Sunday, August 31, 2008

Timo Italian is Closing...

Lunch at Timo today was more than satisfying. It is restaurant standard at hawker pricing - and i'm very grateful for it.

Smiley Chef Jun greeted us amid his busy cooking for his group of faithful regulars. Their humble signboard says it all, "Mini Italian Taste".

Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($4)

‘Aglio’, in Italian, means garlic, and ‘olio’ means olive - the dish here speaks volume of it, with fragrance that lingers on long after my meal. Yum, yum... Not to mention the al dente pasta with its generous toppings of mushrooms and Italian Sausages.

Hawaiian Pizza ($6.50)

A delightful serving style with spoonful of Parmesan cheese and chili flakes! You've gotta sprinkle it all on the oven hot, thin crusted pizza; the chilli flakes is especially aromatic.

Succulent baked pineapple and Italian sausages topped with that extra layer of soft melting cheese is ever so tempting. I'm gonna to eat with my hands ;)

Chocolate Lava Cake ($3.50)

It's a bitter-sweet baked dessert with perfect oozing liquid center that literally melts in your mouth, teamed with sourly-sweet raspberry ice-cream and pineapple bits - it's a match in heaven.

All thanks to fellow netizen for introducing me to 'Timo'.

It's better late than never, as they would be closing on 28 September '08.

I shall definitely catch them again before their last.
Location plays a vital role in the dining businesses. Maxwell Food Centre, being home to much renowned local food is hard to beat with doves of families coming for the traditional Chinese dining in mind.

The high rental rates at $2700+ per month and newly in-operation ERP charged gantry does no help to the situation.

New Outdoor Theatre, Esplanade Park

Spending S$6m to enhance its outdoor theatre and waterfront, this new Outdoor Theatre at the Esplanade Park finally opens in August '08 and greets me with a look of a leisure yacht with 3 white sails. It is gracefully architectured.

The redeveloped theatre’s completed space is larger and more weather-resistant than the old structure. It now comprise a new performance stage 2.5 times the size of the original stage and an audience capacity of 1,000, double that of before.

With its equipment of an in-built sound console and rigs for lighting, it will no doubt be better able to accommodate a variety of genres which can include theatre and dance.

Am looking very much forward to catching some performances here, at this beautiful staging that provides both local and overseas bands a platform on which they can be profiled; also creating Arts scene awareness here.

I then retired to the library at the 3rd floor of Esplanade, our country’s first “themed” library devoted to music, dance, theater, and film.

It's bliss to sit, reading by the glass curtain walling here, in the comfort of gently blowing air-condition while basking in the morning sun - in full view of the bay. Background soft piano music playing from the nearby acoustic practice room.

How can a perfect setting be far from this? A super relaxing mood all set for my Sunday :)

I certainly hope this library would not face the fate of closing down like what happened to their Orchard branch. i love it here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NTU - Japanese Food

Yes, back to Canteen 14 again. I'm pretty sure we're gotta frequent this place since it housed one of the Best Japanese food stall and Western food stall of NTU.

Chicken Katsu Don ($3.20)

The most popular Don set here consist of the crispiest fried Chicken Cutlet with Mayo dip, delightful!

Saba Don ($4)

My first try of Saba. Are they actually Mackerel fish? Its strong fishy stench almost makes Ric jumps off his chair, haha... He is ultra sensitive to fishiness - so if he likes a fish dish, it must be good :) I'm alright; i'm a cat reincarnation, haha...

But as this is my first with Saba, i didn't know how to rate it. The fish pieces here were rather well pan-fried, with a dashing of teriyaki sauce and lemon squeeze, i actually likes it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mrs Lee's Cookbook - Mee Siam

My cough had finally subsided after two dinner of home cooked Bitter Gourd Bee Hoon Soup and Stir-Fried Bitter Lettuce 苦菜.

It's a wonder how these Chinese vegetables actually cool downs one's body when it got overwhelmed by all the heaty food stuff that causes the body to 'heat' up. The power of food medication.

SO today, i'm all ready to indulge in mum's Mee Siam. Another of her successful replicates from the late Lee Chin Koon, originator of Mrs Lee's Cookbook. We housed one of her first and oldest piece of recipe book - the one i grew up watching mum frequent referring to.

