Shopping, Food And Fun on Tras Street

Tras Street can be a fun place to hang out either way I found out. With your friends, or if you are in a mood for ‘me time’. I would try out both on different days of course!

A friend from Istanbul came sojourning to Singapore and obviously looked to us for suggestions on spending her four days in the magical city. We set out early in the day and took a walk down Tras Street and around while she earmarked outlets she would like to visit after she was done with her eclectic shopping at The Sandalwood Room. I made a note too of the establishments neighbouring The Sandalwood Room and here I am putting them together to say how complete and indulgent your day can be on Tras Street.

A day out on Tras Street

This is the entrance to The Sandalwood Room. Lets take a look around the insides of the lifestyle boutique and then you will find a list of things (later in the post) that you can do to chill out and pamper yourself on Tras Street.

The Sandalwood Room entrance

Entrance of The Sandalwood Room on Tras Street



Transport is every shopper’s first concern. No worries, Tanjong Pagar MRT Station (EW15) is about 1 km from The Sandalwood Room. So hop over.

Facade of Tanjong Pagar

Facade of Tanjong Pagar


You can get lucky with street parking. Then there are the Orchid Hotel, Oasis Hotel and the Ritz Carlton who will lend you their parking spaces.

Having reached Tras Street, if you are looking to satiate your taste buds, here are a few restaurants you could do with.

Gastronomic Delights

Violet Herbs housed in the Acclaim House is a new age semi-formal and spacious fine dining restaurant serving modern European cuisines with Asian influences. True to its moniker, they spice their food and cocktails with an extensive use of exotic and eclectic herbs.

May May , the sister establishment of Blue Ginger restaurant is inspired by the smells and flavours from around the region and combines the best elements of Asian cuisine ranging from the Japanese and Korean cuisine to Thai flavours. Illuminated by natural light from the skylight during the day and lit by chic intimate lighting in the evenings, it pays tribute to Singapore’s identity as the garden city.

Terra is an interesting restaurant on Tras Street termed as Tokyo-Italian, yet the cuisine not to be interpreted as ‘Japanese-Italian’. They call it a dining experience, claiming remaining faithful to authentic Italian cuisine without using any Japanese cooking techniques. However, they revel in using the celebrated fresh ingredients native to Japan.

Conclave Bistro is a Western-Chinese Fusion Restaurant and Bistro that serves great food and wine at affordable prices in a cozy environment with a Singaporean touch. And makes it a perfect venue to host private and corporate functions. Whats unique about them is their interiors, handmade using old wood and transforming them into art pieces. And that includes their chairs and tables, cups and coasters, wall decorations and menus.

Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare is a contemporary Italian and Mediterranean restaurant that recognizes seafood as being the soul and life of South Italy and uses only sustainable seafood at Gattopardo.

Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl is all about showcasing great produce, be it food ingredients, wine or whisky from their producers. Good food, fine wine and spirits served in casual ambience that reminds of home is their USP.

Fleur De Sel, a charming shophouse on Tras astreet, serves fine French cuisine. With a sophisticated, yet functional kitchen, you can choose to dine at the counter seating enjoying watching the chef whip up delectable dishes, or in an intimate private space with carefully curated food and wine.

House of Dandy (H.O.D), a cocktail bar with vintage charm decked in hues of purple and gold exudes luxury combined with comfort. Dimly lit and soft jazz playing in the background, it conjures up a mood of romance.

M Hotel is a business hotel where contemporary chic meets stylish sophistication. A unique urban getaway in a central location to mix business and pleasure.


Ted Wu has come to be reckoned as one of the finest bridal labels in Singapore, both for men and women. Their customers tell me that this is one outfitter where compromise on quality has no place and where design meets elegance.

My Dream Wedding is another option for wedding gowns and pre-wedding photography.

Imanuel B Couture is a boutique that offers comfort and coziness like a home. Added to it is the soft music that soothes you while you get measured and fitted with customized gowns and dresses for all occasions. You can also find customized jewellery, hair styling and makeup to match the outfits. They undertake car rentals and decoration along with photography, outdoor and indoor. Seems like an oasis for party planning.

Tired feet and weary hands from all the shopping can be soothed at the following wellness houses.

Beauty and Wellness

Discover Chiropractic is a wellness center where you can indulge in discovering ways of enjoying life physically, mentally and socially, where you can learn preventive measures for a higher state of wellness.

Morinda : A company that has dedicated itself to create age awareness and help people look younger and live longer. They are on a mission to discover earth’s best ingredients and transform them into supplements and products that enhance the quality of life.

Bella Luna is a modern contemporary day spa. They believe that perfecting beauty begins with wellness and hence use ancient therapeutic formulas to foster in overall wellness. They offer facials and body massages by certified therapists towards rejuvenate and restoration of beauty and energies.

If you are spending a few days in Singapore and want that quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the throbbing city, try this.

Singapore School of Meditation and Yoga : A school that strives to improve on the wellness of body, mind and soul is open to all people of all ages, gender and fitness levels. Their classes are available for hospitals and corporates too.

Then some for beauty treatments:

Pure Tincture Organic Beauty : If you are looking for organic facials and organic skin care products, this is the place. Their products are claimed to have helped maintain very sensitive skin affected by Eczema, Rosacea, Acne etc.

