Whisky Journey 2020 Singapore – More than just a bar-hopping event

Whisky is one of those things that can grow with you in different stages of your life; from the guzzling down bottles after bottles when you just turned 18 (where I live this is the drinking age), and when you’re older and been through life quite a bit, it can be that friend that sits with you at the fireplace in accompanying silence.

Whisky Journey 2020, organised by The Whisky Store, was meant to be a convention show sometime in May this year; of course now we know that the pandemic has all but shuttered that plan. Hence it was transformed into a 10-day bar and restaurant trail. Not an entirely new concept, but certainly one that is refreshing in these times.

From Stalwarts to New Entrants

From 11-20 December 2020, visit all 15 of the participating venues (list at the end of the article) to receive a dram of whisky from a curated selection of distilleries, and a stamp in your “passport”. Finish the passport and hand it in to any of these 3 bars (Copper, Malts & Quiach South Beach) no later than 22 Dec 2020, 10:30pm, and qualify for the Whisky Journey Trailblazer Contest. Stand to win exclusive bottles, collectible gifts and vouchers!

The closest you’re going to get to stamping a passport.
Get a Glencairn Tasting Glass to bring along your Whisky Journey.

This inaugural event features old-timer bars like Wala-Wala and Cable Car 1890’s Saloon, and bars that are new or quite off the beaten track such as Malts, #WLJK, SIlvermalt and many others.

Copper X Duncan Taylor

We started our journey at Copper, situated in Lanson Place off Penang Road. Although smack in the middle of Orchard Area, its inconspicuous facade means that it’s not one of the popular hangout spots of late. In fact, it’s round the corner from a very popular nightlife bar.

Copper. Image by Whisky Journey.

There, we were introduced to Duncan Taylor, a multiaward winning distillery with 75 years of history as a blender, bottler and cask broker, and now one of the most dynamic and innovative Scotch Whisky companies. Look out for the Black Bull Kyloe, a cask strength blend with a really complex flavour, and the Octave Glenallachie 2008 Whisky Journey Exclusive, which is surprisingly platable despite its 54.1% ABV. Perfect to pair with some savoury bar bites!

Malts X Glencadam

Malts. Image by Whisky Journey.

Being just opened this year, malts is one of hiding spots for the busy executive to enjoy a tipple after work, while still enjoying the impeccable service and whisky collection. With an adventurous chef at hand, they also have a delectable menu to pair with your drink, such as the papaya salad, Chinese-style prawns, roast beef and a signature lamb chop that is marinated for days and then grilled to greatness.

Being one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, Glencadam Distillery is old school meets new world, sticking to their traditions of making highland whiskey. Look out for the Glencadam 1825 “The Rather Elegant”, a homage to their heritage, and my personal favourite, the 18 years “The Rather Polished” which was described as “A warm hug from grandpa”, with a surprising note of a familiar flavour to many. As someone told me, tasting notes might give you a bias on what you actually taste, so give it a go before reading the bottle!

A Malt to Remember

Being an admittedly novice at whisky (I’m more of a craft beer person), I found the concept very newbie-friendly and not intimidating at all. Perhaps it was also a blessing in disguise that the trail had to happen the way it is; you can now pace yourself over a few days instead of jam-packing a convention hall the reverberating noise of a crowd may not be the most conducive environment to learn about one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.

So why not malt over to these 15 bars to have an eye-opener of a journey? Whether you want to casually enjoy a dram, or to nerd out with your fellow whisky geeks, there’s something definitely for everyone.

Be sure to check out their website to see their exclusive whiskys just for this event! You can also purchase bottles from the respective bars at prices never before seen, as low as S$104!

More Information

Whisky Journey will be carried out in accordance to existing government regulations with temperature screening and social distancing restrictions in place. To ensure that guests will have the opportunity to enjoy their free whisky drams, free pours will be extended beyond the event till 30 December 2020 at selected partner bars. Guests are also encouraged to make reservations before visiting each partner bar or restaurant as well.

Whisky Journey will be held from 11-20 December 2020 at various participating bars and restaurants across Singapore.

