Monthly Archives: August 2018

Edible Helium Balloon

This was a ‘you have got to be kidding me’ moment. But no, there in the market was a stall selling edible voice-changing balloons, in strawberry or blueberry flavour. Obviously, I was unable to resist…

The set up was fascinating – a large canister of helium sat next to a set of food warmers containing the gloop which would become the balloon. Rather like those nitro puffs you get in fancy restaurants, this particular product has to be eaten instantly, on the spot.

The gas gets pumped through a tube held under the surface of the syrup, which obligingly blows itself into a bubble that can be whipped up out of the container and transferred to a stick. There is precious little time to admire this creation, and no chance of carrying it away to enjoy later.

The girl in charge of making these held onto the stick, instructing me to take a bite then suck in all the gas inside. “Now, talk as fast as you can”, she instructed, “and don’t laugh because then it won’t work.” The trouble is, as soon as you hear yourself speaking in that ridiculously squeaky voice, you can’t help laughing, so the effects of the gas last for seconds only.

You can, if you want, eat the shrivelled and sticky remains of the balloon still clinging to the stick, but that isn’t really the point. As experiences go, this was hilarious, and I suspect that with a bit of practise you could make the squeaky voice last a lot longer. At almost S$9 a go, however, that might become expensive.

Face Pack Vending Machine

You know how there are evenings you just NEED a sheet mask after the shops are closed? We’ve all been there, right??

Hmmm… it’s a very appealing idea, though, to imagine being able to dash out at any hour and buy yourself a face pack from a special vending machine.

I saw these Lovely Mart machines in shopping malls in Beijing, and was delighted by them, although never actually got round to trying one out. But this is something I would like to see in other places too, starting with Singapore!

Truffle Bouquet

Chocolate and flowers are top of the list when it comes to choosing a gift, and who wouldn’t want to receive either of those as a surprise?

Better still, how about chocolates that look like a bunch of flowers? I was really charmed by these bouquets of truffles which popped up in my favourite Meguro supermarket. Each chocolate was individually wrapped at the end of a long stick and available in various sizes of ready-made bouquet, or singly – for ¥270 each – for you to make up your own selection.

Flavours included not just the expected ones, but alcoholic versions like rum and raisin, or red wine and pink peppercorn. I’d like to tell you that my husband took the hint here, but we were running late to somewhere else at the point I spotted these, and I was hurried along. Tragically, we never got back to remedy the situation, but it’s an easy concept to copy at home, and I might well be trying it as a gift at the next suitable occasion.

Everlasting Rose

Nothing says “I love you” better than a single, perfect rose. The problem is, they don’t last long (and there are enterprising people out there making a good living by sending bouquets of dead roses to that ex you now hate…). But what if you could present your partner with a real rose that is guaranteed to last for years?

It is all apparently a question of treating the rose using a special technique which replaces the natural sap with glycerine, water and dye. This leaves the petals with a soft texture which looks and feels amazingly natural, and means the rose does not need water or any special attention.

I saw these in Bangkok – they were offering a whole range of lovely pinks and reds as well as this multi-coloured version, which was put together from individual petals. At 1,000 baht a bloom I wasn’t planning to buy one, no matter how beautifully packaged, so was politely discouraged from taking any more photos, mai pen rai…