased crowd, expenditure and especially so on quiet shifts.

 

“Online dating is a global opportunity and our niche of offering ‘Better Matches, Better Times’ will appeal to venues and customers everywhere,” says Sahraoui, who is based in Shanghai. “We currently have people on the ground in Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok & London.”

 

Currently in the beta stage, the MeetDrinks will soon launch its app on iOS or Android in November ’14. For now, interested bachelors, bachelorettes and venues can signup for the waitlist.

 

To get the good times rolling, users can signup now to get $2.50 SGD towards their first drink. After that, they can forward the unique URL to invite friends to try MeetDrinks – for every signup, they will get an additional $2.50 SGD.

 

For more information on the perks of MeetDrinks, please visit:

http://www.meetdrinks.com

 

Venues who are keen to partner up can email:

partners@meetdrinks.com

 

For more details, please contact:

Peter Yu

Head of Public Relations

JF2

peter.yu@jf2.co

http://www.jf2.co

+65 9003 5608

 

Additional information:

MeetDrinks is part of JF2

JF2 (pronounced J-F-Squared) is an early stage startup studio that nurtures greenfield ideas to change the world. Unlike traditional accelerators or incubators, it will unearth great startups from the idea stage, provide seed funding, help organic growth, and lead to a flourishing exit.

www.jf2.co

 

Natacha Noël, CEO of MeetDrinks

Based in Montreal, Canada, Natacha is Founder and Matchmaker at Absolute Bachelor Club a boutique matchmaking firm. Once matched her clients meet for cocktails on their first date. “Drinks are a great pressure free way to break the ice and get to know one another!”As CEO of MeetDrinks, her vision is to give singles around the world the opportunity to increase their chance to fall in love with like minded people. Both companies sharing similar values and missions, MeetDrinks was the perfect match for her to follow her passion of helping people find love.

ca.linkedin.com/in/natachanoel/

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