Sunday, April 28, 2013

UCC, Blend 118

UCC Blend 118, 90g ($10.80)

Another blend of strong coffee from UCC.

After a few cups of it in black as well as in milk, we both preferred the UCC Sumiyaki; also a strong blend, to the 118. The aftertaste of 118 yields a prominent sourish hint while the Sumiyaki is less acidic and give an attractive aroma.

Since both are similarly priced; we'll go for the Sumiyaki roasted beans.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sony E 35mm F1.8 Prime Lens

NEX 5N on SEL-35F18 ($629)

Sony releases its latest fixed focus lens for E-mount and Ric just couldn't wait to get it for the NEX-5N; hoping to net a less heavy and good-enough setup for my carrying around - he's a good boyfriend.

We haven't really run in the camera; just a little shots outdoor while paying extra attention to its indoor/ low light shots. In this preliminary, the focus is a little trying as it hunts a bit in the darken indoors with close shots; wide angle shootings are no problem. Yes, the camera was updated with latest firmware.

We'll examine with more tries, as photos from all coming blogs will be by this prime lens.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Canon EOS M VS Sony NEX-5N

We just had our hands on the Canon EOS M and couldn't wait to pit this mirrorless against similar Sony NEX 5N which is also on APS sensor. Both were mounted with their designed pancake kit lens; the EOS M with EF-M 22mm f/2.0 and the NEX-5N with 16mm f/2.8. Cameras were set to Intelligent Auto.

The shots were taken at Carl's Junior Big Splash; 2 shots above were taken before the restaurant turned on the ceiling yellow spot lights, and the shots below were taken after - thus the yellowish hue.

Photos taken from the EOS M were clearly brighter and livelier than the NEX-5N when both were on their kit lens. We did however, load the NEX-5N to Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 and took a few shots which proved superior to both kit lens setup - but that is an unfair comparison, nonetheless.

For further reading on the EOS M, here is a very good post by ieatishootipost who tested the EOS M against EOS 5DMKIII.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

119 Fish Soup, Aljunied Crescent

Fish Porridge ($3)

Our second attempt to have the famous Ng Soon Kee Fish Soup, but were once again turned away by the hawker citing the long waiting time for us. So what shall we do when the day's craving is for some steamy hot soup?

Well, there's actually another popular but lesser known fish soup stall just round the corner, at the adjacent coffeeshop, Blk 119 Aljunied Crescent where the good Shi Wei Xiang HK dim sum is. During this lunch hour, almost every table order the fish soup and there is quite a wait too.

Fish Soup Bee Hoon ($3)

The stall offers only plain rice, porridge or fine vermicelli to go with; whilst we acknowledged the fish broth as being one of the better ones we had. At its counter front, tall heap of fish meat piled under freezing ice blocks promises the freshness of stock and their whopping sales.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fig & Olive Mediterranean

Classic Chicken BBQ Pasta ($15.90++)
Herb grilled chicken topped with homemade Figo bbq sauce, fresh vegetable with pasta and tomato sauce. 

We knew Fig and Olive isn't an impressive Mediterranean cafe to start with; well aware that serious Mediterranean cuisine is pricey, considering that some of its ingredients carry higher cost with the expertise that goes into preparing them.

Fig & Olive played it safe by designing affordable meals through incorporating popular pasta and common western dishes in their design of food menu - and it become distasteful. The inconstancy and clumsy fusion unlined the fact that certain flavors doesn't come together; individually served, the casual food is palatable.

There are real Mediterranean offerings of kebabs, hummus, tortilla bread, salsa, grilled lamb, beef skewer and olive rice on their menu; maybe these are the better ones?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

坤记, Koon Kee Seafood

Squids, Prawns, White Clams and Chinese Mussels (displayed at stall counter)

Don't we all love Veterans? Veteran cook, veteran artist, veteran seamstress; the only good thing about aging is the wealth of experience and skills that come along with it.

We know of this old uncle at 79, Telok Blangah Drive Food Centre, #01-22 who despite his advance in age, insist on operating his little seafood cook stall with fresh ingredients bought from the market every morning!

What's on menu for the day depends on the type of seafood he succeed in obtaining that morning; but one thing's for sure - the Seafood Hokkien Mee.

Hokkien Seafood Noodle ($4, less seafood option for $3 available)

As i took picture of his seafood, the uncle said shyly, "Today's prawns a little small sized." But i didn't mind, for that's a lot of seafood for the modest price. You wouldn't too, especially after tasting the freshness of his sea products.