All passes are available for purchase at

Ticket passes are available at $38 online, with passes priced at $45 each at the door. Pass holders will be entitled to a free Glencairn whisky glass, a Whisky Journey passport and a free 10ml tasting dram at each participating bar and restaurant. All guests will also have the opportunity to buy additional drams from only $2, access to industry experts, exclusive access to Whisky Journey bottlings, and many fringe activities.

To ensure you can get your drams, some bars extend their tastings till 30 December 2020, although you won’t be able to enter the Trailblazer contest by then. Just remember your passports and tasting glass!

Participating Distilleries:

  • Bunnahabhain
  • Cù Bòcan
  • Currach
  • Deanston
  • Duncan Taylor
  • Glencadam
  • Glen Scotia
  • Inchmoan
  • Inchmurrin
  • Kalak
  • Ledaig
  • Loch Lomond
  • Ornabrak
  • Paul John
  • The Lakes Distillery
  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Tobermory
  • Tomatin
  • Tomintoul

Participating Bars and Restaurants:

  • Cable Car 1890’s Saloon
  • Copper
  • FOC
  • Jiu Zhuang
  • Joo Bar
  • Malts
  • Quaich Bar South Beach
  • Silvermalt
  • S L A T E.
  • The Cooperage
  • The Other Roof
  • The Writing Club
  • Tom Dick & Hillary’s
  • Wala Wala Café Bar
  • #WLJK

This feature is brought to you by Whisky Journey 2020 by The Whisky Store.

Editor’s note: As part of ongoing COVID-19 Safe Management Measures, your safety and health during your visit is important to the venues. You will be required to adhere to SMM actions such as SafeEntry, and social distancing. Stay safe, fellow otters!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Ring in the season with the perfect Yuletide celebration at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, featuring an array of Christmas roasts and signature delicacies available for takeaway, lavish dinner spreads at Triple Three, and a festive getaway package for two!

Can I just say that Mandarin Orchard’s Christmas offerings are one of the few things I look forward to every year-end?

Your presents is requested.

Making a comeback due to popular demand is the Sakura Chicken ($108), oven-roasted and stuffed with an indulgent medley of Black Truffle, Quinoa, and Wild Rice. For something new, add the succulent Roasted Lamb Roll with Thyme Jus to your list of must-have Christmas dinner centrepieces this year!

Image by Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Also available for the more health-conscious is the Baked Norwegian Salmon encased in Seafood and Chia Seed Mousseline, and served with mushroom sauce. Making for the perfect complement to this guilt-free dish is an assortment of seasonal vegetables.

Image by Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Next featuring the MVP: no feast is complete without Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s signature Premium Honey-glazed Boneless or Bone-in Gammon Ham, a timeless favourite prepared using an original recipe that remains a closely guarded secret since 1971.

Meat your best Christmas ever.

Innovative creations also make their way out of the Hotel’s Christmas kitchens this year, featuring a decadent line-up of yule log cakes that includes the highly popular Valrhona Delicious Dulcey, as well as new flavours such as Soursop and Lychee, Tropical Fruit and White Chocolate, and Raspberry Namelaka. The latter is not to be missed—made with chocolate dacquoise and feuilletine bars generously layered with raspberry jelly, chocolate mousse, and raspberry namelaka, then topped off with rich chocolate ganache.

Image by Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Deck The Halls

Christmas takeaway goodies by Mandarin Orchard Singapore are available from 23 November to 31 December 2020. For orders and enquiries, call +65 6831 6272/6320 or email, or visit Coffee & Crust located on Level 5 from 11am to 8pm.

Download the 2020 Christmas Goodies Brochure here and the Christmas Order Form here.

Good Things Can Come In Threes

Want to dine in person instead?

Showstopping spreads at Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s Japanese-inspired international buffet restaurant, Triple Three, will showcase Christmas roasts such as the much-acclaimed Honey-glazed Gammon Ham, Roasted U.S. Turkey with Cranberry and Giblet Sauce, and Roasted Lamb Rack with Thyme Jus.

Other highlights of the buffet will include Pan-seared Foie Gras with Truffle Miso, Oven-baked Boston Lobster with Uni Sauce, Lobster Mentaiyaki, Freshly-shucked Oysters, and Assorted Seafood on Ice.

