A new indoor drone racing arena is here in Singapore! This pop-up store is now located at Sin Ming Lane Midview City. For the uninitiated, this form of drone racing is known as FPV (First-Person View) and Tiny Whoop is the small form of a quadcopter that has an inbuilt camera.
So how do you fly this thing? Unlike traditional drone flying, the pilot takes the view of the drone via the onboard camera. See those colorful hoops at Whoop Arena? It is for you to fly your drone through it. Whoop arena also have different mode beyond just pure flying for added entertainment. For example you can shoot the drone with Nerf gun!
Whoop arena also provide STEM & coding workshop and FPV flying experience for beginner. Be sure to check them out as the pop-up store will end towards the end of April 2021.
Address: 18 Sin Ming Lane, #06-03, Singapore 573960
In case you are wondering, we are not talking about a Gaming Den where shuffling of Mahjong tiles and punter shouting ‘Blackjack!” can be heard constantly. We are talking about one where you can take your gaming experience to a whole new level beyond your keyboard, mouse or controller.
NXND Computer (NXND) has started this Gaming Lounge which is figuratively a game centre that provides an immersive gaming experience through motion platforms or Virtual Reality which is largely centred on “combat” flying and racing simulation games.
Inspiration for Gaming Lounge
NXND has jokingly shared that the inspiration came from COVID19. One of the cofounder of NXND, Guan Tdee discovered a gaming community in Singapore consisting of individuals who are interested in virtual flying simulation. While its fun and engaging to meet in the virtual skies, there is lack of actual social interactions between such groups in Singapore.
I thought if I need to gather like-minded gamers together to share fun and knowledge and chill out, there must be a lounge or café that is enticing enough to make them “get out of their seat”.
-Guan Tdee (NXND Computer)
It was later expanded to include other game genre beyond just flight simulation.
What’s available at the Gaming Lounge?
There are various programmes to choose from. You are try out their immersive motion simulation with a choice of driving or flying on their motion platform.
Then there is a choice of a static panoramic screen, or VR. Team gaming (i.e. DOTA,CS,ArmA 3 and more) of up to 4 players are also available. More details are available on their site.
With events cancelled or going online like the the latest edition of Anime Festival Asia, there is little place to go to satisfy your craving for all-things Japanese. Of course flying to Japan is impossible too at the moment.
Enter the new Rilakkuma themed Cafe by Kumoya Cafe. This pop-up cafe will be open for 6 months starting on 29 August 2020. Do note that this is a new Kumoya branch at Orchard Central. Their first cafe, Kumoya Singapore @ 8 Jalan Klapa, is still open but features not Rilakkuma but Bad-Barth-Maru and Gudetama.
For the uninitiated, Rilakkuma is a popular San-X character from Japan which translate loosely to “relaxing bear”. It has struck a chord with the generally hardworking Japanese simply with the idea of “let’s just relax” that is the epitome of the character.
Getting to the Cafe
Located at Orchard Central level 4, finding the place is not difficult at all. At the time of writing, the cafe does not allow reservation and only walk-in is allowed. So be prepared to queue for a period of time to get in.
We queued for about 50 minutes at around 1:30pm on a Thursday afternoon (we are there not as a media invite). Given it is still consider lunch hours when we are there, expect a shorter time during off peak hours like 3-5pm. And be prepared for a longer queue on weekends.
Customers are entitled to a maximum of 1 hour and 30 minutes in the restaurant. And with safe distancing, there are limited seating capacity. On the positive side, the experience overall is better with less people in the cafe. After all this is Rilakkuma – The Relax Cafe isn’t it?
Food-wise the selections are quite complete. From pasta to rice, desserts and drinks, you will be spoilt for choices. However, do not expect the price to be easy on the wallet. Each main is about $25-29. This is the typical pricing of such theme cafe.
We ordered the Chill-out Rilakkuma Yuzu Carbonara ($23.90), Chirpy Kiroiitori Beef Stew Rice ($23.90), Rilakuma Sweet Honey Pancake ($25.90) and a Lycee Momo Iced Tea with Chocolate ($13.90). Each dish is beautifully decorated ready for an Instagram moment. Taste-wise, while it is not something I will keep coming back for, it is fairly decent compared to other theme cafe we have been to.
Beside the cashier counter, there is a corner full of kawaii Rilakkuma merchandise. Be sure to visit it while you are there. If you are a plushies lover, you will be glad to find some rare Rilakkuma plushies on sale there.
With the COVID-19 situation, visiting the cafe is one of the only way to get closer to a holiday experience. We would recommend a visit to the cafe if you are a fan of Rilakkuma.