Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This Warming Winter...

Handful of food stalls without proper signboards here at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre, this is also one of them; our favourite Ice Dessert stall at #01-490.

Ice Kachang ($1)

Ice Jelly ($1)

Their Ice Jelly was what we always ordered, especially fragrant Jelly with mild sense of almond essence - nice.

Sweet icy Kachang was our saviour today amid the mid-day sun... ahhhh...

(Despite this mid day heat, these nights can be especially chilly with fresh breezes...)

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Blossoming!

Owing to the Super Plant Activator, my purple Gloxinia finally blossoms this morning as i returned to the office after the Christmas holiday break!!

I'm contented of a surviving plant; flowering is an added bonus.

Flowering buds on 23 Dec '08.


Beautiful rare sight for me... pity i will be away for the New Year these few days. When i'm back, i hope to see the other 2 fresh buds :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dancing Sasha Teddy...

Nicholas, Snowy, Holly, Dash, Puddy (left to right)

Today, my collection of the OCBC Sasha Bear Christmas series is complete!!

Every spending of $500 on OCBC credit cards on retail purchases entitles us to redemption of 1 bear, this Dec. We didn't expect to be spending so much this month, but we couldn't resist finds of many Timepieces that we fancy - thus the big spending.

Tempted to rescue them all from the plastic bags for cuddling :) Hopefully one day i may have the place to display them out proudly.

Love them, each and ALL!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Warong H.J. Sukarjo

Warong's Mee Rebus ($1.50)

So how does theirs compare to Selera Kita's, their famous adjacent stall?

Sama-sama... almost similar Mee Rebus gravy, main different is that you get a whole hard boiled egg at Selera for the same price instead of the half here but Warong compensate with a little more noodles ;)

Friday, December 26, 2008

源 Wanton Noodle

Wanton Noodle ($2.50)

We arrive at Margaret Drive Hawker Centre for a real late lunch. Looking around the desolated food centre, we observed a number of people having the Wanton Noodle from this stall, #01-510.

Its noodle was NOT a bit over-cooked. In fact, it has the chewiest texture among our many Wanton Mee exposure :)) Tasty Dumplings in soup too.

A nice surprise finds.

Romankan Yokohama, Takashimaya

At the mercy of erupting cracked lips and mouth ulcers i really should be avoiding fried food, but there don't seem to be much interesting food around here, save for Swiss German for Sausages and the adjacent joint for Pasta :/

With a menu that consists of mostly deep fried Pork, Chicken and Prawn, i was drawn to their accompanied shredded lettuce. Ric and i shared a set as i refused to order 2.

Fillet Katsu Teisyoku ($14)

Our Fried Pork Tenderloin Cutlets Set comes with Rice, Miso soup, Potato Wedges, Pickles and a shredded Cabbage Salad.

The Katsu of 1 cm thick were nicely deep fried with juicy meat within a crispy breading of Japanese Panko crumbs. Despite its deep-fried nature, it didn’t have the greasiness we usually experience in fried food.

Sweet Tonkatsu sauce and spicy Karashi (Japanese Mustard) were available on the table, and we had chosen the sweet Worcestershire sauce over the Mustard - more spicy burning than Wasabi that it makes me cry.

Their good service includes their spontaneous presentation of another culinary set for me although we had only order 1 lunch set.

We enjoyed our meal and were ready for our shopping!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Green with Chili

My Chili plants are forever flowering even though i almost never fertilize them. But we do have the advantage of real strong sunshine, all day.

Flowering most often does not guarantee fruits though; we do have 1, 2 fruiting here and there, so i was especially happy to spot these 4 precious green spray :)

These were planted from seedlings in Oct '2007

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Buzzing Cashiers - Lee's Seafood BBQ

Tampines Mall was packed with all Pre-Christmas shoppers!

We had preferred somewhere quiet for dinner at Tampines Round Market. Today's our revisit to the Lee's Seafood BBQ since June, and I've been craving for its flavorsome Fermented Soya Bean Sauce used on their Clam dish.

鼓汁拉拉, White Clams in Bean Sauce ($6)

Barbecue Sambal Stingray ($8)

All seafood served today was at their freshest, and no MSG used.

But something was not quite the same as before... the flavor of the Bean sauce and Sambal just doesn't go together with their main ingredients anymore?

It's a shame; and also what i dread most when their standard slackens.

I had enjoyed their food here and hope; someday the boss would be back behind the stove. There really is no short-cut to good culinary.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Babi Pongteh !!!

Taken a day leave and was helping mom in the kitchen with her Babi Pongteh. Yes, manual pounding away all the spices like what we always do when we were little.

This was mum's 2nd try at replicating Babi Pongteh from the late Lee Chin Koon, originator of Mrs Lee's Cookbook. And we want to succeed at it this time.

With the help of the Thermal Pot, the fried mix of Fermented Soy Beans, Garlic, Shallots and Pork Trotters were put to a boil for 20mins, off the stove and stewed for 3 hrs.

