Friday, May 31, 2013

Kim Gary @ City Square JB

Iced Hong Kong "Yuan Yang" (Coffee+Tea)

It was all for the different dining experience; and of course, the favorable exchange rate that we took the trouble of crossing the border to Johor Bahru. The City Square JB Mall had just under went some renovation with several newly added restaurant; sounded exciting right?

But we still ended up at Kim Gary, for their most affordable lunch menu and hassle-free dining. For we were tired and thirsty after the morning of hurrying about, and just wanted an easy-to-decide lunch, not forgetting their large glass of iced coffee that comes with all their set meals!

Food was nothing fanciful, but it certainly felt decadent having Hong Kong-styled instant noodles with fried chicken wings, ham and hot dog. We rather enjoyed it; and all at such low price.

Yorshin Noodles Set with - Ham, Sausage, Chicken Wing, Fried Egg (RM$9.50+, S$3.82+)

Mark Six Curry with - Rice/ Spaghetti and 1 Cream Soup (RM$14.90+, S$5.98+)

Our City Forest

Guess i would never forget this morning... the feel of chill air onto the entire skin once i crossed the busy traffic to the footpath next to this little stretch of neighborhood forest. It was like standing next to an ice block, and a big one. I had thought such morning freshness had ceased existence, and boy, was i glad!

The enormous effect of this tiny piece of greenscape dawned on me that Nature isn't greedy; it just need little spaces to help balance our environment. If only our population hasn't been allowed to balloon - for Singapore is now furiously pulling down primary forests for more residential housing and expressways...

Do you remember our younger days when we had to double up with jacket to go out in the mornings? Well, climate change is irreversible. Save my world. This was at Bukit Batok.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sony Tablet P

Sony Tablet P ($399)

The folding Sony Tablet P feels like my new clamshell purse that fits into the pockets ingeniously. It fills the palm like a good hand glove; so much that i love holding on to it. Its 372g is featherlight compared to my big screen iPad 4, making it a joy to carry it about.

Of course, the tablet which constantly wears a belt in the form of its hinge-based design does take some getting used to. You now no longer slide the entire screen effortlessly, unless you had learned to, but to control your touch within either 1 of the dual screens. So it does perform some Apps function awkwardly, but we get around it.

Most importantly people who like watching movies on their tablets will never accept this tablet which breaks their picture in half. For me, it doesn't matter. Because the pocket-size tablet serves very well as a communication tools and a music player. Besides, watching movies on any 7" screen isn't a luxury.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Samsung NX210; some food photos

Century Egg Porridge

We've been juggling between the mirrorless trio - Canon EOS M, Sony NEX-5N and the Samsung NX210. A Samsung camera? I too have my doubts; a Samsung phone or tablet, yes, but why a Korean camera...

Nevertheless, the photos came out fine from this non-Japan photographic equipment, mounted with a 20mm F2.8 prime lens, set on Auto Intelligent mode. It doesn't outperform NEX-5N in terms of the lighting hues of pictures; Samsung tends to go brighter, on the safe side. And it delivers a more realistic color as compared to pictures by the EOS M who goes on the vibrant.

These lunch photos were taken in the Maxwell Food Centre.

Raw Fish Salad

Peanut Sweet Soup

Fish Soup Bee Hoon

Saturday, May 18, 2013

B.K.T by Kong Kee

Bak Kut Teh-Klang Style ($6.80+), Braised Pig's Leg ($8+)
Tau Pok, Tau Kwa ($2+), Braised Chicken Feet ($3.50+)

B.K.T by Kong Kee at China Street is by far the friendliest Bak Kut Teh restaurant in Singapore where the common aloofness of a BKT stall is far from its serving tables. This made us want to give them more business. Surely.

Bak Kut Teh-Klang Style

Pig's Kidney ($6+)

But to be honest, the dark Klang-styled BKT soup is rather saltish whereas the pig's kidney came in generous serving slices and enriched the original Teochew BKT soup that was served along with. Nice.

Klang Style Dry Bak Kut Teh ($12+)

Best things came last - the dry style Bak Kut Teh. We finish its last drop of dark savoury juices which was entangled in flavours of thick soy sauce, dried cuttlefish, pork ribs and pork bellies!

Fairly good food in an air-conditioned setting that is competitively priced. Enjoyed their unique serving of shallots rice and good fresh pork used for the pork ribs - quality ingredients; a pity for the BKT soup which could have been better.

