Thursday, July 31, 2008

Old pals

Old pals

(L-R) myself, Rufeah & Nadia

A few days before Nadia is due to fly back to Sydney, Down Under - I finally got to have a real meet-up with her.

The presence of yet another close friend, Shyba, was sorely missed. Apparently she had flown to Turkiye on the 18th for a holiday and will only be back tonight.

Nadia, meanwhile, will be flying off on 1st Aug (that's tomorrow!). So I desperately made arrangements for us or at least Shyba, Nadia and myself to meet while both of them were still in SG.

FAILED.

Shyba fell sick, 3 days before she was due to fly off and so it's just me and Nadia. Right then, at the last minute, my boss dropped me a deadline bombshell which deem it pretty much impossible to meet up that day.

Fast forward to yesterday, Rufeah made time to meet despite her hectic work schedule while I pretend like I wasn't busy at work; in order to meet Nadia before she returns to Sydney with her baby in tow. Time sure is running out!

Thank goodness I manage to leave early enough to return home and get the car, and fetch Rufeah & Nadia at their workplace and home, respectively. That way, we won't waste time waiting for one another's arrival and we can enjoy one another's company till late.

Dinner was at Secret Recipe, T3. Although the service there was pretty much all right, the food... well.... Let's just say that I've had better. And the variety of cakes might seemed limited, somehow.

Nadia's order of Meatball Spaghetti


Rufeah's order of Grilled Chicken


My order of Oxtail Stew (was yearning for some meat yesterday!)

Nadia tucking into her Cream of Broccoli Soup.
I had the Pumpkin Soup which I pretty much like.

But the company make it all more bearable. That's the thing I like about meals with girlfriends.

Besides, it's only with them that we can really relish/indulge in desserts. Right?


Marble Cheesecake


Chocolate Fudge cake

Royal Chocolate cake

Followed up with helping Nadia in her purchase of several varieties of pre-mix spices at Chng Kee's (halal-certified, btw), for her to ship back to Sydney. Yes, you read right. Shipped back.

Well, she can't possibly lug those jars back with a toddler in hand, could she?

Anyway, the variety offered by this brand is not that entirely different from those offered by Woh Hup. There's Teriyaki, Chicken Rice mix, S'pore laksa, Curry, Yam Rice, Yellow-Bean paste,Chilli Crab,Satay, Char Siew, Black Pepper.. and the list goes on...

The display of rows upon rows of pre-mix spices in jars.

Shelf Display

Chicken Rice mix set

Satay set

And lastly, photo-taking.

What?

For keepsakes, ok? NOT simply cam-whoring...!

~ more pics HERE.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

61% Cacao Sticks

Chocolate Sticks from Korea

61% Cacao content! Holy smokes!

I guess anything that goes above 60% should have that sensual, dark chocolate taste...?

Like that 62% Magnum Ecuador.

I remember buying 6 boxes of these Orion (milk) chocolate sticks at one go, because each box had a picture of one of the famed DBSK (Korean boyband) members. Another box had a picture of them in a group.

Crazy, I know.

Even crazier was the embarrassment I brought to my cousins when I went around squealing, carrying a stack of those boxes when in Carrefour.

What, they are really cute, no? And they sang well (in both Korean and Japanese) and can get down to some nifty dance moves also.

I can't find this dark choc. version at my regular Korean snacks haunts (certain Esso-Cheers marts) and found them in a Korean minimart. I bought other various snacks which amounted to almost $12 (yes, at one go!).

Did I also mention that they sell it cheaper here? Hence the spree!

Then I realised that I've got a movie to catch after the purchase and had to stuff them all into my handbag. I don't know what I'm up to, sometimes. Must be the PMS.

Man
, after this, Glico's Pocky ain't gonna taste the same, ever again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Velu's

Velu's Authentic North Indian Cuisine

All this while, we had this halal restaurant serving North Indian Cuisine in Eunos Community Club, which is a stone's throw from my house and we didn't know it until my mum chanced upon their ad in the Malay paper.

My mum has always tar-pao back the masala thosai for me and it was pretty good.

I know that my parents are simply dying to try their fish head curry.



































































When I arrived late at the restaurant, my parents gleefully told me that they've made the order (for me).

I got a similar order with theirs. Got the banana leaf with rice and a couple of vegetable dishes, followed by a bowl of the said curry.

Was I supposed to be surprised?