Sanctuary Beauty specializes in facials, slimming and spa services, combining the best of technology and gentle caring hands.

And if you or any of your folks are working at R3 Business Management and Consultancy or Guggenheim Assets, then you have the luxury of availing all the pampering whenever you wish to break free from the daily grind.

A view of the beautiful archway at Tras Street that some houses the above and so many more businesses.

Beautiful archway at Tras Street

Beautiful archway at Tras Street

The Sandalwood Room prides itself on being the only one of its kind in Singapore with most of the products handmade and sourced from all over the world giving it a global feel. It is a boutique for those who love the finer things of life. 

  • If you wish to browse for their products, check out their website and Facebook page with the links given below. If you like any of the products , walk in to shop and if you wish to place an order email them and The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier your order to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.
  • Give them a Facebook like here.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Phone : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896



Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room 


Chinese New Year Gifting – Make The Best Of The Red Monkey Year

Hóunián jíxiáng : Good luck for this Monkey year

chinese new year red monkeys the sandalwood room

Year of the Red Monkey

What comes to my mind when I think of a monkey is that they are fun, energetic, curious and mischievous. So I guess this Chinese New Year is going to be all of that. Here’s wishing everyone a fabulous Time with family and friends in the year of the Red Monkey from The Sandalwood Room team.

The Sandalwood Room has put together lots of gifts and collectibles to make your family time during the festivities memorable. A small gesture to thank all their customers and usher in good luck for you and themselves.  Step in for the Chinese New Year shopping and avail discounts on selected items.

upto 50 percent off discounts the sandalwood room

Before you go shopping and gifting, a little trivia on why the Chinese New Years are named after animals. Legend has it that Buddha, in his times asked all the animals to meet him on the Chinese New Years day. Only twelve animals turned up. Buddha then named a year after each one and declared that people born in each animal’s year would have some of the traits of that animal ( I wish I could choose the animal or the year !!!! ). So you could be forgiven if you monkey around a bit this year !!

Chinese New Year is China’s most important traditional festival. It is also called the Spring festival. And just like a new year’s time in every other country is a time of celebration and jubilation, so is it for the Chinese, lasting for a week. An official week-long holiday from 7 to 13 February, for family feasts, fireworks, worship and gifting.

There are many interesting stories and legends that explain the start of the Chinese New Year. Click here to find out.

Red symbolises fire, and as per the Chinese legends can drive away evil and bring good luck. So people wear red clothes, decorate their homes with red festoons and give their children and the elderly red envelopes with money in them.

So here are some gift ideas in red. This year, gift these note-pads, boxes and bags. They will be cherished much after the Chinese New Year for their multi-purpose value.

gifts in red year of red monkey the sandalwood room

Gift ideas in red for the Chinese New Year of the Red Monkey

And now style your dining tables for your Chinese New Year foods, your dumplings, spring rolls, glutinous rice cakes and sweet rice balls with some suggestions from The Sandalwood Room. Make your Reunion Dinners special.

designer tableware for chinese new year family dinners the sandalwood room

Exclusive tableware for the Reunion Dinners

For the Lantern Festival, carry these to an evening parade under the light of the full moon or hang them to decorate your homes.

glass and iron lanterns the sandalwood room

Iron Lanterns for decoration

candle holders for worship the sandalwood room

Beautiful candle-holders for Worship

decorative goblets ceramic jar and bowls

Ceramic jar and bowls along with decorative goblets

Little kids at home add that dash of joviality to the celebrations and don’t they look forward to gifts ? They love stuffed toys and here are some.

stuffed toys reindeer and monkey the sandalwood room

Stuffed reindeer and monkey














stuffed mother baby elephants the sandalwood room

Stuffed mother and baby elephants

No shopping or festivity is complete without womens’ fashion. A sample of some simple jewelry that can be teamed with your traditional outfits or casual western wear.

beaded jewelry casual wear the sandalwood room

Chic beaded jewelry

Signing off as I gaze out onto Tras Street. Such an air of festivity and glee. Squeals of pleasure as shoppers find good deals in stores and restaurants. The first day of the Monkey Year is a week away yet, but the mood of merry-making has already set in. I guess I could do with some of it too. I shall begin with The Sandalwood Room and then step out.

The Sandalwood Room prides itself on being the only one of its kind in Singapore. It is a boutique for those who love the finer things of life and you can unwind  and feel pampered. In a store like this and for the kind of products they retail in, the touch and feel factor makes a big difference. So best to walk in and feel the experience.

  • If you have liked any of these products , walk in and if you wish to place an order, The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier it to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896



Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room 


Why You Can Find Convenience, Art and Elegance In Hand-made Drawstring Bags

A hand made gift elicits a wider and warmer smile almost always. And the recipient feels special. Rightfully so. Because it immediately translates into a lot of thought and care behind the gifting.

I was at the launch of hand-crafted hand bags at The Sandalwood Room and fell into conversation with the invitees. I love hand made products myself, but talking to the men AND women at the launch, got these responses to “why do you prefer ‘hand made’ over ‘mass-produced’”.

One of a kind

Specially designed

Original art


Recycled, so environment friendly

Encourage handicrafts

Support artisans

More to a product. There is love, creativity and uniqueness and it shows.