They were so... good! So fresh! And sweet! Oh!

And i was definitely surprised that Ric, who has rather weak stomach, took in the shellfish greedily. While the seafood came fresh, it took meticulous effort to ensure they were properly clean for consumption. And the old hawker manages to maintain a good level of hygiene all by himself, at the stall.

We are proud to recommend this food joint.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Old Beijing Zhajiang Mian

老北京炸酱面, Old Beijing Shredded Pork Noodles ($3.50)

Nursing a regret when i left Beijing without having their classic Beijing Zhajiang Mian, i jumped at the opportunity when i chanced upon this new China lamian stall at NTU, canteen 2.

Manned by 2 stoutly China men, i perceive my hand pulled noodles to be well made. And was pleasantly delighted with their meticulously handmade dumplings also; clean and sleek food presentation with rather fresh tasting ingredients - just 2 men in the kitchen.

云吞拉面汤, Shrimp Wanton Noodle Soup ($3.50)

The strong gravy of the Beijing Zha Jiang noodles packs a punch and is a must try for aficionado like myself. For the lighter taste buds, the noodle soup was preferred. Recommendation for the adventurous would be their long list of outlandish styled La Mian - be the brave one to try and report back?

Servings are big. And guaranteed to satisfy your scout for something different, yet acceptable.

Friday, April 5, 2013

成发, Seng Huat Hokkien Bee Hoon

Much has been written about the Seng Huat noodle stall on the internet; so we had to come see for ourselves at the Pasir Panjang Food Centre. Earlier, Ric had their fried noodles and rated it mediocre, tonight he led me to their crown jewel - the Hokkien fried vermicelli.

After an ordeal of pushy attitude from the hawker auntie for our miser order of just 1 plate from them, our order arrived without accident. Thankfully.

Hokkien Bee Hoon ($4)

Having a craving for something wet and savory like our usual serving of Hokkien Mee, this plate of Hokkien Bee Hoon has much disparity that led to some disappointment, initially.

As we proceed, i learnt to appreciate the art of simplicity behind - though lightly flavored, it eludes distinct fragrance of well sauteed rice vermicelli in a dry, less oily finish. A level of expertise that is rare among the average hawkers.

Given the hawker's snobbishness; i hate to admit the job well done.

Views from ION Sky

South-west of Singapore; glittering lights from our offshore plants

Singapore is a relatively quiet city, even along its busiest shopping belt - the Orchard Road. Looking down from the 56th level of ION Orchard, we see that this business district is also a lower-density residential area with just few clusters of high rise condominium.

Views from ION Sky are beautiful but not as breathtaking as those from MBS Sky Park. The place is good for its air-conditioned and spacious balcony; quiet and exclusive for its lesser publicity. The indoor viewing is especially helpful for the fear of heights and inclement weather.

Of course, try to board the place earlier to catch it in daylights; we were late and just manage the night lights up. Still, it was exciting to usher in the weekends with these.

Lighted tower of Wheelock Place

The Four Seasons and residences along Orchard Boulevard

Condominium district along Angullia Park

Scotts Rd, with swimming pool of Grand Hyatt Hotel

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kaneda Japanese, from NTU to NUS

Chicken Katsu Set ($3.50)

We were wondering, where has the good old Japanese stall from NTU-Canteen 1 moved to. Then suddenly, we found them in NUS Techno Edge canteen, at the faculty of Engineering this evening!

Serving presentation is now a little different; with our favorite Teriyaki Pork off the menu. But the cook is the same uncle and food still comes in hefty delicious portion. Good feed.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sunnyhills Pineapple Cakes

凤梨酥, Pineapple Cakes (Box of 10, NT$ 350 = S$14.46)

Received a souvenir from Taiwan, of Mung Bean cake (with red bean) from Vigor and Pineapple cakes from Sunnyhills. Decided to blog about the latter cos that's the one that made me want a third; 2 is not yet enough.

We love the packaging of Sunny in steady cardboard, paper wraps and canvas tote bags for carrier - modern and eco-friendly.

I like Vigor's Pineapples cakes previously, now the ones from Sunny overtook them. These from Sunny tasted sweeter than Vigor's, but it isn't cloying. And i could actually extract a full piece of toasted pineapple fiber easily from the beefy 50g piece.

Fresh from Taiwan, the baked pastry has an amazing toasty finish that was missing from those at the Singapore retail in Raffles Hotel.