Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Naked Grape, Pinot Noir

The Naked Grape - Pinot Noir, 12% vol. ($13.95)

Our first Pinot Noir grapes were these from The Naked Grape Wine (from California, USA); inexpensively priced and exclusively sold at the NTUC Fairprice.

The medium bodied red tasted more towards the sweet end than the dry; is rich with flavors of black cherry and blueberry, so much you could taste the fruits in the sip. It is really quite good, unless you preferred drier and spicier blend - then it would be their Cabernet Sauvignon, which we would love to try next.

This Pinot Noir brew garnered several Gold Awards between year 2011 and 2013, including some Pinot Noir of the Year award. Worth giving the bottle a try.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Saboten, 勝博殿

Tenderloin Katsu ($24++)

Salmon Katsu Set ($22++)

Saboten pride itself of being the "Best Tonkatsu Restaurant in Singapore". Well, maybe yes, maybe not. We can't help comparing the meal with Tampopo's Black Pig Loin Tokusen which we missed - and we were adamant that no pork beats that of a Kurobuta.

That aside, Saboten is a winner with their Tonkatsu sesame sauce that compliments the breaded pork cutlet remarkably! Top-grade sesame seeds are served, surely. Quality miso soup for free refill too.

The partially cooked salmon drew me with its pinkish hue, but it only goes with their chunky Tatar sauce, not with their Tonkatsu sauce. So for the benefit of having the Tonkatsu sauce, my next order here will be a pork cutlet. Am adamant about this too.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) - the Specialties

Fried Platter ($50++)
(Popiah, Fish Tofu, Crab balls, Pork and Liver roll)

Back to 李貴 for some of their Teochew specialties as we felt their Chinese New Year's menu fails to exhibit the kitchen's full potential - we left the last dinner with a little sense of lost.

Tonight's snacking session on 4 of their signature dishes proved rewarding, and i would really recommend their Yam Ring - it is a masterpiece; the best that i had.

 Teochew Chilled Pork Jello ($25++) 

Oyster Omelet ($25++)

Yam Basket ($28++)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

JCO Baby Donuts

J.Pops Baby Donuts, 2 dozen ($13.10)

Someone stole a bite, before Ric could take this shot; the colorful tray can be quite tempting, yah?

Just when i'm getting pukish over the cloying effects from full-sized donuts, JCO baby donuts came round and savage the ruined relation. Remembered my first bite of JCO with repulsion, while Ric stood by in apprehension.

"... ... ... Yah. Nice! Can buy. I like it! Not that sweet and heavy; it's really quite nice!"

So this shot is taken of our second purchase from JCO; and i am so into donuts again.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

About Time (2013)

About Time Official Trailer

It's Valentine's Day and i want a romance story. Been a long time since a movie touch me; so much i want to pen it. And very rarely, a British production.

About Time is a well-acted and written story about time-travel, family and love; but doesn't make you wish to travel back in time to change your life. Think you want to relive any moments to make your life perfect? The movie simply inspires you to "Try to live everyday as if it's was the final day. My extraordinary, ordinary life." Some imperfect moments too, can be beautifully memorable - being drenched by strong wind and rain at your outdoor wedding...

If there's an opportunity, i would love catching this again - the second half of the philosophical movie, actually. The original movie soundtracks are nice too, listen to them here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's under the Moonlight

Bandstand at the Singapore Botanic Garden

I would theme this as a romantic evening.

In the natural setting of the Singapore Botanic Garden while being serenaded under a moon lit sky by the sweet singing from Wendy Chin, the "Karen Carpenter of Singapore"; music accompanied by Jordan & Friends - this is my idea of Valentine's Day.

Simple meal; a red bottle. A little wind moves the cloud and the moon sees us... By the light of the moon, we cuddled up to chat, or sway to the melody of "Top of the World".

安樂, An Lock Curry Rice

On our numerous visit to the North Bridge Road Market Food Centre, there's always this constant queue at An Lock Curry Rice. Without fail.

Today's late lunch doesn't give us much choice over their near empty trays; customers kept coming in to clear away their popular Char Siew, Pork Chop and stir-fried vegetable dishes. Just how can these familiar looking food tastes anywhere better?

Braised Tau Pok, Char Siew Roasted Pork, Sambal Eggplant 

 Pork Chop, Long Beans, Fish Cake

I tell you the food is really GOOD! And all at a humble $5, for these 2 plates. We shall be hurrying back soon; hopefully before 12 noon when the dishes were served dipping hot from the stove. That would have been fantastic!

What can i say? You come down for a try. No bluff you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vinglogg, IKEA - Aromatized wine based drink

Vinglogg from Germany, 92% red wine, 12% vol ($20, IKEA store)

Always wanted to savor this 'big-hearted' bottle from Ikea. The bottle reads "Aromatized wine based drink", and we know nuts about what that means. I only know you drink this during the Christmas winter, served steaming hot, or just as it is, which was great for our picnic since no chilling was required.