Speaks of your personality through the choice you have made.

True that. In keeping with it, I have featured a few hand crafted draw string bags from The Sandalwood Room. In India they are called Potli bags. All of them tell a tale of labour, finesse and creativity. I find them handy, convenient and elegant. They have enough room for a woman’s must-haves ; whats more important is that they are kind of hands-free. Just sling them around your forearm and you are good to go.

A stunning evening bag in red woven fabric, embellished with white bead work. The cluster of white pearl-beads adds a touch of drama and the draw strings just as pretty as the bag itself with gold coloured beads in its tassels. The inimitable kundan studs amidst the beadwork lending grandeur.

Red drawstring bag, the sandalwood room

Ethnic handmade ‘Potli’ or drawstring bags

Brocaded at the top in a deep hued velvet fabric, this bag exudes charm with zardosi embroidery work in shades of gold on its base. Tiny white beads enhancing the embroidery even further. Attention to detail is evident in the gold beads in tassels of the draw strings.

Deep purple drawstring bag, the sandalwood room

Sea green or teal is a head turner colour. So is this bag for its lovely shade and the beautiful embroidered patchwork in white and silver. Teal drawstrings with pretty tassels. Padded and lined with cotton.

Teal drawstring bag, the sandalwood roomThe aesthetically strung beads that adorn the drawstrings. Cant miss the delicately carved green beads. A sample to show how much care has gone into the fine detailing of the drawstrings in every bag.

Beads string of drawstring bag, the sandalwood room

An evening clutch in dull gold silk, embroidered in gold thread called the zardosi work, padded and lined. Magnetic buttons to snap it close and a  small inner pouch.

Gold clutch in zardosi and sequins, the sandalwood room

Benares silk is sought after by every lover of silk. An evening bag in Benares silk with raw-silk borders attached. Embroidered with white silk and silver thread, the drawstrings glisten silver. Raw silk and pearl tassels giving it a touch of class. Padded and lined with cotton for better support. The pretty pink peeping out from the insides at the top makes it so much more attractive.

White tissue drawstring bag, the sandalwood room

This bag can be both casual as well as formal. Bands of pink and red silk at the top with Tanchoi silk at the bottom. Silver embroidered flowers adding elegance. The drawstrings made of gold shaded fabric with printed silk and beads as tassels. Padded and lined with cotton and a closer look will reveal gold braid edging. Riot of colours yet very appealing.

Multicolor rawsilk drawstring bag with silver embroidery, the sandalwood room

This bag is made from two kinds of silk, Benares silk in dull gold at the top and raw silk strips underneath. The violetish blue band is embroidered zardosi style and inlaid with ‘Gota‘ gold fabric. The red silk fabric drawstrings end in tassels with gold beads capped in raw silk fabric. Padded and lined with cotton.

multicolour drawstring with gota patti, the sandalwood room

For all those lovers of nude shades. An evening bag in dull gold Benares silk. The hand-embroidery with sequins and pearls making it glamorous. Silver hued drawstrings to compliment the white pearl-beads with gold beads at the tassels. Padded and lined with cotton.

Sandalwood colour drawstring with sequins, the sandalwood room

The Sandalwood Room prides itself on being the only one of its kind in Singapore. I did a bit of recce around certain shopping areas of Singapore and I discovered that, yes, true to their claims, The Sandalwood Room is a boutique for those who love the finer things of life.

  • If you have liked any of these products , walk in and if you wish to place an order, The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier it to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: ,


Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room 


Magical Sandalwood Can Calm And Soothe Mind And Body

The very word ‘sandalwood‘ conjures up a feeling of calm and cool, bringing back with it memories of childhood, when sandalwood paste was applied on our foreheads at an auspicious ceremony. Mothers and grandmothers applied it on certain kinds of minor wounds too after cleaning them thoroughly. And a feeling of wellness pervaded as the fragrance of the sandalwood paste wafted into the air filling our olfactory nerves. As children we thought it was a magical potion from the heaven.

Ganesha in sandalwood

Not just in temples, such sandalwood Ganeshas adorn many a working desk in India and many other countries

But yes, it is a magical potion from a different heaven. The one to whom we owe our very existence, Mother Nature. We knew as children that sandalwood is revered, with its unmistakable presence in temples, during festivals and at ceremonies. Our amazement doubled when we learned during early schooling that this magical potion is derived from a tree, the ‘sandalwood tree’. I remember vividly how an over inquisitive fellow student, or should we say precocious, wanted to know how fragrance was being added to the wood, only to be told that the wood was naturally fragrant.

We were then told of its antiseptic properties and it made sense why the paste had been applied on some of our wounds. Later in life we learnt how much more precious sandalwood is, with its healing properties as an anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, disinfectant, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, memory booster, sedative and a tonic substance.

This blog post is the result of a question I had posed to The Sandalwood Room team on the choice of their name. In response to that, they showed me the sandalwood tree image specially created for them and a short succinct description.

sandalwood tree, the sandalwod room

The sandalwood tree for The Sandalwood Room

Sandalwood is exotic and rare and its products precious and special. The wood of the tree is fragrant, heavy, fine-grained and retains its fragrance for decades. Gifts made of sandalwood show care, thought, style and the unspoken nature of a special relationship.

