Monday, November 26, 2012

The Help (2011)

Ailileen, the domestic help listened on as her employee made racist remarks openly.

Living in our modern society, historic relationship between the Blacks and Whites during the Civil Rights era (America, early 1960s) felt like unreal reality. Over my growing up years, i've seen several 'slave films' but none nailed the discrimination quite as plainly, real and direct - with examples taken from normal homes in the communities.

It is baffling to note that while the Whites found it detestable to use the same toilet, drink from the same water fountain as the Blacks, they enjoyed being served hand and foot by them. Eating food prepared and having their children dressed and fed by the Blacks? There were such clear contradictions. 

Typically, such film is a tear-jerker but The Help was entertaining and engaging with light moments of levity for a dramatic relief. I was attuned to the subject matter and really enjoyed the movie.

Maybe it trivializes the extent of the actual discrimination and injustices without mentioning the common cases of sexual harassment, but the film was sufficed to set you thinking.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Semillon 2004, Cedar Creek Estate

Semillon 2004, 750ml.

For a change, it was nice and easy to have a sweet glass of whites.

The bottle aged Semillon grapes from The Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard & Winery, Queensland was dug up from the wine trove; and thankfully, it was quite decently mellowed, tasting slight dry; reminds you of fresh green apple as illustrated on the bottle.

'Kick' from its 12% vol. came in pretty late but sudden and so strong, it almost knocks me onto the table. Recovery was certain but took some time.

Guan Heng Wanton Noodle - Lost from Margaret Drive

It was utterly disappointing at the re-opening of the Bedok South Food Centre. Favorite stalls of Cuttlefish KanggongNiuJi Fried Prawn Noodles and Yong Tou Foo were all gone! The hawker centre had lost its signature dishes.

Wandering about like lost souls, until a familiar signboard (#01-30) glitzed our path - it's the missing wanton mee stall from the former Margaret Drive Hawker Centre!

Mushroom Chicken Feet Noodle ($3)

Char Siew Wanton Mee ($3)

It's been so long... like 4 years! And the hawker hasn't lost his touch; still dishing out chewy noodles with self-roasted red meat from a life-sized oven. Flavorsome Char Siew sauce doused the Wanton noodle instead of the usual light flavoring sauce.

We wanted to show support by making a purchase but clearly, a small queue had formed as we continued our dinner.

Good find.
Hope our many favorite stalls that had gone missing, may one day cross our paths again, soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cold Pickled Cucumber

Cool as a cucumber. I could munch on this chilled plate of appetizer forever!

Whether as a small side dish or vegetable main, it is substantiate and help compliment a heavy meal. I'm sure this refreshing dish with slight tongue-biting sensation from the spices will be most desirable.

1 Japanese Cucumber, unpeeled
1 Chili, minced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
White Sesame seed (optional)

Basically, you just cut up the cucumber into bite size pieces. Mix the spices and seasonings before adding in the sliced cucumber. Serve chilled with a dash of sesame seeds.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Freshness Latest Burger

Iced Earl Grey ($2.50), Iced Genmai - Green Tea with Malt ($2)

My heart leaps at the thought of lunching at Freshness with Ric. It serves quality food in a most complacent environment; feels good.

Drinks came first while our burgers were being prepared. And while there's nothing special about Green Tea with Malt; it tasted simply of green tea, the Earl Grey was fragrant as Dilmah Elegant Earl Grey. Both healthily sugarless.

Cordon Bleu Chicken Burger + Jumbo Stuffed Cheese Beef Burger

Freshness latest burger were good. The Cordon Bleu Chicken was juicy. Crisp and hot from the fryer, it melted the Hokkaido cream cheese immediately!

We had bigger expectation for the beef burger but it looked vastly different from the Groupon promotional poster. No cream cheese, no thick beef slab. Just 2 thin beef patties.

Should we complain? But the burger actually tasted good; Freshness managed to prepare the patties with middle-rare tenderness - see the pinkish half-cooked meat. But maybe, it could have been even better?

Monday, November 19, 2012

QQ Noodle House, Bugis

Signature QQ Noodles, Char Siew Ramen ($5.50) for the twin set, $7.10

We were kind of unsettled at QQ. Maybe it was the 'China' feel about the place, or was it the noodles having the unusual hint of something we couldn't put a finger on? Ingredients were fresh, rather nice Char Siew actually. 

But only the minced pork with scallion oil serves to remind you that it's a bowl of Sarawak Kolo noodle you were having. 

Given an option, we would be at Jia Xiang or Yummy Tampines.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Boncafe Decaffeinated Freeze-Dried

Boncafe Decaffeinated Gourmet Freeze-dried Coffee, 100g ($11.20)

Probably our first decaffeinated coffee. The Boncafe decaffeinated blend was from pure Arabica beans of the Central/ South America; good coffee beans, but you still tasted the difference without Caffeine.

Our usual portion of 1 spoonful coffee powder to a cup need to be near doubled; lessening of the creamer doesn't help. So keep your cream proportion but increase the coffee denseness then we should be about there - bitter tasting coffee, thicken with cream.