The mulled wine tasted pleasantly sweet with an aftertaste of nutmeg!? It was nice with a first glass then a second; but it being so different from our usual red wine, we just couldn't finish the bottle.

As a non-red-wine-drinker, Mom likes it. An Asian woman, she accepts the weirdly flavoured wine with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. And says the drink helps her sleep well; unlike our usual red wine or alcoholic drinks that tend to keep her awake. Strange?

Undoubtedly, it was really interesting to finally taste this traditional Christmas drink from Germany. Yeap. You should get a bottle too.

Xin Yi Pin Catering, the Imperial Menu

Yam Ring with Prawns

A reduction of budget from last year's order of Xin Yi Pin's Emperor Menu ($14.90+), this time we are on their more economical Imperial Menu ($11.90+).

But, maybe it's the wrong choice of food selection ('Paper Wrapped' - Aluminum foil-wrapped Chicken and Baby Kai Lan are not in pictures), or the cutting down on ingredients, we are just not enjoying the meal as much as the previous. The Yam Ring tasted especially disappointing as it was primarily clustered with cauliflower, with so little of prawns..

Edible food; tight spread for 25 pax. Make sure you order enough to feed your guest.

Vietnam Spring Roll, with Sweet Potato

Deep Fried Ee Fu Mee

Vegetarian Fried Rice

 Mongolia Pork Rib

Steam Assam Fish with Pineapple

 Salad Prawns with Cocktail

 Mini Fruit Tarts and Portugese Egg Tarts

Thursday, February 6, 2014

李貴(亞蟹), Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant since 1968

Teochew Raw Fish

Hearing so much about the legendary Lee Kui Teochew Restaurant from TV foodie programmes, i had very much looked forward to tonight's Chinese New Year dinner ($468++ set menu); with a hidden agenda of scouting a good Teochew restaurant for Ric, where they just might serves a nice rendition of his favourite Teochew raw fish.

The 8 course dinner was near perfect; ruined by the raw fish - fishy tasting sashimi; even someone with a cat sense like myself doesn't appreciate it. Watch this, Lee Kui - overlooking the little things might just cost you the reputation as a reliable, old time Teochew restaurant.

Combination of 6 Dishes 
(Chicken Nuggets in Seaweed Wrap, Salad Prawns, Smoked Duck, Century Egg Jello, Prawn Balls, Jellyfish)

Steamed Sea Bream Hong Kong Style

Crab Meat & Fish Maw in Thick Soup

Teochew Duck Meat with Braised Beancurd

Boiled Live Prawns

Abalone w/ Sweet Bean and Asparagus

Yam Paste w/ Ginko Nuts

Sunday, February 2, 2014

National Orchid Garden!

The National Orchid Garden in Singapore Botanic Garden is the last tourist attraction on my mind, if you asked me before today's visit. This garden is truly amazing! I think every visitors to Singapore should visit the 3 hectares land for its hundreds of orchid species and hybrids! And all at an under-value admission charge of just $5 for adults!

I have never witness so many fascinating species of the orchid hybrids! It'll be a shame to visit the Gardens by the Bay but missed this small, stunning place.

These colorful hybrids that greeted us around the ground are considered the common species? Just wait till you see the below ones from the VIP and Celebrity Orchid Gardens!

Dendrobium Masako Kotaishi Hidenka
- named in honour of  Princess Masako of Japan to commemorate the royal wedding with Prince Naruhito in 1993.

Dendrobium Faisal El-Fayez
- named after His Excellency Faisal El-Fayez, former PM of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon during his visit on 19 June 2004.

Spathoglottis Philippe 'Mathilde'
- named after Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium during her visit on 27 Nov 2008.

Ascocenda Yingluck Shinawatra
- named after Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, PM of the Kingdom of Thailand during her visit on 8 Dec 2011.

Renantanda Akihito
- 'an apt bloody red orchid', named in honour of Emperor Akihito of Japan during his visit in 1970.

Next, comes my favorite orchid - Vanda Miss Joaquim. The first orchid hybrid to be described from Singapore; and selected to be the National Flower of Singapore in 1981. It was thrilled to finally meet the real flower. It is beautifully gracious!

Venda Mimi Palmer

Then, never ever missed smelling this sweetly scented flowers when you locate it! This hybrid registered in 1963, has strong markings on the flowers that are considered a breakthrough in the Vanda breeding!

And there are the "Tan Hoon Siang Mist House" and the Cool House where these delicate hybrids are sheltered. All in all, you'll need at least 2 hours to tour the National Orchid Garden entirely!