Beautifully fried Rice Vermicelli in sambal spice mix - good enough to eat it even on its own.

Then drowning the rice vermicelli with spicy sweet and tangy Mee Siam gravy of Tamarind (Assam) with Tou Pok (Dried Bean Curb) and Onions.

Coupled with Chinese chives, hard-boiled eggs and zesty lime squeeze over the plateful; this is already my 2nd helpings of the night :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Katong Sin Chew Cake Shop

You really couldn't miss this cake shop; 加东星洲西果店 at Blk 416 of Bedok North Ave 2, the strong aroma of cake baking drew us in forcefully.

And my defense line collapsed in view of the utterly tempting display of their baked cakes & buns, fresh from the oven. I have to get something, anything!

Ric picked 4 buns, the Pandan cake, Egg Custard, Sesame with Peanut Ball and my 'must have' sweet sugary Donut roll - our dessert for lunch.

No price tags nor name tag of cakes - the 4 costs $3.40. And all taste so very good... they were quickly snap up by the many office ladies who frequent the area for lunch.

The tantalizing big fluffy Pandan Cake costs $11 alone; maybe next time ;)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics Afterthought

For 2 weeks of intense Olympics Games, amazing feats have been performed. 43 World Records have been broken and personal best records set.

The beauty of the Olympics Sports lies where human physiological limits were stretched, transformation of our body embedded with characteristics of diving Fishes, hunting Cheetahs, somersaults Chimps, leaping Kangaroos.

And we applause superhumans to the likes of Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt who need no further mention of their astonishing accomplishments.

In the display and competition among the world's finest athletes, i draw some of these personal conceptions.

1. Physical size does not really matters, longer limps does not guarantee advantage.

As seen in Track and Field events where shorter black African Americans actually emerge the winner. And our own shorter Asia swimmer, TaoLi who came out 5th in the finals of her battles against the Europeans and American giants.

2. World Rankings are insignificant somewhat and can be annulled.

Our Table Tennis player, Wang Yue Gu (ranked no.7) lost to Wu Xue (ranked no.50) of Dominican Republic in the Women's singles 3rd round. Scoring 11-9, 9-11, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10.

3. Man plans, God proposes.

The tendon injury that forced Olympic Champion Liu Xiang to withdraw from his 110m hurdle heat competition, spelling the end of China's best hope for a track and field gold.

Both the US men and women dropped the baton in the Olympic 4x100-meter relays while in the lead and failed to advance out of the first round in the Beijing Olympics.

South Africa's Natalie du Toit becomes the first female amputee swimmer ever to qualify for the Olympics 10km open water race, where she placed 16th in a field of 24 in the swim.

All in all, don't be afraid of the Giants, both in Names and Sizes. Do not take defeats to heart, for they can be overcome. Trust in God; be faithful in your Works. Remember David and Goliath.

And for the first time, i've truly enjoyed the Olympics and realized the beauty of all sport events. Years of training in exchange for the touching moment of glory. Now's the end of the carnival fair as we goes back to our mundane lives :) Looking forward to the next Games Season.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NTU - Canteen 2

Refusing any medication, i'm yet on the road to recovery from my cough.

With a craving for hot clear soup, we venture to NTU on this Sunday afternoon for the well-favourite Beef Soup House in Canteen 2.

Yes, it's the stall with the longest queue.

Beef Ball Kway Teow Soup ($2.50)

Tender Kway Teow swimming in scorching hot clear soup more than satisfy me. Its meat balls are made up of well-textured solid meat, no, not flour you see here. And it sure is chewy.

Braised Beef Rice Set ($3)

This is the most popular item from the stall, and we have never see beef meat in these peculiarly beautiful texture! They were absolutely tender and well-braised with carrots and potatoes.

We couldn't resist not packing a pack for Father; he well deserved the extra nourishment.

The Sunday afternoon was then spent watching the rest of the remaining Olympics 2008 games broadcasted on Channel 5 & U, as it draws near to its closing tonight.

And I never knew Ric enjoyed watching the man's volleyball & basketball - activities of his school days :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fireworks Festival 2008

The continuous drizzling did not keep the crowd away from the fireworks display we all loved.