Oh hell yeah! The fish head was heyyuge!

My bro remarked, "And this is medium??!"

Got me wondering how the 'large' portion would have been. 'Jumbo' will be more like it.

I don't really fancy fish heads (I don't mind the fleshy ones) but since my parents already ordered this, I took the chance to lunge for the most delightful part - the cheek!

YUM!

The curry, despite the reddish hue of the gravy, was hardly spicy. Bur far from being bland, it was pretty well-flavoured.

Very soon, I grew tired of just the fish head and veggies so I got to the counter to see what else was there.

The meats weren't appetising, the jumbo prawns too big...

Then I saw that spicy squid dish. Pointed at it with my curry-stained finger and waited for it to be served.

Love it!

The rings were springy w/o being tough and the light curry flavour had this hint of tanginess which went pretty well with this seafood.

Slightly spicy but I wish it's more fiery. I missed eating really spicy curry, somehow.

The last one was my bro's order of chicken tikka.

The smoky aroma from the chicken (freshly out of the tandoor) was enough to get me eating it on it's own.

Slight squeeze of the lemon juice totally tilt the taste further.

The raw onions didn't go wasted, especially after I realisde that they go down pretty well with the curry gravy of the fish head.

Not bad. A new Indian food haunt for my family.

Guess they'll be seeing more of us. Very soon. I'm so gonna get their poori while my bro kept remarking about their bathura.

And dip them in the fish head curry. Pratha will also go well with that...

Hmmm.....

PS: I just realised that the best Indian food that I've eaten was actually in Bangkok! Oh, if only I can get that same freshly tandoor-baked naan and that fiery chicken tikka masala with the peppercorns-embedded papadoms... Sigh...

Friday, July 25, 2008

July meet-up

July meet-up

Bas came back from Perth early this month and he'll be flying back there - alone, sans girlfriend this time (she completed 1-year her course). Poor him.

And once back there, he has to get adjusted to living from a campus apartment to a rickety old house. With a couple of guys who are working for their PHD. What life! Haha.

Anyway, at the same time, Meng kind of just came back from his New York trip. So he ragaled us with his experience on the trip and got us some souvenirs from MOMA - Museum of Modern Arts, a novel place full of quirky yet practical schtuffs.

There were magnetic bookmarks (darn useful, especially for me who always chuck my books around and keep losing me bookmarks), a pen and THIS.

A a squishy, jelly-like rubber ring. With a huge crown reminiscent of a Buddha's head. That's a video of me checking the ring out.

video

So imagine Kai (who came late), curiously inspected the ring and all of us who's toyed with it said, "Press it. Go on."

And he did. Up close. Almost got blinded. Nearly jolted out of his seat in shock. Hehe.

Then Meng invited us over to his house. To play Nintendo Wii.

I have seen and tried for myself, what that game is capable of and got pretty jubilant. Khama had no idea, then, what he'll be in for.


Meng excitedly got us to play this retarded game full of psychotic rabbits (which looked pretty cute, in an freakish way).

Oh, it's called Rayman.

Well, since the game was pretty crazy, of course, we end up looking like a bunch of retards, trying to put the raved rabbits in action - which varied from making phone calls in the cinema and saboh the others, washing underwear, balancing, running (I hate that one!) and many, many more.

While getting down to doing those frenzied actions, we got so tickled by the absurdities that we put ourselves to that we can't stop laughing while at it.

Needless to say, we were pretty worn out by the time we decide to change games.

...To something less tiring.

Something which doesn't require much physically draining antics.

...Something called, 'American Idol'. Yes, that singing contest.

Meng even got the mike, la!

So I was made the first to sing. Oh, horrid!

They chose this guy who looked like a laid-back surfer dude with hawaiian shirt, bermuda, bleached blond hair and all.

And the song I chose...?

Rihanna's 'Unfaithful'.


Please don't ask how it sounded then. But I managed to score pretty good points because I figured out that we just need to get the pitch right.

So even if you screwed the lyrics and just go la-dee-da in the right pitch, you'll get to score praises from Randy, Paula and EVEN Simon!

Bas chose that dance song, 'September'. Of course, he flunked.

Hey, even I can't go THAT high at the chorus!




















Lastly, we got Meng to bring out the Wii Fit platform.

Got back into more physical games like heading soccer balls, skiing and the best one.

Hula Hoops.

You literally pretend to have hula-hoops at ur waist, keep them on the waist by gyrating your butt round and round.