Sandalwood oil extracted from the wood has been highly valued as a fragrance for millennia across religions (for use in rituals and places of worship) and cultures (as medicine, cosmetics and fragrance). The Indian sandalwood is a threatened species indigenous to south India. Apart from its religious and cultural uses, sandalwood products are well-known to have a calming effect and are used during meditation and in aroma therapy.

And that explains how the products at The Sandalwood Room have been curated with so much care and thought, to personal styles and environment. Adding a mark of distinction. Just like the fragrance of the sandalwood that lasts for decades and is most coveted, the products of The Sandalwood Room are also sought after for their longevity and beauty of being handcrafted.

I feel like adding a note on sandalwood here to highlight why the wood is so precious. So, here goes:

The Indian sandalwood is the most highly prized to be followed by the Australian variety.

But sandalwood and its by products are becoming rare and expensive. Here is why : The trees are difficult to propagate and must grow for at least 40-80 years old to become suitable for harvesting. Specialists say 80 years is preferred – the older the tree, better the quality of the wood and its aroma. Nature has made the trees sturdy and resilient and they may live up to a good 100 years.

Oil extracted from such matured trees through steam distillation, is highly valued and used as an additive in fragrances, cosmetics, soaps (back in India, we have the popular Mysore Sandal Soap which comes highly recommended for children and the mild fragrance still lingers in my nostrils), talcum powders, incense sticks and many other life-style enhancing products. Hydro-distillation is another age-old method of distillation and is known to give even more superior quality oil.

The most precious part of the tree is the heartwood and the best heartwood comes from its roots. Older the trees, more the heartwood and better the quality of oil that can be extracted (of course the experience of the distiller and superior distillation process being a given).

The Sandalwood Room prides itself on being the only one of its kind in Singapore. I did a bit of recce around certain shopping areas of Singapore and I discovered that, yes, true to their claims, The Sandalwood Room is a boutique  with sublime inspirations of carefully selected fashion wear, jewellery, home décor and designer wear. Mostly handmade. In a lovely conservation shophouse on Tras Street,in the vibrant Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore. A boutique you can step into and linger for a respite; pause, away from the hustle and bustle of the world outside. Escape the ordinary as you step in and forget yourself.

It’s a place for those who love the finer things of life, who look for the detail, someone who goes beyond the ordinary. A place to stop by and suspend reality. Just to envelope yourself in a room full of creative possibilities in the sheer joy of shopping. Their product categories are ‪Fashion and Fashion Accessories, Jewellery,  Home Decor and Accessories, Art and Books, Gifts and Collectibles.

  • If you have liked any of the products from the store, walk in and if you wish to place an order, The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier it to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: ,


Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room 


Of Candles, Lamps And Copper Enhancing ‘Praying’

As a child I used to wonder every time a lamp was being lit before the commencement of any worship or ritual. But I never asked why. People around me made it appear like lighting the lamp was akin to pleasing God.

Have you tried praying or worshipping sans a lit lamp or a candle? I have and it feels kind of bare and disconnected. I have prayed from the seat of a car, in an elevator, in bed and from the washroom even, but it feels different and certainly more satisfying, when I light a lamp in the room of worship and pray. Of course it goes without saying that one can connect to God from wherever and whenever, but ambience does help!

And then one day as I sat watching my mother light oil lamps at worship time, the surge of positivity and energy that emanated from the warm glow of the lamp illuminated my mind too! The lit lamp had become a tool in helping me calm down, drawing me into a state of serenity and allowing my mind to connect and pray to the Higher Power. A little later in life, I figured out the energy of fire, and lamps and candles have since then become a part of my life.

A small prayer said while lighting a candle that struck me as being truly meaningful.

Hurricane lamp copper base the sandalwood room

Copper based Hurricane Lamp

O Blessed Lord, accept this burning candle as a sign of my faith and love for you.

Like this candle, I am ready to be used in your service, without asking why and to what purpose.

Even as this candle, I wish to stand in your presence to be consumed in the light and warmth of
your love.

Please hear my prayer and, if it be your will, grant my petition.
Above all, make me loyal and faithful to you in all circumstances of my life.

flower and candle floaters copper The Sandalwood Room

Copper ‘flower and candle floaters’ in different sizes

Just like we can never have enough clothes, shoes and handbags, so are most of us perennially shopping for lamps and candles. You can buy some from The Sandalwood Room like the ones in the pictures. The flower-and-the-candle-floaters caught my fancy; you may like them too. Flowers, candles and copper make it perfect holistically. If flowers and candles invoke a feeling of well-being, copper only adds to it with its healing and protective properties, being associated as the body metal. Its reddish-orangish-brownish hue only enhancing it further.

copper worship tray  Sandalwood Room,

The Worship Tray

A friend at the store put together  a copper tray and added these little copper boxes with floral patterns on the top and called it the ‘Worship Tray’. She said she would insert round candles into the boxes and give the ensemble out as a gift. Nice idea, I thought.

copper meditation bowl  Sandalwood Room

The Meditation Bowl

The Sandalwood Room calls this a meditation bowl. Sit in a quiet place, float a few flowers and candles, add a few drops of essential oils and let the soothing ambience lead you into a meditative mood.

copper flower floaters Sandalwood Room

In Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s own words, “You don’t need to believe in any God. It need not even be dark, the lamp need not be a visual aid, but do you notice it makes some kind of a difference? This is because the moment you light a lamp, not the flame itself but around the flame a certain etheric sphere will naturally happen.