An elaborate array of Christmas desserts also awaits festive diners at Triple Three, with Christmas Pudding, Stollen, Fruitcake, Panettone, Yule Log Cakes, and Festive Cookies adding to the delectable selection of sweet treats.

Prices from Christmas Eve till New Year’s Day Start from $99++ for lunch ($33++ for children), and $128++ for dinner ($48++ for children). For festive dinner reservations and enquiries, call +65 6831 6288/6271 or email


Bask in the excitement of the Holiday Season right in the heart of bustling Orchard Road. Book the Hotel’s Christmas Getaway package and have a jolly holiday experience with friends and loved ones!

At $268++, enjoy a night’s stay for two inclusive of breakfast and set lunch at Chatterbox. The set lunch includes the legendary Mandarin Chicken Rice, Seafood Laksa, a side of rojak, two scoops of the signature Coconut Ice Cream, and two glasses of soft drinks.

Book the Christmas Getaway package direct on Alternatively, call +65 6737 2200 or email for booking assistance and enquiries.

This release is brought to you by Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

Editor’s note: As part of ongoing COVID-19 Safe Management Measures, your safety and health during your visit is important to the venue. You will be required to adhere to SMM actions such as SafeEntry, and social distancing. Stay safe, fellow otters!

Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should. –Ian Malcolm

… is what most people bear about themed cafes sometimes. But we definitely won’t say that about the Jurassic World Cafe that will be open to public from 6 November 2020 to 3 January 2021!

Jurassic World Cafe comes to Singapore

Be transported into Isla Nublar at ION Sky, with its breathtaking view all the way up at level 55 of ION Orchard. This immersive experience is suitable for families and fanatics alike with themed menu items and exclusive merchandise from the well-loved movie franchise, Jurassic World – which is set to release its highly anticipated third installment in June 2022.

So, Who’s Hungry?

The menu here is all themed to the movie franchise and is inspired by key elements, such “Volcano Curry” emulating lava from the active volcano in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the “Geologic Parfait” and “Lava Cookies”.

The Volcano Curry ($23) is a volcano made of rice and pulled pork curry liberally spread onto the plate like lava. To me, this is arguably the star (main) dish of the pop-up. It even comes with a postcard you can prop up for some Instagram moments.

Volcano Curry.
Postcard for the ‘gram.

The Jurassic World Burger ($28) is made of a huge bun generously holding a thick beef patty, bacon and mushrooms. Be warned, it might be considered a ‘safe’ option but it is by no means shy of serving size.

Jurassic World Burger.

Other mains include the Nasi Lemak with a cutout of the four Velociraptor siblings and Curly Fries on the side.

You can also get a cup of hot beverage, like a latte ($6) which comes with a concept latte design in the form of a dinosaur, or a Mosasaurus Soda ($8) for a minty, herby refreshing finish! There are also other choices like the Brachiosaurus Mint Pandan and Brachiosaurus Chendol (not pictured), but those are more instagrammable for sure.

The title of pièce de résistance however, definitely goes to their star dessert, the Fossil Excavation Cake ($16), which is a sponge cake with layers of vanilla, white chocolate mousse, which is ‘buried’ in yet another layer of chocolate and biscuit crumbs. So it feel like you’re digging up some millions-year old dinosaur bones. Diggy Diggy Hole ahead!

Fossil Excavation Cake, where you can be a dwarf and diggy diggy hole.

Christmas Tree-Rex

The cafe will run through the Christmas period, starting with a couple of Christmas menu specials, the Christmas Meat Platter ($25) and Cranberry Mint Chocolate ($9) available from today!

Cranberry Mint Chocolate. Image by 1-Group
Christmas Meat Platter. Image by 1-Group

There’s also a merchandise area where you (or the kids) can lay your/their hands on some sweet toys, and see the raptor lego sculpture right at the corner.

Last but not least, the cafe full of photospots set against the beautiful skyline viewable at ION Sky. The life-size figure of Blue, the beloved velociraptor, is also there for some good ol’gram shots!

Have tea with a Tea-Rex.
T is also for toys.