Leaving the Trotters to cook by itself, a pleasant Nyonya dish awaits us by dinner time.

Tender, glutinous and tasting strongly of the cooked Spices, this Nyonya styled of Braised Pork Trotters can certainly be graded above our plain Hokkien Soya Sauced version.

I had a small bit at Supper time, and the extra stewing time in the Thermal Cookpot enhanced the taste even further. I guess, tomorrow's taste would be Superb!

183 Meat Dumpling

Doesn't this Meat Dumpling look good!? It sure does!

We were at the Old Bukit Timah Food Centre & Market for lunch when Ric had an urging for Meat Dumplings :)

Priced at $1.70 per piece, many were packing away.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

St Leaven's Baguette

Baguette from St. Leaven is unbeaten; still our family favourite Baguette choice.

Prices had since risen from $2 since April to the $2.20 now. But we still love it as much and couldn't quit or find a substitute for it.

But some things never change, their ever sulking-faced salesgirls who never worded a word of "Thank you" for your purchases.

So, if you find one that can offer the same addictive chewy bite as the Baguette here, do let us know, so as to save us all the trips to Takashimaya for our cravings. St. Leaven's by FourLeaves.

Its picture here just lure me into the kitchen again...

Miss Clarity at Thomson

We had thought we would not be patronising Miss Clarity again, after our unsatisfying experience at their Purvis branch. But an OCBC dining voucher brought us here again, of course not at Purvis, but at Thomson which we have not yet try out.

Baked Pasta, Bacon & Sausage ($9.80+)

Being in the mood for Pasta, we ordered the conventional one with toppings of Bacon & Sausage. And my! The bowl was particularly overflowing with Bacon, Sausages and Baked Cheese, yum!

Roasted Chix Leg ($13.80+)

I simply have to order their Roasted Chicken Leg on my every visit here, and today's no exception.

The Roasted Leg with Mushroom and Potato Fricassee was perhaps the most gigantic sized piece of chicken leg i've ever been served in Clarity Cafe!

And it had always been Bread & Butter Pudding as a choice for dessert.

The serving size today was surprisingly the most generous one we had ever had here! Thickly sliced, warm pudding finished with mildly sweet vanilla sauce.

I wish it would be this good on our every visit...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

National Geographic @ Vivo

National Geographic opens its 1st Asia store in Singapore!

At Vivo City Shopping Mall, 1st level just opposite to Tangs!

Its 2nd global store at that - the first had just been launched in Regent Street, London last month!

Sis and i had always enjoyed reading the National Geographic magazines, so i was really thrilled to step into its store by chance today.

The shop was done up Museum alike, or even a feel of the Science Centre :) Great interior decor!

Loved its spaciousness, lightings and smoothing musky sense of nature - we were transported to another zone, another space of time.

Now instead of shopping for its merchandises online, we could see and feel the product before buying, it's that great!

We were a little time constraint today, but i'm bounds to find something i like on my next visit here, soon... a store so extensive and interesting with affordable merchandises, i really need some time to explore...

An impressive array of pictures by NG Photographers.

Photo Gallery.

Spirit of National Geographic being - Inspiring People to Care About the Planet. We hope their aspiration in educating the public would start here...

Smith Street Chinatown Food Complex

Was here today with a long list of recommended stalls; this place like a maze to me. With over 200 food stalls, i could really lose my way if not for the stall numberings.

Tou Kee, 多记 (#02-216) was serving up palatable Chee Cheong Fun and Yam Cake at $1 per serving. Simple fare but really nice to have when you are here.

Chee Cheong Fun & Yam Cake ($2)

Run Ji, 润记热食 (#02-140) was already having a steady queue at its stall front.

Most were ordering plates of Duck Rice but Ric decide to try everything and ordered a "掺掺", meaning "a little of everything".

The plateful, with rice and porridge ($10)

So we ended up with a plateful of Duck meat, Pig's Skin, Pig's Intestine and Duck's Kidney - the edible item would only be its Duck Meat, really.

What was commendable would be its self-concocted savory Soya Sauce, succulent duck meat and their addition of Dried Spicy Shrimps, 辣虾米 on the rice.

I don't normally eat Braised Duck; my fave Braised Duck stall remain that of Whampoa FC, 梁照记.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

King Sized Trotters @ Tampines Round Market

We had meant to revisit 李记 Seafood BBQ for its Clams that i so missed but being a rainy and cold day today, we divert to its neighbouring stall - the 海昌鱼头炉, Hai Chiang Fish Head Steamboat that was drawing a crowd as well.

Good Steamboat broth apart, we were impressed with the Braised Pig's Trotters served, it's real big & mighty. We had expected to pay $10 for this but it was much lesser.

Braised Pig's Trotter ($8)

Despite its chunky size, it was well-cooked to soft gelatinous texture. Guaranteed to satisfy all you Collagen demands :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kitchen Appliances of the YEAR!

It has got to be Thermal Cooking Pot!

Most energy-saving and safest way to cook, this Stainless Steel Thermal Cooking Pot allows you to cook, braised and stewed without worrying about your gas bills. Our family is saving up so much gas bills since we started using them last month.