Where there is an etheric sphere, communication will be better. Did you ever sit around a campfire in your life? If you did, you would have seen that stories told around the campfire always have the maximum impact on people. Have you noticed this? The storytellers of yore understood this – stories told around the campfire are always the most effective stories. Receptivity will be at its best.

Fire in itself is a source of enery and life. It also creates a field of energy around itself, and above all it creates the necessary atmosphere. So when you light a lamp before you start your day, it is because you want to bring the same quality into yourself.  It is symbolism; it’s a way of invoking your own inner nature”.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, the founder of Isha Foundation, is a yogi and profound mystic of our times, a visionary humanitarian and a prominent spiritual leader.

And on the other side of the spectrum, we have candle light dinners ; lamps and candles decorating dinner tables at restaurants and party spaces, the mood at once turning romantic. I have also not failed to notice, just as you would have too, that we all look prettier, handsomer in the soft glow of the yellow light!!

So then what better way than prayers to bid good-bye to 2015 and ring in 2016? And what better way than to light a lamp or a candle to begin that conversation with the Higher Power? These could be some thoughtful gifts for the New Year.

The Sandalwood Room, copper tea lights

copper boxes fauna The Sandalwood Room

Copper Boxes Fauna

The Sandalwood Room, copper bowl with lid

The Sandalwood Room, Hurricane lamp with carton

The Hurricane Lamp

  • If you loved these products, walk in and if you wish to place an order, The Sandalwood Room will be happy to courier it to you.
  • Price on request. Email them at the ID below.
  • Payments are routed through PayPal.
  • All products subject to availability.

Nearly everything in The Sandalwood Room is exclusive and hand crafted. In fact, it’s the only one of it’s kind in Singapore.

The Sandalwood Room wishes you a very Happy New Year. We are so glad to be a part of spreading cheer to your near and dear ones.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 6221 2654 / +65 9786 5896

Email: ,


Facebook : Visit The Sandalwood Room 


Filter Coffee – Gift of India to the Coffee World

A lot happens over coffee. True. Specially for coffee addicts like me. Addicted to filter coffee, not because it is from my country India, but it is like none other.

If there is heaven on earth, then it must be in the kitchen where Indian filter coffee is brewing. Particularly so in South Indian homes. And the aroma of the heavenly beverage wafting from the kitchen gets your taste buds tingling, even before you take that blissful first sip. You think I am exaggerating? Walk into an Indian home in the wee hours of the morning, or early evening and you will know what I am talking about. Wait, just pause before you ring the doorbell ; an aroma is filling your nostrils, right? Walk in and you will get a cuppa, rich in taste and true to its aroma.

So you loved it and you wish to ask for another cup, even as you are halfway through. But wait, you may not want another for sometime. A cup of South Indian filter coffee is so satiating, you are probably crooning, ‘I am on the top of the world…..’!!

If South Indian filter coffee is to be traditionally made and has to be as exotic as I am making it sound here, you will need a special metal device, looking like this. You can buy it at The Sandalwood Room. Head to Tras Street, pop in at this lifestyle boutique, pick up your Indian filter coffee set, that comes with an instruction manual and coffee suggestions. This coffee sounds divine, but is very simple to whip up. You may want to try it out ASAP !! The Sandalwood Room will help you with where to buy the coffee powder.

Filter coffee set The Sandalwood Room

The South Indian filter coffee set at The Sandalwood Room

Make your filter coffee :

Prep time : 5 mins

Brewing time : 10 mins

Serves : 2

Coffee powder : 3 tbsps

Water : 3/4 cup

Fresh milk and sugar : as required



TSR filter coffee device componentsThe device has four components – two cylindrical cups, a pierced pressing disc with a handle and the lid. The upper cup is perforated and is to be fitted into the lower cup. Now load the perforated cup with the required amount of coffee powder and gently spread it out evenly. Place the pressing disc on top of the coffee powder. Pour the required quantity of boiling water after the steam has settled down over the disc, close the lid and allow the coffee to drip into the lower cup. Voila ! It is magic in the making ! I hear a similar device is used to make Vietnamese coffee too.

The resulting brew so gradually got from the device is generally stronger than the western drip/filter coffee, or even the espresso. Add boiled milk and sugar per requirement.

Now for some more specifics. Traditionally, the South Indian filter coffee is drunk out of a stainless steel tumbler. Trust me, it enhances the taste. Not the same if you sip it out of a china cup.

dabarah tumblerThis is how it is served. Frothing hot coffee in the tumbler with the wide steel cup, the ‘dabarah’. South Indians love filling the coffee tumblers to the brim and they want it steaming hot. Now you get it ? Yes, the wide cup serves a few purposes. Mixing the sugar and the added milk thoroughly; cooling the beverage down to a sipping temperature and getting a frothing. Watch the south Indians pour the coffee back and forth expertly between the dabarah and the tumbler and take their first sip, you will know it is satisfying!