Friday, May 17, 2013

大成, Tai Seng Noodle House

Mushroom Pork Rib Noodle ($4)

Wouldn't you be intimidated by such large food serving!? How to eat? Yeah, how to eat...

It has been 5 long years since our last visit to this stall #02-123 at Amoy Street Food Centre and their generous serving portion still left us amazed!

Have your fill with the many pieces of soft chunky pork ribs. Also, you shall surely appreciate their firm, dense piece of fried, braised bean curd; never mind you are carnivore by nature, you wouldn't complain.

And each noodle set comes with 7 meat dumplings in soup. How to finish!? Yeah, how to finish...

Cha Shao Yuton Noodle ($3)

I'm no serious carnivore, so too much pork rib doesn't interests me. I prefer their wanton noodle with absolutely tasty barbecued red meat (char siew) and fresh crispy fried dumplings! Now, if only i could have one braised bean curd from Ric's plate...

We did clear our plate and left feeling bloated. And really thirsty; caused by the food MSG. But this maybe one stall which we forgive their MSG cooking - the food really tastes good.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Canon EOS M VS Sony NEX-5N (In Restaurant Yellow Lights)

Our previous trial between the duo with their pancake kit lens seems to say that Canon provide a more superior kit lens package to Sony.

Today, Sony was mounted with the newly purchased E 35mm f/1.8 prime lens to better contest the kit lens of Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0. As per our usual practice, both cameras were set to Intelligent Auto and we were ready to go - to Mad for Garlic restaurant.

Spicy Meat Dipping Pizza ($19.40++)
Dipping Pizza topped with fresh Rucola and herb garlic in creamy garlic sauce and served with spicy meat sauce.

Spicy Meat Sauce - Korean styled

Suicide Rice ($19.70++)
Special fried rice with diced octopus, squid and various kind of spices.

Whose photos do you prefer? 

We guess many would be drawn to the brighter pictures by Canon? Me too. Initially. On second thoughts, we favor Sony's darker shade which brings out the feel of atmosphere; it was also closer to the actual lighting condition of the restaurant. This might just be what that separates Sony and Canon users.

In their fully automatic mode, Sony compensate dullness with higher ISO while Canon does it by lowering aperture, thus the more bokeh (blur) photos produced. You should notice that Sony here display more of its background than Canon, dues to this reason.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fujifilm X10

Fujifilm X10 ($899)

Too much of reading Clubsnap forum led the man to believe that a high-end compact camera could actually perform on par with a mirrorless DSLR! Heheh... Anyway, it's an interesting experience to learn that compact camera is still very much a compact, no matter the advancement in technology.

I liked the antique look of the camera, though.

We are not displaying photos we took with the X10, after pitting it against the Sony Nex-5N as the differences are palpable; we do not need close observation to tell that the X10 takes on the back seat. X10 does give very good details of subject but also an unreal color tint. Note that both cameras are of the same price range.

X10 on Intelligent Auto mode.

X10 on Sunset mode.

Nex-5N on Intelligent Auto mode. (Similar shots when on Sunset mode)

Before we discard the X10, today is a final test on sunset scene to show you what we meant by 'unreal color tint'. Both equipments were set on Auto mode to trial out their image sensors. And as always, the X10 fails to translate the nature color of its subject. .

The picture that best represent the evening sky light was the shot by Nex-5N.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chateau Les Agates Bordeaux 2005

Château Les Agates Bordeaux Contrôlée 2005, 750ml ($21)

Another Gold medal bottle from Macon - Competition of wines of France. This rose wine made from Red Bordeaux blend was from the 2005 harvest and stood out in the 2007 event.

Mouth feel was immediately dry, but smoothed out after a few more sips as the palate got used to the squawking, thereafter it was easy to drink.

The bottle to mark a new chapter of my career as i embarked on a new phase.
Wish me well. Cheers!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Taipei Cafe, Bugis

Japanese Green Tea Snow Ice ($5.50)

Taipei Cafe, Bugis drew my attention with their many online deals they were collaborating with deal-of-the-day websites; and their offers were pretty low cost. So we went to check out the place with this $2.60 for an authentic Taipei night market XL snow ice deal before making any big plans with them.

It turned out well, and we like this place enough to return. The spacious cafe is comfortably cool and clean; HD music video playing on the large LCD TV with good sound speakers makes this a chic place to chill with friends.