And you also have to catch the hoops thrown at you.

We even took videos of each other doing it.

Heh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

bro's new workplace

bro's new workplace

Check out my bro's new workplace!





I'm really digging what looks like a teaching pool that's totally sheltered. How cool is that..?

I first thought it to be a lap pool but I saw the real lap pool on the other side.

Our family went there because my bro wanna have a look at how his new working environment will be like. Especially since the workplace seemed so far-flung.

My dad and I have to get him oriented and brief him on the transportation route that he will have to take starting tomorrow (his first day there).

He's really dreading it cos' he totally enjoyed his current workplace and the fact that it's so convenient to get to.

I try to impart my 2-cents worth on life's philosophies, that Things Happen for A Reason. Maybe something good will come out of this transfer to a new branch.

He will hear nothing of it. *Bah!*

Well, from tomorrow, he'll have 1 week (before the opening) to get oriented with new colleagues, some similarly extracted from various branches around the island (like him) and a bunch of former PROFESSIONAL swimmers from China who have competed in the Olympics! Whoa!

Wonder if they'll raise the bar on the standards for Lifeguards here....

maltesers

maltesers cappuccino



Very very curious about the taste. I like Maltesers.

I LOVE Maltesers Dark Choc.



This one here....

*Bleugh!*

NOT NICE!

The really sweet choc almost gave me a sugar high (I've said before, I have low tolerance for really sweet stuff) but the somewhat 'stale coffee' taste of the cappuccino-infused malt make me wanna regurgitate everything out instead.



But to spare it from the uneventful fate of being discarded, I decide to give it another chance...

...Pair it with some DARK CHOCOLATE ice-cream (to offset that freakish sweetness).... If it still taste yucky despite that....

Into the receptacle it belongs!

Now, should I get Haagen-Dazs, B& J or troop down to Island Creamery and get me the Reverse-O...?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ecuador Dark

dark-chocolate ice-cream on stick

I remember, as I look yearningly at the more 'upmarket' ice-cream back in primary school.

By being 'upmarket', they supposedly cost at least a dollar. Going by the amount I received for pocket money back then, such ice-creams were way beyond reach.

When I got into secondary school, I was able to save up and buy that particular ice-cream I crave for by the end of the week or so.

Erm... Let's skip the part between then and now because that's when...

Okay, how do I put it...?

...When I actually made the transition (will get into this topic later).

Cos' right now, I don't even bat an eyelid when paying almost $4 for an ice-cream. On a stick.



Yup, it didn't even come in a tub.

Tub, huh? I remember begging, then crying, followed by some rolling on the floor before one of my embarrassed parent (usually my dad) will relent and buy one.

And that one tub of joy can last a whole month, okay? Not surprisingly, going by how we (my bro & I) gingerly scoop a little a little at a time (with that bright yellow wonder-scoop that tend to collect dust, seeing how 'often' we get to buy that tub of ice-cream) and dunk some milo and horlicks powder to give the measly portion more kick.

Anyway, I've been aiming this ice-cream for quite a while but since I was a little under the weather then, I held back (agonising, I know!).

Darn that Eva Longoria! If she eats ice-cream that's readily available in regular marts, then I wanna get my hand on it!

I mean, it's E-V-A Longoria, man! I doubt she EVEN eats ice-cream, going by the petite frame of hers.

And she's endorsing ice-cream, now..?













This $4 ice-craem, it's pretty affordable actually, for ice-cream of such quality. I got myself the Magnum Ecuador Dark, which supposedly boast 62% cocoa content. Whoa!

I am one who has a pretty low tolerance for overtly sweet stuff, which is why I love dark chocolate cos' the bitterness of it easily balance whatever sweet stuff it's paired with. Which in this case, is the vanilla ice-cream.

I dislike vanilla. But I notice that magnum's vanilla ice-cream has these dark specks in them. Which immediately comes to mind, vanilla beans.



Readily over-the-counter, mass-produced ice-cream used vanilla beans for their ice-cream..? Hmmm..... not bad!

I guess this will be a cause to push my current favourite, Magnum Almond to take a back seat. Dark chocolate is ALWAYS first in my list.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

ZingDo Effy

ZingDo
Effy's belated birthday treat



This is my cousin Effy. Her birthday was on 9th July. She lives in Jurong. She loves ANYTHING Korean.

And yet, she's never been to ZingDo before. And ZingDo's in Jurong East.