Welcome To Jurassic Park

Ian Malcolm: You will remember to wash your hands before you eat anything?

Due to the current social distancing precautions, reservations are highly encouraged. The cafe will be open daily from 11am to 10pm, and tables will be available for booking from 6 November 2020 onwards. To book your table, call +65 8028 1489 or write in to

You can visit their website for more information as well.

And yes, we’ll remind Ian to thank John for a lovely weekend.

Now, we’re going back to our dino-snore.

Good night, Blue.

Jurassic World Cafe is brought to you by Universal Brand Development, 1-Group, venue partner ION Orchard and PARCO – a licensee of Jurassic World Cafe.

Stressed? Reverse it for Desserts!

LUNA Patisserie is a relatively new entry in the dessert scene in Singapore, opened in March 2020.

Having known for their superbly minimalistic aesthetics when it comes to the food, let’s let the pictures do the talking.

LUNA These New Flavours

So recently they launched two new flavours, almost like a small celebration of being able to come out to enjoy good food again — the Yuzu Meringue Cake and Rose Raspberry.

The Rose Raspberry ($8/slice, $80 whole cake) is made with “Vanilla sponge on a raspberry puffed rice base with layers of rose Valrhona Ivoire 30% chocolate ganache and rose mousse with raspberry bits, coated with raspberry Chantilly cream and topped with fresh berries” Indeed there is a generous body to the cake, and a rather intense hint of the rose which initially made me guess it’s a bandung flavoured cake (Disclaimer: I went totally uninformed, and I was glad to have that mystery experience after all).

The Yuzu Meringue Cake ($8/slice, $80 whole cake) is a pleasant twist to the traditional lemon variant, with a more pronounced tang to contrast the cream. There’s also strong fruity, citrus notes that you don’t get with the lemon. Otherwise it’s a no-nonsense, straightforward piece of work.

Now personally, I always appreciate flavours that complement the kind of weather we have to endure here in Singapore. The two new flavours by LUNA certainly ticks those boxes with its refreshing flavours and generous mouthfeel, perfect for the local tastebuds!

More Information

LUNA Patisserie

53 Amoy Street Singapore 069879
Mon to Fri: 12pm to 6:30pm
Sat and Sun: 12pm to 4pm
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It’s Almost September.

Mandarin Orchard Singapore features an exquisite ensemble of classic and contemporary moonkeks mooncakes, specially handcrafted by the Hotel’s award-winning culinary team to celebrate the Mid-autumn Festival.

This is not my first time enjoying their signature offerings, but it’ll be my first having it delivered to my doorstep instead of enjoying them at an event. Fun fact: I held my wedding reception at the hotel too!

We both lost weight since then, I promise.

Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s Ensemble of Mooncakes

From 25 August to 1 October 2020, get yourself some two- or four-piece selections that are presented in a VERY BEAUTIFUL, lustrous blue gift box, embellished with a lattice-patterned crest and a customisable leather patch in rose gold. Touches of teal and delicate foil stamping accentuate the motifs of chrysanthemum blooms and dragonfly—symbolising good fortune, joy, and longevity.

Look at this box.
No seriously.

Leading this year’s curated assortment of mooncakes is the Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake. A perennial favourite, this traditional baked mooncake is filled creamy white lotus paste to contrast the two flavourful salted egg yolks at its centre.

A nod to the Cantonese classic, the signature Mixed Nuts and Jamón Ibérico Baked Mooncake remains a popular choice with its multi-textured filling that combines sweet and savoury with every bite (pretty interesting for those looking for something different than lotus paste). Those looking for a guilt-free option will find the Macadamia Nut and Low Sugar Paste Baked Mooncake a delicious, health-conscious treat. Adding variety to the lineup is the Japanese-inspired Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts Baked Mooncake — sweet azuki red bean paste and crunchy pine nuts encased in delicate pastry.

Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste Baked Mooncake (top) and Mixed Nuts and Jamón Ibérico Baked Mooncake (bottom)

The Mandarin Collection ($74 for 4pcs) is ideal for gifting, with each set comprising four assorted baked mooncakes—Mixed Nuts and Jamón Ibérico, Double Yolk and White Lotus Paste, Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste, and Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts.