Arriving on the Marina Bay again today, we joined the hundreds waiting for the works to go off at 9pm. (Yesterday's Works by the French was terribly late at 9:20pm - we almost dozed off watching the dark sky)

Without keeping the crowd waiting, the Korean's display finally goes off at 9:05pm.

The Korean's theme of the display was adeptly named Colourful, and so it says of its choreography. It was dizzying colourful, well worth my waiting despite my flu and cough condition.

Themed Romantic French yesterday was of a much slower pace to rouse our enthusiasm.

And to say the least, fireworks is most enjoyed with your loved one in arms. No photography, simply just immerse yourselves in the dazzling lights and be blasted off by the Works in the full 15mins display...

House of Dumplings (IIII)

We need some nice food; yet not deep fried nor greasy as i'm still sickly. And enough of porridge and soup, we called up Du Mama (杜妈妈) for her Zha Jiang Mian (炸酱面).

Zha Jiang Mian, 炸酱面 ($4)

A full, big bowl of handmade noodles topped with sweet minced meat sauce thus satisfied my sickly plain taste buds, yet not overly overwhelming.

Sign... such was the picky appetite of a patient like me. Cough, cough ......

Xiao Long Bao, 小笼包 ($3)

Oh, and the hot soup within that steamed Xiao Long Bao... Ummm...

It was bigger than my spoon size, did she gave me an especially bigger serving today? Thank you so much, i'm so in need of nourishing food to warrior against my flu virus :)

You can never go wrong here with their order of Xiao Long Bao and Pan-fried Gyozas, 锅贴. Pity i couldn't have any pan-fried today. Have had too much heaty food that results in my cough.

Cabbage & Pork Dumpling, 饺子 ($5)

After my meal, I feedback to Du Mama that the local cabbage used in the dumpling tasted somewhat different to what we had in China. She agreed and laments that the local cabbages here lacks that distinct texture and sweetness.

But i assured her that my previous visit of her Chives Dumpling, 韭菜饺 was superb :) I shall always order that one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hong Kong Dim Sum @ Netune

Fairly ubiquitous items of Hong Kong Dim Sum fare we had at Marine Parade Food Centre tonight. But they were delicious.

It was raining and our early arrival relives us of 'fighting' with the dinner crowd - this is a popular stall.

I missed the Dim Sum here; economical and quality food they serve up that's comparable to many small restaurants.

Now i shall let the pictures do the talking :)

Chicken Shaomai, 燒賣

Steamed dumplings with chicken and mushrooms inside thin flour wrapper.

Shrimp Dumpling, 蝦餃

Steamed dumplings with 2 whole shrimp filling in almost translucent, thin wheat starch skin.

Lotus Leaf Rice, 荷叶饭

Our must order here as Ric's in love with the high cholesterol salted egg yolk :)

Glutinous rice wrapped in the lotus leaf into a rectangular shape. It contains salted egg yolk, mushroom, Chinese sausages and chicken meat. These ingredients when steamed with the rice and although the leaf is not eaten, its flavour is infused during the steaming.

Tofu Skin Roll, 腐皮捲

Ric had a special liking for Tofu Skin, and he's always keen to order the deep fried Tofu skin wrap of vegetables and seafood on our every visit.

He doesn't actually realise that till i pointed it out to him :)

Yong Tau Foo, 客家酿豆腐

My must order, a must for every Tofu lover!

It is their best seller here; deep fried Tofu with minced fish meat topping in dark peppery chilli sauce. The savory favor that's so shiok :)

Phoenix Talons, 鳳爪

And i almost forgot this in my order, luckily Ric remembers.

These chicken feets are light and fluffy, while moist and tender. Served steaming hot, they were 'stickily' good; if you got what i mean :)

Char Siu Bao, 叉燒包

Probably the most popular bun with a Cantonese Barbecued Pork filling.

Steamed to be fluffy and white, the texture of the skin is the crux to the quality of Char Siu Bun here. So fluffy light is the flour; one is never enough to stuff me.