And I, who live in faraway Bedok, had been there at least a couple of times. AT LEAST.

So I guess it's apt that I bring her here, right?

Brought my family along, cos' they've often drooled at the food highlighted on KBS so I want them to have a taste of what they've been ogling at all this while.



1 jar with regular (Korean) chilli sauce and another with bean paste chilli sauce (kochujang), which I so so love.



My cousin Dzul's order of Seafood Bibimbap. Even him, one with a considerably hearty appetite, had to sit back after having this. Portion too big, he said.

I agree. Whenever I have my fave, Bulgogi Beef Bibimbap for lunch, I have to make do w/o breakfast. I ordered that for my parents to try and they shared it with Effy.

They wished there could have been more of the vegetables though, especially the mung bean sprouts.



One that I've been dying to try. It's pretty new on the menu. Fried Spicy Rice Cakes (Duk Bok Ki)!

Despite it tasting pretty good, I was pretty disappointed that the rice cakes are sliced pretty thinly. Despite it looking pretty reddish, it was hardly spicy! And a tad sweet.

Check out the amount of garlic used, man. Love it, despite it being the definite cause for the major case of dragon breath, which remained even after my pre-sleep tooth brushing.



Seafood Kimchi Tang Hoon. Something that Effy & I shared.

The seafood was pretty generous here. We kept scooping up prawns after prawns and the couple of mussels here are of the pretty big kind.

The Korean tang hoon, which is thicker than the regular Chinese tang hoon that we're used to, can easily fill one up so don't assume it's a pretty light dish.

Maybe the both of us had such high tolerance for spicy food (we're the kind who need cili padi on the side) that this one also didn't even reach our level of expected spiciness.

Yes, despite that scary-looking reddish tint of the soup.



Side dishes: Deep Fried Assorted Mushroom (yes, I order this EVERYTIME I'm here) and Deep Fried Chicken Meatball.

And Kimchi Soup. An accompaniment to the bibimbap, actually.



Deep Fried Spinach.

My family, we're used to eating the Javanese spinach crackers and we're glad that this one here, despite being really crispy (not crunchy) was more light and less jerlak.



My bro had ordered the Deep-Fried Chicken w/ Rice Balls and finished the dish in no time. He had ordered just the rice balls later on just so that we can try cos' he loved the taste so much.

"Just like the Lucky Bin Bin rice crackers!" he said. Ermmm... Close but no really there, dude.



Something I ordered towards the end. I thought that everyone might want to eat more but we ended up being so full that this plate of Deep-Fried Breaded Prawns had to be pushed from one person to another.

Oh, see that yellow strips in the corner? Those are pickled radish that I often see the Koreans eat (in huge, round slices) with Jajangmyeon (짜장면), the famous black noodles. I was pretty excited to eat that though the pretty mild taste was nothing much to rave about.

I just realised that I had forgotten about my dad's order of Yah Chay w/ Rice Cakes which he really loved. Delightfully light yet full-flavoured soup filled with vegetables & mushrooms. Just the way he like them.

Wow, looking back, we sure ordered a lot. 6 main dishes, 5 sides. That's what eating with many people is about, right? We can order many different varieties to try out. It all come to about $84++. Used the NTUC Link card to get 10% off and it came down to almost $75 instead. Which comes to less than $13/pax.

I wished that I have time to try the desserts. I always end up being too full to try them. The Korean mochi used in the desserts looked pretty interesting....

Friday, July 18, 2008

more... food!

more... food!



Not exactly the first time that we had cakes from there. Just 2 days ago, my boss bought a (slice of) Chocolate Pistachio cake and some pastries and kept griping about how overpriced their stuff are.

So I was pretty surprised to see that brown-orange box again.



Chocolate w/ Banana & Orange Cheese Cake from Cedele.

Our (my colleague & I) verdict..?

No more! Seriously.

The first time, our boss divide that single slice into 3 for us to share. Pathetic, you say...? I could never be more relieved.

The Chocolate Pistachio cake was reminiscent of an Opera, except that each chocolate layer was about 1/2 inch thick.

Rich chocolate? Nice. Too much of rich chocolate...? Uwekkk!!!

By our last bite, we wondered where the pistachio is.

And this time, she only managed to take a small bite before rushing off and so my colleague and I were left to finish the 2 slices OURSELVES.

Might be a dream come true for some but we were sooo apprehensive.