For someone who is sensitive to caffeine, i do not detect abnormal heart rhythms, quicken breaths or feel of anxiety and restlessness with the decaffeinated. It took stress off my cardiac organ. And now, maybe a cup of  decaffeinated in the evening wouldn't kept me from sleeping the night?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Re!Fill Cafe - Taste of Continental

Tenderloin of Beef wrapped with Turkey Bacon ($25.80++)

Was looking forward to some good hotel cooking but was disappointed by Hotel Re! Obviously, All Hotel Food Are Not The Same.

Felt bad for Ric having to tolerate the unappetizing plating while trying to mince the tough red meat. Mainstream restaurant like Jack's Place does it so much better. Shame.

Rack of Lamb in Pesto Olive Oil ($24.80++)

The lamb rack was quite alright except they replaced the jacket potato with mashed potatoes without consultation.

Alas, all's not lost. In comforting thought, we paid just half the bill with Groupon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

根叔, Gen Shu Gourmet

Steamed Yam Cake ($2.20)

There have been so much raving of good food from Gen Shu Mei Shi Jia by ieatishootipost that we simply had to try them for ourselves. 

Some hit-and-miss. But you could never go wrong with their yam cake - one of the very best around. 

Chee Cheong Fun ($2.20)

Steamed Siew Mai ($2.20) 

Glutinous Rice ($2.70)

Nice Cheong Fun. Skip the Siew Mai. Good Glutinous Rice. Special Hong Kong styled fried noodle, not of our typical yellow noodles - worthy a try. 'Sea-fresh' tasting Bee Hoon. Great chili sauce.

Again. Don't miss the Yam Cake.

Char Siew Noodle with Seafood Bee Hoon, mixed ($2.70)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cross Stitch

Cross-stitch accessories

Was talking to some primary school kids while sewing the Cross-stitch in the garden. The art work was intriguing to them but none actually express the interest to complete the embroidery. This new generation seems used to things going faster, no more long hours on handicraft?

Cross-stitch has been a mind-less past time; it takes my mind off things, just the colored threads and me. I simply like to sew. Do you?

From nothing. Expressionless.

To something :))


Just started on my first large cross-stitch project. It is like a mission-impossible! The massive patterns with pretty gradation of color and tone. It is exciting. Hope i'll have something to show in few months' time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Demise of Ah Mah

An unusual phone call from Aunt Wendy left me silenced. Grandma had passed away in the morning - the morning while everything has been as predictable as every work day when i woke and prepared for work.

The days of funeral wake proceeding to the cremation were busy and tiring, especially for those who stayed through the nights and those who woke up early. The bustling activities help kept us from grieving too much.

During these time, we reminisces our time with grandma, her smiles, her frowns. Her doting ways, often kind considerations for others, hospitable gestures and undemanding lifestyle. Her strong personalities that was muted by years of being a stroke patient.

Food she enjoyed. But more importantly, it was our company that she loves whenever we visit.

1. Salty green beans Ang Ku Kueh from the Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh at Hougang,
2. Big Chwee Kueh at Pek Kio Food Centre (no longer in operation, lost their contact too),
3. Bamboo Shoots Soon Kueh at Poh Cheu, Bukit Merah,
4. Our shared love for Chives Kueh at Toa Payoh 93 Kueh, Geylang Bahru Hawker Centre,
5. Cheese Cake from Japan Fiesta
6. Cupcakes from Katong Sin Chew. And i believe she would have enjoyed their Kaya Pandan Cake if I had managed to buy them for her.
7. Fried Five Spice items from Lao Zhong Zhong Ngoh Hiang Five Spice and some sweet roast duck from Hong Kong Roast, Bukit Batok.

Grandma is a food gourmet and held some respectable food philosophy; always serving us her best from the kitchen, endeavoring to feed her guests well. She was equally disappointed when her hands grew too weak to handle the spatula in her later years.

The morning (yesterday) before her cremation day, i woke to find my adopted plant flowering. As a mature plant, it had stubbornly refused to for so many years.

Now she had; Forget-Me-Not.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

"Happy Hunger Games." (2012)

Q: Could you bring yourself to kill a friend who saved your life?
A: No.

Q: Could you bring yourself to kill your lover?
A: No.

Q: Could you kill a defenseless twelve years old?
A: How to?

Q: Then, you are out of the Hunger Games?
A: If I'm going to die, i want to still be me.

Isn't this how we could choose to survive in our own 'Hunger Games'? Ruthless rules of the game were set - that there could only be 1 survivor out of the 24. But cleverly, choose to survive without sacrificing the basic moral of humanity. And in turn taunt the system, the gamemaker.

Being particularly cool towards frictional stories, this one reads a senseless plot, started off silly but kept me at the edge of my seat with suspenses and anticipation. If you are looking for some excitement for a dull weekend, this is it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

正文记, Cheng Mun Kee's Pig's Organ Soup

Pig's Organ Soup ($3.30 + rice, $0.50)

Wanted a quick lunch and not roam the streets as the 'flash flood' season is back; being on the road during such downpours are no joke taxing. Lunch was decided at the Ayer Rajar Food Centre, West Coast Drive.

Wanted something soupy, something warm for the cold rainy days. Then, something i had long forgotten its existence pops up - Pig's Organ Soup. And i need look no further.

The stall may not be the best around but it's suffices. Savory warm soup, bouncy meatballs, firm rice grains, piquant chili dip. Ahhhh... Life is good...!