An average items here are priced around $2, our total damages today is $17.40

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chill Out at Munchie

After home dinner, we decide to drive up to Munchie Monkey cafe for our long overdue visit. Our first visit and subsequent tea-break at Munchie were all within the month of April. It's been a long time as Munchie closed during the NUS term vacation.

Our usual fare of Brownie, Carrot Cake and Cheese Cakes were out of stock, we thus succumb to the temptation of their special menu of fried Fish & Chips; despite my current condition of flu and cough.

Fish & Chips ($6)

With low expectation of the standard of campus dining, we were pleasantly pleased with the juicy sweet bite the thick fish fillet offers. Chilled coleslaw and apple slice were served alongside with dipping hot fillet and French fries - fresh from the fryer.

And we also had iced Lemon Tea as this value set comes with a choice of soft drink.

Cappuccino ($2.50)

I had encourage Ric to switch from Latte to Cappuccino as i guess he must have out grown milky Latte by now and may have start developing a crave for stronger dose of espresso. Or is it just me :)

Comfort dining enviroment in the company of young undergraduates, it reminds us of our younger carefree campus days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rong Guang BBQ Seafood

Dinner was at Alexander Village Food Centre after we went to the Mercedes Benz centre to confirm the arrival of Ric's new saloon.

Business was slow at the popular Rong Guang BBQ stall on this Monday evening.

BBQ Stingray ($8)

Sambal Sotong, Calamari ($8)

An average fare they offered, but freshness of their seafood triumphs.

No doubt of the oiliness from the chilli paste, especially for the stingray dish but else we had an enjoyable time reminiscing on the food we both loved.

Waraku Set Lunches

Waraku is one of the restaurants most frequented by Japanese expatriate in Singapore. They boost of catering authentic quality Japanese fare at much affordable price. I had so far, enjoyed all my dining experiences here.

My most often visit would be for their value for money A+B set lunch where for a price of $9.80++ i would get to make 2 choices of meal from the range of Udon, Soba, Ramen, Don and Sushi.

Kishimen + Gyu Don (9.80++)

Gyu Don or beef was always Ric's choice.

Our 1st try of Kishimen was interesting; it was a kind of thick, chewy and floury Chinese Kway Teow. Well, Udon and Soba remains our favourite :)

Udon + Stamina Don ($9.80++)

Yes, my Udon! As i wouldn't risk with ordering of Kishimen. Stamina Don was actually mild spicy porky in Curry Powder? Tasted ok, but i have made better choices.

Petit 5 pic Ice-cream ($6.80++)

And it suddenly rain heavily in East Coast Park, despite us coming here in blazing hot sun! Trapped here in a restaurant that offers everything, we were tempted to try the ice-cream that was flown in from Japan (as the menu reads).

5 petite ice-cream pieces, served in well chilled plate, each sized of a teaspoon were shared between us. On the forefront we have the Nutty Chocolate, followed by Green Tea, Vanilla coated with Chocolate, Strawberry and Coffee. Not much of a surprise as they all tasted sweet.

The rain ceased soon after.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Table Tennis World

In the Table Tennis World rankings of July 2008, we saw Zhang Yining (1), Guo Yue (2) and Wang Nan (5) up against the Singapore paddlers Li Jiawei (6), Wang Yue Gu (7) and Feng Tianwei (9) in tonight Olympics final of the woman's team.

The Trio shows their Silver Medal at the Beijing 2008 OIympics Games August 17, 2008.

Overall, we have fought a good fight against the truly formidable China's team, with Yue Gu and Tianwei overshadowing Jiawei with their much aggressiveness and determine spirit. Jiawei seems sadly quite off her peak tonight.

The China's team was really very good, am was impressed with their composure and agility movements, they were well deserving of the Gold. And our girls earned their Silver after putting up a good 2 hours show in competition.

We sincerely wished that with this win, Singapore would go forward in the Sports field, grooming hopeful athletes for more win. 48 years is too long a wait.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood Restaurant

Was at my friend's office doing some business talk and catching up with each other when he suggested if we would fancy BBQ Suckling Piglet, 烤乳猪?

He recommended Ban Leong Wah Hoe Seafood Restaurant at Casuarina Road for dinner that night and proceeded to make a booking for the dish. An advance celebration for our Olympics medal, i said.