And true enough. The cakes were wayyy too much for us. Both in taste and volume. And we're dessert lovers, mind you.

Very jerlak.




The Orange Cheesecake... What can I say? The orange taste & scent was too overpowering. My nose, which was sensitive to strong scents soon reacted adversely. The macadamia nut on top end up tasting really bland.

And the cheesecake itself was wayyy too dense to be relished comfortably. I'm starting to miss the ones from Cheesecake Cafe. What I did eventually was to grab a packet of Meiji Plain Crackers and eat the cake like some paste instead. It sure help alleviate the strong citrus taste.



The other cake...?

The Chocolate Banana from Secret Recipe is still a definite winner. The seemingly tentalising choc. fudge on the sides of this one come off tasting more like mocha. I like the crispy oats topping on top though.

And the banana's texture isn't consistent. You can bite into a firm banana one moment and a soggy one next. I even bit into a HARD banana. Must be unripe.

I heard that Cedele has got many fans so I guess my boss might have bought us the wrong cakes.

However first impression counts a lot, and like just now, I may just cringe the next time she comes in with that brown-orange box again.

Since she's bought from there 2x this week, she might just bring something back from there again. And she's always got a keen eye for the cakes on display and she definitely insist on sharing for she's supposedly on a diet and need to lessen her guilt for eating them cakes.

I might just dread that day....

This reminds me that a trip to Obolo is wayy overdue.

err..food

err... food?

There's so much to blog about but I'm in no mood to create long entries a yet.

Cos' I know that those 2 topics are gonna be pretty wordy...

So, I'll just upload these for now. TGIF!!!



My cousin strongly recommend this prawn/shrimp crackers. This and another cuttlefish flavoured one.

The cuttlefish one was such a turn off. I almost choked on the pungent smell emitted from inside the packet. It was so reminiscent of dried cuttlefish. You know, the one used for sambal sotong..?

So I was a tad apprehensive about this pack.

It turn out to be really nice! So much so that I almost had this packet for myself, much to my bro's chagrin.

Cos' in my house, my bro is the junk-food lover, and me..? Very much the opposite.



Close up.

Check out the teeny-tiny shrimp and the seaweed on this crackers! They use potato starch for the crackers so it has this melt-in-the-mouth sensation when consumed. So going back there and get more of this.

Tip: For more varieties of snacks at Daiso, go to the main branch at IMM, Jurong East. The one at Vivo City didn't stock up much on snacks.



Turkish Pizza.

Marinated motton/lamb meat and peppers on thin, handmade Turkish bread. Topped with cheese....

Ahh, I dunno if it's the cheese or the bread but this was such a delight! At $9.00, it's pretty inexpensive in a way.

So gonna bring my mum here. It's her staple order with evertime we dine at a Turkish restaurant.

But their weekend opening hours leaves much to be desired. Saturdays from 12 - 4 pm. Only.

And the fact that it's located in the heart of CBD. The parking fees sure is going to be a nightmare....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

belakang padang pt 3

belakang padang pt 3



This has no doubt, turned out to be a set of bumper posts about Belakang Padang, hasn't it...?

The first part was me commenting on the real reason we went there.

2nd was the pictures taken while I'm there.

And this last bit..? Oh well, just some scenic pics I took when I decide to chill out on the top-most deck of the ferry on my journey back to Singapore.

The ferry was packed to the brim and the air was so stifled in the cabin that I brought my cousins up there, away from all that discomfort.



Distant islands.



Sun rays beaming thru' the menacing-looking dark clouds.

Notice how the rays only manage to beam to a small portion of the water surface in the distance, giving that area a mysterious glow.



Singapore skyline: Darn the haze! The view could have been wayyy clearer than this!

Trivia: Do you know that the folks in Blakang Padang look forward to our National Day, too?

Cos' if they position themselves strategically, they'll be able to see the fireworks, too!

And I just discovered something that somewhat freaks me out.

I goggled up on 'Belakang Padang' to see what's there to read up on it, on Wikipedia, perhaps. And I saw THIS.

And what's that, you wonder..?

The 1st two links that came out in the search list are actually my photo albums! 1st is my Webshots account and the 2nd, my Flickr. Even the Wiki entry came in 3rd!

I wonder if there is a need to make them accounts private..?

**Update: I noticed that the sequence changed from time to time which brings on some relief but the webshots photo album continued to reign in top spot all this while, though... Geez.