Ric's the one who extolled the pot's energy-saving qualities and usefulness. Mum was totally won over! We started buying her the 2.5 litres one; she loved it so much that Ric got her the 5 litres ENDO pot just last week :)

The heat retention property of the larger capacity was obviously greater.

By simply heating up the contents in the inner steel pot directly on the stove and bringing it to a boil, proceed to place the inner pan inside the outer body, heat was insulated within and the contents will continue to cook by its own heat.

Best thing you observed is, you don't have to keep an eye on the fire, unlike regular boiling. No spilling, burning or drying out, especially helpful for rice porridge cooking - it won't ever get burnt.

Food always stay piping hot without the need for re-heating! This is so great when our family members are eating at different times.

Heat was retained throughout the day, even over the night!

You don't have to go for Expensive Brands like Tiger or Zojirushi that may well cost you near $200+ for the pot; common brands like ENDO work the magic as well!

I wish you enjoy this as much as we all do !!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Home for Haji Dinner.

Mum had specially whipped up this dish for dinner tonight, "Chili and Garlic Fried Fish" adopted from a Cookbook for Muslims fast-breaking (no Lamb though).

For a dish that looks good for photo-taking, and even better in taste...!

Truly simple steps to follow:
1. Horse Mackerel (Tenggiri) fish were marinated with Turmeric powder and Salt for 10 mins.
2. Fry the fish with hot oil & remove to plate.
3. Stir-fry 3 minced Garlic before adding in 6 pounded red Chilies.
4. Stir well, adding in 4 tbsp water, little Salt and Sugar to taste.
5. Switch to low heat & simmer for 3 mins.
6. Open the lid, add 2 tbsp of Vinegar, stir and pour it on top of the fried fish.


Buzzing Cashiers - Japanese House

Rendering our support for the Buzzing Cashier program, we decide to order from the Japanese House housed in Bedok South Food Centre.

The queues that's been snaking this store had since disappeared when they were first featured on TV, months back.

Has it been the bad economy?

Chicken Cutlet Don Set ($4.50)

Everything was prepared upon ordering; meaning we waited a cool 10mins for our Don after placing the order.

The rice set with Miso was served steaming hot! This was good compared to our usual cold rice dishes served up in Japanese restaurants.

Else, it was an average fare of Don with slightly over-cooked egg. But the egg omelet was stuffed with a good deal of sweet onions, which i enjoyed :)

Cheapest Spinelli Coffee, $2

It was a full rainy day today, right since last night.

And what can be better than a comforting warm cup of coffee after our shopping at Millenia Walk :)

Franky's Kaffe Kitchen, a Korean Cafe was offering $2 Spinelli coffee, almost daily, except during the lunch hours of 12-2pm. You've got a choice of an Americano, Latte or a Cappuccino.

We had the ultra creamy Cappuccino; i had imagined leaving the foams on my upper lip for a Santa Claus Moustache :)

Quiet place, with smiley service. Recommended.

Ke Shuan Xing Fried Carrot Cake

Black Fried Carrot Cake ($1.50)

Today, we had breakfast at North Bridge Rd Market before going downtown shopping.

And Ke Shuan Xing Carrot Cake was one of our popular Fried Carrot Cake stall.

The elderly hawker with his 2 other older lady, offers friendly service that gave you the dining nostalgia of the Singapore 60s once again :)

An old school good plateful at a modest pricing of just $1.50.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

源香, Chinese Nasi Lemak

HoHoHo... the fare for your Nasi Lemak!!

I've been having a hang on the Nasi here, since last fortnight visit; dreaming of coming back here... what a glutton i am :)

There's nothing like the unpretentious Coconut Rice with mildly sweet spiced Sambal and Peanuts with Ikan Bilis. Everything else is just secondary.

I dreamt of this basic combination here, everytime somebody mention Nasi Lemak... hahaha... I love the Chilli Sambal here.

Most importantly, there's no MSG induced thirst after consumption!

Basic, with Drumstick ($2.50)

Basic, with Fried Fish Fillet ($2.30)

58 Minced Meat Mee

It was a long long wait for our order of Minced Meat Noodle from this popular stall at New Upper Changi Road. I was famished and had an excuse to have a plate of Bee Hoon Mee from Good Morning, to kill my hunger pang.

Minced Meat Mee ($2.50)

At last it arrived, but we were served the $2.50 bowl when we had specifically wanted the $2 ones :( The China lady taking the orders had kept urging us to order the bigger portion.

Nevertheless, the serving was truly substantial. Thick layer of Minced Meat underlaid the bowl of full-bodied soup with topping of crispy Pork Lard, and if you love Dried Sole Fish Fillet, you would love this stall.

The meat dumplings were filled generously with Sole Fillet, known as 扁鱼干 or Pee Hu in Hokkien.

The fare here was comparable to the likes of renowned Toa Payoh Lorong 5 and Fengshan Food Centre Minced Meat Noodles :)