I did not take any pictures of the dinner as there were 12 of our friend and their families, i was too shy to do that but the dishes here were all scrumptious. And i heard that this restaurant is always packed, even on weekday's night.

You got to star-gazed too, as local MediaCorp artistes often dine here.

Memorable dishes of the night would be the crisply thin-skinned Suckling Pig, steamed Prawns of full yoke, much palatable stired fried green vegetable named 麦菜 and the highly ordered Crabs here.

We have the Black Pepper w/Salt and the Butter Crab, each comes in the form of giant crabs with huge claws - the size of my palm! Prices of food unknown as this meal was my friend's treat :)

This's the place for Seafood and Suckling Pig!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Singapore Olympics Medal !!

Yes, Singapore first Olympics medal in 48 years! - only our second of all time.

I was watching with a pounding heart over the tough final game between Singapore's Feng Tianwei and South Korean's Park Mi-young for a fight to advance to the women’s team final in Table Tennis.

The best-of-five team format consists of 2 singles, a doubles, followed by 2 more singles if necessary. Every player will have to feature in at least one singles match if the tie goes all the way. Team work is thus a vital play.

Looks of fatigue and happiness, the Table Tennis team of Singapore (L-R) Wang Yuegu, Feng Tianwei, coach Liu Guodong and Li Jiawei.

And we finally won with three matches to two in the best-of-five contest; round of cheers can be heard in my neighbourhood as Feng closes the tense final match with a win at 1810hrs.

Today thus marked a red letter day in Singapore Sports history!

Now we've all got to watch if it will be Silver or Gold, this Sunday evening.

And Singapore flag would be raise as our anthem plays.

"The ball is round." as Jiawei always quote. Anything could happen on the actual ground, regardless of your World placing. Put up a good fight Team Singapore, cos Anything is Possible.

Fingers crossed XXXX.

NTU - Canteen 13

One of the food stall featured on TV - Campus Yummy was this Korean Food stall in Canteen 13, and they do command the most patrons here.

We were finally here today!

Dolsot Bibimbap ($4.50)

Bibimbap is one of the most representative items of Korean cuisine. The hot stone bowl we ordered was the beef version.

The vegetables placed in adjacent colors complement each other and really offers visual appeal that whets our appetite. We stirred the ingredients together with red gochujang hot pepper sauce thoroughly just before eating.

The stone bowl so hot that the raw egg cooked by itself as we stirred. And the crust of scorched rice at the bottom of the hot stone bowl is golden brown and crispy to eat.

BBQ Beef Set ($4.50)

Ric choice of the popular BBQ Beef set over their Pork and Chicken. A rather simple taste dish that comes with generous serving of beef with cabbages and rice vermicelli.

We had much preferred the Bibimbap given its variety of taste and heated stone bowl that kept our food warm till our very last mouthful. We'll be back.

Scrumptious Cafe

Most time we really shouldn't believe everything a blog says; always take it with a pinch of salt cos everyone has different taste buds.

Recommendation from some blogs brought us here to the cafe at Turf City while doing some grocery shopping in Gaint supermart.

Cafe Latte ($4) & Lemon Meringue Pie ($5.90)

Its Cafe Latte which everybody endorsed on was but a very average fare in which you could taste more milk than coffee.

While you could argue that this should be so as a latte is typically prepared with only approximately one third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk, well, we have tasted better Latte. The ones here can be easily forgotten.

And without our knowledge that Meringue is actually a dessert made from whipped egg whites and caster sugar that are extremely sweet - we much regret our choice.

The lemon curd filling is intolerably sweet even for sweet-toothed person like me. The light and airy meringue topping was refreshing but still sweet. So we ended up just finishing the pastry base crust.

This may most probably be our last here. But at least we got to taste a dessert from the 19th century that left a long lasting impression on us :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lorong Ah Soo Lor Mee

It's been like years since i last dine in Hougang when i lasted worked in this vicinity. I would therefore not miss the chance to suggest lunching there when Ric had an errand to run there today.

Arriving at the ever popular Lor Mee stall at Blk 105 of Hougang Ave 1, a small queue had already formed.