While we have yet try out their cooked food, i presume it can't be far from acceptable - judging from our bowl of authentic Taipei snow ice.

手拉手, Hand in Hand Beijing Restaurant

小笼汤包, Mini Steamed Bun, 5 nos ($4.80+)

Due to the influx of China men in Singapore, we are easily pampered by good and low priced Chinese dim sum. And this makes it doubley hard to justify the more expensive but similar dim sum from their Taiwanese counterparts.

Today, we are in Hand in Hand Beijing Restaurant, Jalan Besar main branch for their Groupon offering of $12 for $25 deal. If you spot future offers from them, remember to buy, for their food is effortlessly good by our standards.

With the exception of their hand-pulled noodles; the broth is a comforting delight but has much MSG.

三鲜韭菜盒子,Chinese Chive Puff ($6.80+)

三鲜韭菜锅贴, Pan Fried Seafood Dumpling ($6.80+)

香辣加州牛肉汤拉面, Noodles with Braised Meat ($6.80+)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Burger King Mushroom Swiss XL

 Large Coke, at East Coast Park ($3.20)

Just for 1 day, Burger King gave out free XL sized mushroom Swiss burger with purchase of 1 large (32 oz.) Coke. And we had to be here; whether this a gimmick or not, cos we are fans of their Whopper and Mushroom Swiss. Still, it holds true that curiosity does kills the cat.

The 2 slices of Swiss cheese are awesome! But the flatten and dried out beef patty left much to be desired. It is an XL patty, in terms of diameter; with the smallness of their regular burger bun and this is probably the same amount of meat that should form a burger patty of decent thickness.

But the value of a $3 lunch with drinks? Not bad lah.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

风味小厨, Changi Village

Changi Village, stall no. 01-83

We went round and round the bustling Changi Village Hawker Centre but could not decide on what to have; or rather, which is good to have - comfortable seating, good food and short waiting time does sounded like asking for too much on a Saturday night? But all is not lost.

This new cze char stall which Ric screened is located away from the block that houses the vitality of the many Nasi Lemak stalls and popular Chinese food. We thus have a sitting area that is airy and of lesser commotion. With a hawker who is kept confidently active by his steady stream of food orders; this seems close to what we were looking for.

Bean sauce Bittergourd with Angoli Fish head ($12), Oyster Omelette ($6)

It was the exact of what we had wished for; especially after we tasted their home-styled cooking.

The egg omelette is fluffy and oilless, swelling up with 6-7 plump oysters. Even when i started with just the bare omelette, it was easy to detect hints of oysters freshness. Ask for their belacan chili to go with this!

But the star of the ocean is their Angoli (红哥里) fish head; stir-fried in flavorsome bean sauce that was perfectly concocted - not too salty and not too bland, lest it become uninteresting.

An odorless and deliciously fresh fish head; the fish-eater (me) had to share her portion with the non-fish-eater (Ric). The dish is better than what we usually ordered from Guang Xing - the ever popular cooked food stall in this same hawker centre.

We really enjoyed the awesome fish head - fine meatiness and gooey goodness like a rich BBQ Stingray dish. It is lip-smacking! Home-cooking at its best; all done without Ajinomoto.

Dining out on weekends doesn't have to be like on ground zero :>

Friday, May 3, 2013

喜相逢, Xi Xiang Feng Yong Tou Fu

It is always exciting to watch queues outside of food stalls. If you are hungry at Blk 724, Ang Mo Kio Food Centre Ave. 6, jump right in front of this Yong Tou Hu stall, select your ingredients, pass it back to the stall owner before joining the queue for collection.

If you are troubled and have no peace, Jesus will give you peace - the sticker on their signboard say so. Amen!

 Yong Tou Fu Noodle, Soup ($6.60 for 2 bowls)

Yong Tou Fu Bee Hoon, Dry

The 30 mins of waiting in line begin to trouble us... before peace of satisfaction reign in after the frenzy of receiving these delicious looking bowls. It was eyes catching that the soup bowl came, lavished with loads of soft soy beans and giant anchovies! Drink up!

And we can't be more convinced now that the queue was not bogus; this stall does serve good fresh Yong Tou Fu ingredients (both the fried stuffs and those of the raw fish paste) with robust soup or tangy sweet sauce option. Try their special bee hoon that's firm and springy or the uncommonly suggested cheong fun.

I would really love to return for their Yong Tou Fu, with an extra of chee cheong fun!