Trivia about South Indian filter coffee:

  • It is a kind of cultural icon in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra, the four southern states of India.
  • Coffee was introduced to South India by Baba Budan in the 17th century. Until the middle of the 20th century, traditional households used only jaggery and honey to sweeten coffee. I guess we can take a tip from that for health reasons, but the taste will certainly vary.
  • Most commonly used coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta, medium roasted and finely ground.
  • Best made with fresh buffalo milk. Back in our childhood days, the milkman would get the buffalo to our doorstep, milk the animal and give us jars of fresh frothy milk. Coffee beans were roasted and ground afresh every morning. But, gone are those days!

It is winter now in India and a season of music particularly in the southern region. The Indian diaspora from all over the world travel to this region, to attend music festivals and eat mouth-watering traditional food during their stay. Cups and cups of the filter coffee are devoured at all times of the day. Like they say, ‘anytime is coffee time’!

Saravana Bhavan is an Indian chain of restaurants found in most cities of the world. If you haven’t tasted South Indian filter coffee yet, that’s the place to go to. Some cities like Singapore and Kaula Lumpur have Murugan Idli Shop, another such eatery that has traditional vegetarian fare on their menu. Ask your friends travelling to India to get you the South Indian filter coffee device and coffee powder. Here are some brands : Narasu’s, Leo, Cotha’s, Udhayam, Bru, Coorg and Kaapi. Singapore, Cotha’s and Coorg are easily available in the city. Lavazza will do as well. Or shop online. .

Tips for brewing a perfect filter coffee

  • Fresh coffee powder, fresh decoction and fresh milk make a difference. Left over decoction, a no-no.
  • Equal quantities of freshly roasted and ground Peaberry and Plantation A coffee beans are mixed for super tasting coffee. Just keep this in mind. Those staying away from India may not have access to these, but its good to know.
  • If the perforated metal coffee filter is blocked, hold it over direct flame for 2-3 seconds, or clean out the holes with a pin and then use it.
  • Dry the filter well before adding coffee powder.
  • Coffee filters come in various sizes. If using less coffee powder, use a small coffee filter.

Even as write this, it feels good to know from an U.S study, that coffee drinkers may live longer. Google for more information.

Everything in The Sandalwood Room is hand-made, hand crafted. In keeping with that, filter coffee hand-made and not machine dripped.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 62212655 / +65 97865896

Email: ,





Looking For Fine Dinnerware That Lasts, Singapore ?

The Sandalwood Room from Singapore brings Nishita Fine Dinnerware, resistant to chipping and scratching. With handcrafted embellishments for their discerning customers.
Representative dinner set The Sandalwood Room

Components representative of their dinner sets

Do you remember how fiercely your mother and grandmother guarded their fine china, from the clumsy men and the careless brats of the house? And from the hands of the maids, who thought the dinnerware was merely plates and bowls to eat from?

You are likely to do the same. When you become the proud owners of Nishita Fine Dinnerware. I can already picture some of you running your hands fondly over your dinner plates, as you unpack your purchase. Anything so fine deserves a celebration and I can’t think of a better way than having people over. Conversations, aperitif wine, canapés, your favourite music and a lot of laughter. Sounds like perfect accompaniment to a dining table, so well laid.

So what first draws us all while shopping are the looks. With Nishita Fine Dinnerware, the elegant and unique designs arrest your eyes. I cannot but notice the exquisite artistry and workmanship, that gives a touch of class to their porcelain. Attention to detail is so evident and a closer look tells me the motifs are handcrafted. Making them timeless. Little wonder then I thought, that The Sandalwood Room displays them so proudly.

Lotus dinner set The Sandalwood Room

Fine detailing in crimson and gold

There is another buyer by my side now, one of those that leaves nothing to chance. I listen, as this smart staff of The Sandalwood Room explains how the use of Japanese technology gives the dinnerware a smooth, flawless glaze and refined translucency. The Japanese are masters at giving porcelain ware strength, hardness and toughness, which also explains for the dinnerware being resistant to chipping and scratching.

I hear the girl quoting Nishita Thakurdas, “An uncompromising attention to detail, quality and craftsmanship is the cornerstone of my dinnerware,”. Nishita Thakurdas is the founder of Nishita Fine Dinnerware. “Every individual piece has been handcrafted creating a harmony of elegance, artistry and impeccable quality”.

I accompany the buyer and we are both mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the Nishita Collection. ‘The Lotus at Fatehpur’ and ‘Jodhpur Evenings’.

The Lotus At Fatehpur

The Sandalwood Room Nishita Lotus at Fatehpur

Lotus At Fatehpur complete dinner set laid out

I am sure your guests will spend time admiring this splendid collection, before they help themselves to your delicacies. Reflecting the grandeur and richness of the Moghul era of ancient India, the collection seems like an homage to the majestic abode of emperor Akbar, in Fatehpur Sikri. Your guests may want to ask you more about the glory of Akbar – you can send them this link.

Each piece of the dinner set is handcrafted and embellished with 24k gold and luxurious crimson against pristine white porcelain, telling the tale of the Mughuls’ love for everything resplendent. The city of Fatehpur Sikri has most of its buildings in red stone and so is the symbolic use of red in this collection.