The season of the Olympics fever is in with many having their eyes glued to the TV sets that was telecasting highlights of the games, i was not spared :) and chose a table with a good view of the program.

Lor Mee ($2.50)

Ric joined the queue; bringing me a scrumptious bowl of Noodles with Kway Teow in sticky rich braised broth. The queue more than speaks for its superiority - it was one of the better Lor Mee around.

Wanton Noodles ($2.50)

旺角 was the name of this Wanton noodle stall. Business was brisk and they had caught Ric's eyes while he was queuing for the Lor Mee. So we greedily decide to share a bowl between us :)

No regret, it was good. It may well deserve a separate posting by itself.

With every attributes of a good bowl of Wanton Mee, springy noodle texture, charcoal burned roasted pork slices, sweet green veg and slippery dumplings in hot soup. It was worth each cent to pay for.

I'm looking forward to be back here soonest.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bejing Olympics Opening

The beauty of sports lies in its exploration of the limits of a human body, overstretching our ultimate endurance. The Olympics brought together 10,000 athletes from all 5 continents is thus a glorious event where World Records are broken.

And China had came a long weary way to hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, from its anxiety of being elected as a hosting city, the many major preparation works in the 7 years of preparation period, and overcoming both the natural disasters and man-made obstacles.

Now at exactly 30 years after its Open Door Policy in 1978, China is economically strong to hoist the most expensive Games in history, at near S$60 billion.

They stormed the world with their astonishing acts in tonight's spectacular opening ceremony. Breathtaking performances and all, in its hour and a half of jaw-dropping presentations. The discipline and professionalism they displayed is a force to be reckoned with.

And we have Steven Spielberg and gang to thank for; had he not boycotted the Olympics, we would not have witnessed the uniqueness of a Chinese production that needs no copy from the West.

China made every Chinese proud. Most touching moments for me would be witnessing 56 children representing 56 ethnic groups from across China, delivering their National flag for the flag raising ceremony.

The Chinese, China had delivered their promise, their dreams and aspirations of 100 years. Congratulation China...!

Miss Clarity Cafe

At this Katong Branch, I always love the garden salad here served chilled and refreshing for the hot day.

Else you could have the Potato Day Soup, a rich and creamy alternative option today.

Roasted Chix Leg ($13.80)

This dish of roasted chicken was constantly on my mind since i first sampled it in my first visit to Miss Clarity Cafe; i was very pleased and had an enjoyable dining then.

A whole oven roasted chicken thigh, in rich and creamy fricassee of potato and mushroom! I couldn't resist polishing off the whole plate of cream sauce. Yum...

Fish & Chips ($9.80)

The Fish & Chips here are perfectly deep fried after coating it with bread crumbs instead of flour batter. It was not overly done and the fish still retains much of its juiciness while you bite into its lightly crusted crispiness.

Prices of Set Lunches also include a choice of dessert and drink. Our usual would be the coffee, but it seems a tad sweet today. And we now get a new menu here with overall pricing adjusted up by about $2-$3 per main; inflation.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Secret Recipe's Brownies

Yeah! 3 Cheers for Secret Recipe who always come up with promotional offers for the National Day. Last year we have got the cakes, this year we've got the chance for the Brownies!

Vienna Brownie

Brownies Walnut

Normal retailed at $26 for the whole 2kg slab, we now enjoy 4 days promotion of 43% off to mark the 43rd years of Singapore independence!

Warm it up slightly in the microwave for 30 secs and you would have a warm and soft melting brownie; that's how i love it. Now these brownies are dizzying me with its overwhelming chocolaty taste :)

Hong Ji Wanton Noodles

After my early meeting at Tanjong Pagar, we decide to sought out this Wanton Noodle stall that have been featured in so many reports for their well textured noodles.

We arrived at Blk 79, the quiet estate of Telok Blangah that saw many food stalls already closes for the day. This stall however closes at 7pm daily.

You can't miss this stall really, with its many display of interviews and newspaper cuttings featuring them.

The highlight here was really just the noodles, very tasty and well textured noodles that i'll be coming back very soon for again.

The ever generous noodle plateful at $2.50 is enough to satisfy any famished man's appetite.