The top 10 things we tried in 2019, from a S$1,000 staycation to the best fries in American fast food

Business Insider

Some experiences are simply too good to forget.

With dozens of reviews done every year, it’s not easy to remember every single product launched in the past 12 months. But at Business Insider, a good product or experience is never forgotten.

So as 2019 comes to a close, here are Business Insider Singapore‘s top 10 favourite reviews from the past 365 days.


Burger & Lobster’s 2 new outlets in Singapore

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The lobster roll with caviar and sea urchin (S$50).
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Business Insider/Rachel Chia

We visited both of Burger & Lobster’s Singapore restaurants this year, first at Jewel Changi Airport in May, and then the Raffles Hotel branch in November.

Both times, we were blown away by how good the crustaceans were. But if we had to choose between the two outlets, Raffles Hotel would be our pick, thanks to its slurpin’ good exclusive menu item – a S$70 lobster laksa.


Google Pixel 4

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  Photos taken on the Google Pixel 4 after adjusting exposure on the normal camera (left) and with Night Sight turned on (right).
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Business Insider / Lamont Mark Smith

Google’s Pixel 4 phone was one of the most highly-anticipated smartphone launches this year.

When it finally launched in October, we were excited to see how much Google had done to improve the already-stellar phone and camera.

One of the best things we found on the Pixel 4 was its amazing Night Sight photo taking feature. But we were quite disappointed with the omission of a wide-angle lens on the rear camera, as well as its not-so-secure Face Unlock feature.

Overall though, it was great fun to use, and its camera system is still one of the best you can find in the smartphone market.


lyf Funan

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A bedroom with a queen bed in one of lyf Funan’s 4-bedroom apartments.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Up until we visited lyf Funan in September, we had no idea what living in a co-living space with strangers actually meant.

To our surprise, the co-living accommodation run by Singapore’s Ascott was incredibly comfortable, cosy and fun to be in despite the small rooms.

While the property does not have an in-house pool, several of its millennial-driven amenities – such as a shared social kitchen and a human hamster wheel in the exercise space – were unique enough to keep us entertained.


Barracks Hotel

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Barracks Hotel, which opened on December 1, is Sentosa’s newest hotel. But it sits in a 1904 building, known in the past as Blakang Mati Artillery Barracks.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

Speaking of accommodation, one of the best hotels we stayed in this year was the Barracks Hotel by Far East Hospitality on Sentosa island.

The 1904 former barracks building is steeped in history but also luxurious and beautifully relaxing.

Our 3-day 2-night stay cost around S$1,100, but we found it was well worth it with the hotel’s attention to detail and provision of not just one but five swimming pools.


Xing Fu Tang

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Xing Fu Tang’s drinks in Singapore.
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Rachel Chia/Business Insider

If there’s one thing that refused to budge in 2019, it was the bubble tea craze.

One of Taiwan’s most popular chains, Xing Fu Tang, opened its first store to much fanfare in Singapore in June.

The brand’s signature pearls are made and fried in front of customers, and the Brown Sugar Boba Milk (S$5.30) wad a smoky and deep flavour, while the Mango Smoothie with Rabbit Panna Cotta (S$6.90) was deliciously fruity.


BetterAir air purifiers

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This writer’s baby’s eczema showed marked improvement after she started using the BetterAir purifiers sold by Courts.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Hands-down the most life-changing products we reviewed this year: BetterAir Biotica800 (S$599) and BioLogic (S$399) probiotic-emitting air purifiers.

Enviro-Biotics released by the machines helped to get rid of unseen pollutants and common allergens such as mold spores, dust mite feacal matter, and even pet dander in this writer’s home. How did we know this? The writer’s baby, whose skin was raw and red from eczema flare-ups, showed huge improvements after three months of using the machines.

There was one disappointment though: The Biotica800 the writer purchased after this review broke down after just a few months, and she has not had the time to get it replaced at Courts.


Marquee Singapore

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Singapore’s largest nightclub is also its most Instagrammable.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Whether or not you like to party, it’s almost impossible not to be wowed by Marquee, Singapore’s largest nightclub at Marina Bay Sands.

Opened in April, the club is owned by prominent American nightlife and restaurant company Tao Group.

So what’s so special about Marquee, you ask? For starters, it has giant slides, an actual ferris wheel and spans a whopping 24,757 sq ft.

One of its coolest features is a 32 million pixel LED screen that displays extremely clear high-definition graphics. Very cool.


Dyson Supersonic

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Not a new launch, but the Dyson Supersonic is still one of the best things we tried this year.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Heard much about the S$599 Dyson Supersonic hairdryer but just can’t bear to splurge so much on a hair product?

That was us – until we actually tried the legendary Supersonic out this year.

Not only did it dry hair faster, it was also gentle on the hair, easy to use, very lightweight and did an amazing job at adding volume to limp, fine hair.


Being trained by Adrian Tan, former 2-time Mr Singapore

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 Former bodybuilder Adrian Tan has started his own gym and personal training business.
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Adrian Tan, Business Insider / Lamont Mark Smith

Want beautiful abs but don’t know where to start?

Our writer hit the gym for the very first time in his life with former two-time Mr Singapore winner Adrian Tan to find out his secrets to staying fab.

Among the things he learned was how to make healthier food choices and how often one can afford a cheat day.

And yes, the writer survived the training session (hopefully with future plans to hit the gym more often in future).


Five Guys Singapore

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  Five Guys opened on December 16 at Plaza Singapura.
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Business Insider/Jessica Lin

And with the addition of the best fries in American fast food, our list is complete.

Five Guys opened its doors at Plaza Singapura on December 16, bringing with it its highly-raved freshly-made burgers and fries that have been voted the best among US fast food chains.

Apart from the free toppings you can add to your burgers and hotdogs, what really blew us away at Five Guys was its thick and creamy all-American milkshakes.

Here’s a tip: Add bacon bits to yours, you won’t regret it!


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