Are you #snowskinfam? There’s also their range of pastel-hued mini snow skin creations including Lychee Martini and Chocolate, and Red Wine Cranberry Paste with Japanese Yuzu and Lemongrass. Filled with a creamy decadence, these delicate and refreshing mooncakes are sure to impress.

Although admittedly, Baked Mooncakes Best Mooncakes.

Snow Skin Selection by Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

Order Some Mooncakes

Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s 2020 Mid-autumn Collection from 25 August to 1 October at Coffee & Crust located on Level 5 of the Hotel. To order online, visit

DBS/POSB card holders will be entitled to 30% discount until 1 September for early bird discount, and 25% thereafter. UOB and Citibank card holders will enjoy 20% discount until 1 September, and 15% thereafter.

For orders or enquiries, please call 6831 6320/6262 or email

For more information, view the brochure here and the order form here.

This content is courtesy of Mandarin Orchard Singapore.

Antea Anti-Social Club

From drinking what is basically flavoured water more than 4000 years ago when leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water, to when the lack of it tests people’s resolve in present day, tea has evolved from ultiity to pleasure, from trade commodity to cultural exchange.

A stark contrast to the sugary-loaded tea craze we are going through now, it’s good to see a place that you can nerd out over some spcialty teas. I found Antea Social through an event, and found that it was set up just some time ago by an old classmate of mine with the intention of “conveying stories from makers to drinkers“.

In a pretty nondescript shop unit in the Lavender/Jalan Besar area, the teahouse is a Muji fanatic’s dreamland with minimalistic Zen-esque fittings that exudes some calmness while you enjoy some fine Oolong tea with fine company. Or you know, you can just use the peace to steep the tea and read a book.

Spill The Tea

Sourced with a Tea Master with more than 40 years of experience, their Signature Oolong teas are made with their own innovative process to infuse and scent the teas. Completely natural essential oils are used without any artificial additives, giving it a authentic aroma and taste.

This Kyoho Grape Oolong (a seasonal special at the time) for example had a nice sweet tinge of the grapes while not taking away the toasted, and distinct, aroma of the tea leaves. There’s really a good variety of Oolong teas so you can either be adventurous, or stay classic with more conventional flavours. You can also try their (relatively newer) Kombucha, which has a nice twist to their signature flavours.

Top tip: While they sell some decent pastries and dessert to pair with your drinks that you can definitely enjoy, this is a perfect post-meal place to wind down so come after lunch maybe.

There’s only so much tea you can drink in one sitting, so you can also buy some leafy goodness for your own private enjoyment!

On top of all these offerings, you can also book workshops or event appearances with them. In this COVID-19 period, do check in with them beforehand.

So what are you waiting for? Come Oolong now!

More Information

Antea Social
9 Tyrwhitt Road
Singapore 207528

Operating Hours
Sun to Thur – 1130am to 7pm
Fri & Sat – 1130am to 10pm

Tel:  6493 0120

I’ve always been a fan of SG Restaurant Week, as it lets me try really expensive and exclusive venues at an affordable price point. However one additional perk is that you can also find places you have probably never heard of, and this year was one of those times.

Homing In

You might drive past this row of shophouses along Serangoon Road (but at the Boon Keng/Potong Pasir Stretch) often, but you probably might not pay attention to some gems such as Homeground Grill & Bar, “A throwback to old school bars – a safe haven you can escape to after a hard day’s work, a place for soul-searching conversations over a beer or six.

homeground grill and bar entrance

Cosy, and chill, yet minimal is how I would describe the interior. Kind of like your dream Qanvast house with the dark green tones and brushstroke-painted walls, complete with classy furniture and quirky accessories.

As the name suggests, they are known for their grilled food and they do serve up good meats on a charcoal grill. Beginning with appetisers, we had the Charcoal grilled whisky beef cubes w/ Truffle Mash (an existing signature of theirs) and the Charcoal grilled sweet cured bacon with vodka mustard and charcoal grilled cherry tomatoes (wow what a mouthful). From round 1 you already get sucker-punched with the strong roast umami and intense marination of the meat.