The complete dinner set comprises of 27 pieces – 6 dinner plates, 6 side plates, 6 bowls, 6 napkin rings, 2 serving bowls, and 1 platter

Jodhpur Evenings

The Sandalwood Room Jodhpur Evenings The Sandalwood Room

Jodhpur Evenings laid out

The regal power of royal blue is timeless across all regions of the world. A romantic dinner for two, or a gala soiree, food certainly may taste better when eaten out of such a stylized collection. Intricate platinum edges crowning deep blue fit for royalty. Undertones of pure platinum making it perfect.

Watch your guests delight in the deep blue, the delicate arcs, the hidden hearts and the sweetly whispering birds. The Jodhpur Evenings series brings together strength and softness. Just like the Blue City , Jodhpur in Rajasthan, after which the collection has been named.

The complete dinner set comprises of 27 pieces – 6 dinner plates, 6 side plates, 6 bowls, 6 napkin rings, 2 serving bowls, and 1 platter.

We are surprised to hear that Nishita Fine Dinnerware is long-lasting. But then, so much care and detailing has gone into turning out such irresistible pieces, why would they not make them sturdy?

We are then told by The Sandalwood Room that this fine dinnerware, like all things fine, needs tender care. Sturdy it is, yet cannot be microwaved and dishwashed due to the gold and platinum ornamentation in it. We thought we should tell you this. After all, you are going cherish Nishita Fine Dinnerware. Click here for complete care instructions.

The Sandalwood Room, popular in Singapore for all that is handcrafted yet global, has now moved to Tras Street. A new location, but the same beautiful ambience. For Couture, Jewelry, Art, Home-décor, Gifts & Collectibles.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 62212655 / +65 97865896

Email: ,




Handcrafted Trunks – The Sandalwood Room’s gesture to an eco-friendly Singapore

As we hurtle towards Christmas and New Year’s Eve, cooler climes have set in in many regions. If warm clothing is on your list, so is warm bed linen I assume. Move on from thin quilts and comforters to thicker ones. What comes to my mind is the picture of hot cups of tea, coffee and soup, or your favourite poison coupled with a book, while you are tucked comfortably amidst soft warm cushions.

Pick your choice of handmade cushions and cushion covers from The Sandalwood Room. They come in pretty patterns of block prints in both vibrant blues and greens, or earthy shades. Don’t miss the draw-strings on the cushions ; tie them up in colours that match or contrast!

Hand made cushion covers The Sandalwood Room

Hand made cushion covers, assorted

I have always wondered why patchwork is so sought after, be it on garments, or home linen. Probably because handcrafted patchwork is hard to replicate and is a mark of a vivid imagination. One can still tell the difference between mass made patchwork clothes (you can see them on the racks of the chain stores) and those stitched together from left-over pieces of fabric. There is a story of labour behind each piece of bed-linen at The Sandalwood Room.

Some embroidered, some patch-worked, some with applique work and some others in single colours, but all of them spoiling you for choice. You can choose any pattern to match your home in modern, traditional or geometric motifs.

Quilts from The Sandalwood Room

Assorted quilts

Very few homes have just the bare number of cushions or quilts. And we are forever looking for spaces to tuck them in, when we play the ‘mix and match’ game. The Sandalwood Room has the perfect trunks to stash away all your linen. Light weight and easily movable, they make for good pieces of home décor too, while your quilts and cushions nestle within. Come to think of it, I can just about store anything in these trunks I guess.

I know Singapore loves everything recycled. A national recycling programme was launched in 2001 in Singapore and the rate across all sectors grew to a 61% by 2013. Rightly so, The Sandalwood Room introduced these multi-hued trunks that are made from recycled cloth and coir. They are representative of the art of Rajasthan in India. The natural fibre coir and recycled cloth, after being dyed, are woven together tightly around metal frames to make a trunk out of them.

Recycled cloth and coir trunk from the sandalwood room

Made from recycled cloth and coir

I went visiting a friend in Singapore and was quite surprised to see this pretty trunk perk up the contemporary look of the study room. And we spoke about how home décor is all about being creative and different.

So is fashion I would say. Would you team these irresistible shoulder sling bags with a western outfit, fashionistas of Singapore? Back in India, they are a rage.

Sling bags from the sandalwood room

Multi layered sling bags

This one here , the trunk in shades of blue and indigo is however a little different from the coir one. It is made from strong cotton fabric dyed in indigo and stretched over a metal frame with foam stuffing on the top, thereby lending itself to serve as a seat. Encased by leather and studded with rivets around the edges and corners, it seems well protected from accidental hits and nudges. Steel clasps to shut it tight. I would not relegate it to a corner, but place it midway against a wall well proportioned.

trunk seat from the sandalwood room

Trunk seat

Versatility is the hall-mark of The Sandalwood Room is what struck me  as I browsed around, studying each piece of handcrafted art on their racks and shelves. A global feel too, I was gently reminded by Jay, the promoter of the boutique. Couldn’t agree with her more, what with collectibles, couture, jewelry, gifts, home decor and art sourced out from around the globe.

Ciao till I come back soon. And oh, by the way, they have moved to Tras Street.

New Address:

The Sandalwood Room, 78 Tras Street, Singapore 079017

Landline : +65 62212655 / +65 97865896

Email: ,





The Sandalwood Room – Prinsep Street was good for business

Saying Thank You to Prinsep Street as we move!