Quick pause: so they have also a flight of whisky tasters by Auchentoshan. The Lowland distillery is an easy choice for me often when I was a simple but good dram of Scotch. This time they serve the 12, 18, and Three Wood (this is good) for starters, mains, and dessert respectively.

So good that I finished the first dram without taking a picture first

Main courses had many options, but we went for the jugular with the Charcoal grilled whisky ribeye (300gm) and the Charcoal grilled lamb chops flambé with truffle mash. It’s VERY generous and I was satiated even before dessert.

To finish off the evening was another mini-adventure by itself, with the Chocolate battered deep fried banana with rum chocolate sauce and vanilla gelato, and a Lemon Meringue Tart. Doesn’t look like much, but not only it’s a mouthful to read after some Scotch and beer, but also a good sweet way to end the meal.


All-in all, Homeground is a straightforward, place for you to get no-nonsense food a cosy setting (there’s a more private area at the back that can sit slightly bigger groups but it’s pretty dim). The food was, I would say, fancily simple with a good twist where it could use some, while still sticking to the core of grilled meats.

Their SG Restaurant Week menu varies season-to-season and some may not be regulars, so I suggest you check out their menu here.

More Information

Homground Bar & Grill

1088 Serangoon Road S328188
Nearest MRT: Boon Keng MRT (7 mins walk)
Parking available at Beng Wan Road – I don’t recommend driving here if you can help it

Operation Hours

Tuesday – Friday : 6pm – 12am
Saturday – Sunday : 1pm – 12am
closed on Mondays

8774 9278

The Wurst Is Done

Did you know that Switzerland’s national day is August 1? That’s not too far away from us over here in Singapore (9 August)! For many a local-schooled millennial, Switzerland holds a pretty significant place in our memories in the form of a case study in our social studies textbooks (I do recall our “O” Levels paper that year had that as a topic as well). Sadly I’ve just learnt that the case study has since been taken out from the syllabus! #sadface

Well to be frank, I learnt about this from a humble wurst (German for sausage) store simply called “Wursthans Switzerland” located at Paya Lebar Quarters (PLQ). As to the origin of their name:

Originated from Switzerland, Wursthans is a German wordplay, derived from the word “Hanswurst”. where “Wurst” which means sausage, while “Hans” is a common German first name so Wursthans: (wʊəst’hans) Hans, the sausage expert or Hans, who lives for sausages and we are really hoping that all of you will be Hans in your own way! 

Wursthans Switzerland Facebook Page
Phase 2 Circuit Breaker sure whets Singaporeans’ appetites!

Switzerland cuisine, along with most of the country, is a huge cultural melting pot of German, Italian, and French references. Kind of how we have yellow noodles dishes from literally all significant ethnic groups here in Singapore as well.

In German efficiency, the food at Wursthans is straightforward yet still has a a good variety — you either pick from a selection of Rösti meals, or you can make your own meals from a list of mains and sides. If potatoes are not your thing, there’s the Swiss Meatloaf Sandwich and other things like salads for your consideration. One super worth meal is their Swiss Rotisserie Chicken, which is worth a meal for two.

For reference of our simple brunch, we had a Gotthard Rösti which has a Cervelat sausage and topped with an egg, and a Rösti (half portion) with spicy sausage with mixed greens (a DIY).


To celebrate #SwissNationalDay, they’re now offering some specials just for the occasion. Featuring:

Kalbsbratwurst an Zwiebelsauce mit Rösti:
Veal Bratwurst, Onion Sauce, Wursthans Jumbo Rösti, Swiss Barley Soup – $19.90

Wurst-Käse-Salat mit Bündner Gerstensuppe:
Cervelat Cheese salad with smoked Pork Cervelat, Emmental Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Iceberg Lettuce, Cornichons, Onions, Mustard Vinaigrette, Swiss Barley Soup – $16.90

Takeaways and delivery available (for a fee). Order here!

Till then, we’ll be back for more Swiss casual dining!

More Information

Wursthans Switzerland

10 Paya Lebar Road, #01-39 Paya Lebar Quarter, Singapore 409057
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