We are full of memories at The Sandalwood Room. We will miss you Prinsep Street. We will come back to sip coffee at The Curious Palette, to reminisce setting shop, making friends and soon having become a sort of a landmark on the street.

Our baby steps grew into long strides because you gave us a perfect location for our business. With Bras Basah MRT station, Dhoby Ghaut, Bencoolen Street, PoMo Mall, Selegie Road and Little India as our neighbours, tourists and shoppers alike strolled into The Sandalwood Room after lunch at The Red House, or on the way to Coffee at The Curious Palette, adding more shopping bags to their already full hands. We are grateful for that!

We have enjoyed providing shopping to the lovely people of Singapore as much as hosting events that have added value to their lives. Let us take you along our memory lane…..

The Sandalwood Room was launched on 31st July 2014, with a lot of passion for artistic creations and unique craftsmanship from different cultures. For all those that love to rekindle their artistic side now and then. For shopping of a rare kind.

Extending the Horizons of Indian Classical Dance : A Talk & Film Screening by Dr Sunil Kothari

Classical dance attains a whole new perspective when seen through the eyes of a dance historian and a dance critic like the renowned Dr Sunil Kothari. This event, on 9th September, 2014, presented to our esteemed customers was a critical appreciation of the choreographic works of iconoclastic, innovative, bold and radical dancers Chandralekha (Bharatanatyam) and Kumudini Lakhia (Kathak). Dr Sunil Kothari, second from the left.

Dr Sunil Kothari at The Sandalwood Room

Art will always be close to our hearts for its ability to cross all barriers and bring people together.

Diwali Fashion Show : Celebration of Originality : Designer Sarees from Sujata Pai & Rema Kumar

A grand fashion show featuring exclusive designer sarees and festive mens’ wear on 15th Oct, 2014. Haute designs showcased by the happening real people of Singapore and stunning pieces of handpicked jewelry were the talk of the town for days after the show and the festive season. Days of sheer shopping pleasure from 8th to 21st October, 2014.

The Sandalwood Room diwali show

Fashion at The Sandalwood Room has always been something to write home about.

Book Reading and Author Speak : The Red Helmet

An intriguing title, The Red Helmet explained on 25th April 2015 at 4 pm. By the author Deepika Shetty herself, who is also a journalist and founder of the popular page Sadee Saree. On how two wheelers gave a huge economic impetus to India, along with liberating women, making them independent and mobile. The title The Red Helmet gives the scooter and the helmet a place in the period of the novel.

The Sandalwood Room The red helmet

We have always believed in the power of a woman’s caring hands to make this world a better place.

Photo Exhibition and Sale : Celebrating Real Moments

A Singapore based photographer, Kaavya Krishnan’s photography exhibition in aid of Protsahan opened on 12th June 2015 at the Sandalwood Room and attracted many an art aficionado till the 27th June. Proceeds of the exhibition were contributed to Protsahan India Foundation, an organization that uses design thinking and art innovation to transform the lives of slum and street children.

The Sandalwood Room Kaavya Krishnan

Equipping a needy child with education is opening horizons to life.

The Sandalwood Room’s First Anniversary Celebrations

The First Anniversary of any business is always a celebration of all the hard work and the passion of the team behind it all. We did it with some soul-searching, with I’M SOUL INC on 31st July 2015 – a pioneer in using assistive technologies to bring music to all, regardless of capabilities. Watch this endearing and magical dance performed to the lilting tune of Singapura by a student of I’M SOUL INC.

The Sandalwood Room and I’M SOUL INC extended a hand that reached out to many a customer that evening and beyond.

 An Award, first of its kind at The Sandalwood Room, was instituted as part of the anniversary celebrations to felicitate two glittering women of Singapore. Ms Santha Bhaskar, artistic director of Bhaskar’s Art Academy and Ms Deepika Shetty of the famed Sadee Saree,  who stand as testimony for peace, love and harmony through their individual art forms. And the award was an Amethyst Geode.

The Sandalwood Room First anniv awards

The power of appreciation gets achievers to do better and give more to this planet.

The First Anniversary was also marked by Coffee and Coffee Diamonds making it a glittering event. A world of beautiful coffee diamonds and other coloured gemstones set in unique designs in exotic shades of gold opened up the treasures of Sitaram Jewels. Three days of the sparkle of diamonds from 9th to 11th September, 2015.

The Sandalwood Room Sitaram Jewels

One of our ways of adding shine and glitter to our customers’ worlds.

Handcrafted Silver Jewelry Show : Jonaki – Nine By Thirty

Just in time for Diwali, an exclusive one day show of the Jonaki line of jewelry by Aparna Das Sadhukan’s Nine By Thirty, favourited for their ethnic look on 31st October, 2015. Sterling silver encrusted with gemstones, handstrung neck-pieces and ear-rings in stunning combinations of inimitable gemstones were the high light of the show.

Jonaki jewelry at The Sandalwood Room

Processed with Moldiv

Our journey continues as we look forward to bringing you the global best in Couture, Jewelry, Gifts, Home Décor, Art and Collectibles. We are in transit now, shop getting set, a lot of hard work going to make The Sandalwood Room the beautiful boutique our customers have been used to.

We will be back soon. Wishing you all happy festive times from all of us at The Sandalwood Room.

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