Saturday, May 31, 2014

Rock Sugar Lemon Drink (Hot/ Cold)

It's the season for influenza; and Ric always join in. 

You know how these big guys when not feeling well, always reject your offer of everything that you promises to make them feel better? This is one drink Ric can be coaxed to; and enjoys it. Do remember to have enough food at hand, as this lemonade will be making the men hungry.

4 pcs    China Rock Honey Sugar
1 pcs    Lemon (wash and dry)
1/4 pcs    Ginger, thinly scraped/sliced (optional)

1. Wash and dry a clean glass bottle.
2. Wash and dry the lemon. Sliced it up.
3. Stack the honey sugar and lemon slices in the bottle. You can add in the ginger slices at this stage.
4. Leave the bottle on the kitchen table for 1-2 days, until all the rock sugar melted into a beautiful golden color. Then you store it in the fridge until you need it.

We love to make this as a warm beverage. Just 2 slices of the lemon and 4 teaspoons of the melted sugar does a cup. For that added punch, hand crushed some fresh peppermint leaves and top it all up with hot water. Now you have your very own lemon syrup!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Curry Times, 咖喱时光

Sambal Prawn ($15.90++)

The waitress was beckoning us into the restaurant while i was still perplexing over their large signboard that market the Curry Times as the "Best Curry Restaurant"; for it was difficult to imagine having some best curry experience in an air-conditioned modern mall.

Our good curry trips were usually transpired in humid eatery with sweat trickling down our brows.

Curry Fish Head, half ($28.90++)

As luck would have it, the curry was indeed forgettable albeit the fresh Angoli fish head. Otherwise, it was a satisfying lunch out with delish sambal prawns and greens.

Making it better, the restaurant is superb accommodating to our cheery bunch with sound of boisterous laughter! Good times at Curry times...

Oyster Sauce Kailan ($5.90++)

Sambal Petai ($6.90++)

Bandung with Basil Seed, Honey Lemon with Aloe Vera

Thursday, May 29, 2014

鼎泰豐, Din Tai Fung

Fried Rice with Eggs ($7.30++)

We never fail to wonder, "Why the perpetual queue outside Din Tai Fung restaurant, always?" Simple and pretty decent food with mid-range pricing might be the reason - the limited menu was quoted by many as boring, but it does make ordering easy which the men appreciate very much, right? My group of guys has been revisiting.

Every table seems to be having their Oriental Salad in Special Vinegar Dressing ($4++) as the appetizer; while i was looking forward to their 18-folds Xiao Long Bao dumplings. One bite and hot juices ooze out, also with traces of crab roe but i remain unimpressed. The taste is very much forgettable. I can't be reminded of that intense flavor from the crab roe Xiao Long Bao from Nan Xiang Xiaolong Mantou in Shanghai, China.

The dumplings played only the supporting. Our guys love to order their fried rice; refusing the noodle. Between 4 of us, we shared 2 servings of it - one was just the plain fried rice with eggs and spring onions; the other plate which i calculated to be more value for money, has a thick slab of luscious pork chop throw in at just $10.80++.

Steamed Crab Meat and Pork Dumplings, 10 pcs ($14.30++)

Steamed Shrimp and Pork Shao-mai, 10 pcs ($14.80++)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

福星菜馆, Hok Sing Eating House

Prawn Paste Chicken ($20), Fragrant Vegetable Bean Curd ($20)

Hok Sing at Commonwealth Crescent is our Plan B; Plan A, the Two Chefs Eating House is closed for renovation. Hok Sing is regrettably second-rated.

Your best bet would probably be their fried chicken and bean curd which were the favorites today. The coffee pork ribs ($18) were rather sweeten; and we have oil-soaked claypot brinjals ($12) and Malay kangkong ($12) vegetables. If you can help it, don't order the toughly fried salted egg sliced fish ($18).

It's business today. A humdrum hour of talking shop over unappetizing lunch... 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Clementi Tian Seng Fried Chicken and BBQ

Chicken Cutlet ($5)

One would never think of ordering from Tian Seng's unattractive stall which have their signboard hand-written. If it wasn't from friends' earnest intro, we wouldn't been here - some of the most remote part in Clementi, at Blk 308, Ave 4 where the road to the S21 Kopitiam ends in a dead end.

Friends gave their two cents' worth on the Chicken Cutlet. "Must try!" They had said. And our heart sank when we saw the dry and tough looking fried meat (fried cutlet has never been my cup of tea). Proceeding, we were delighted by the succulent chicken piece! For once, i preferred cutlet to chicken chop.  

The cutlet deserves a second. Quiet dining in a tranquil neighborhood and ease of parking here are the extra bonuses.

Chicken Chop ($5)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Bio-essence Basic Face Care

Face Lifting Cream, 10g 
Radiant Youth Essence, 5ml 
Deep Moisturizing Cleansing Foam, 100g

Blogging about beauty products; it is truly difficult to judge the effectiveness of it without running our skin under microscopic lens. I usually decide my support for the product based on the comfort of application and after-skin-feel, that's it.

This month i got to try Bio-Essence, our very own Singapore branding which was established in 1985.

1. Bio-Essence Youth Essence - This is rich but super absorbent! I can even use it on a warm, humid day without sweating on a sticky face! The skin seems to lock in the essence and feels hydrated and powdery smooth. Soft to touch, almost immediately. I love this.

2. Bio-Essence Face Lifting Cream - This is very oily. Not for application if you are venturing to the outdoor. But it does feels effective; the skin feels bouncy even after that evening wash-off. Perfect for the dry air of air-conditioned office, it helps preserve my skin throughout the day.

3. Bio-Essence Deep Moisturizing Cleansing Foam - It feels luxurious doing the simple face wash every time. The foam is fine and gentle; and there seems to be 'bubbles' cushioning my rough palm and the face. It feels great. The facial skin felt clean, yet softly moisturized. I can skip the moisturizer if i'm staying indoor, in non air-conditioned room. Just a light pat of my Olay White Radiance Cellucent Essence Water after wash, will do. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

荣和, Eng Ho Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

Before we could leave Teck Ghee Square hawker centre in peace, a very busy food stall caught our attention. They are the fried Hokkien noodle featured in the 2nd installment of "Where the queue starts", and that was like few years back!

We reckon the cook must have been much dependable; given his surrounding tables of loyal customers. So we place an extra order of dinner to stuff our already bloated tummy; never regretting the savouring of the bountiful prawn essence in every mouthful. Can you see some of the beautifully charred noodles by the fierce fire? And few hawker does vermicelli for this dish nowadays - the bee hoon giving it the correct texture.

Fried Hokkien Bee Hoon Mee ($3)

汕源, San Yuan Gourmet - $2 Noodle Soup

Fishball Noodle, dry ($2)

Everybody's complaining about rising food prices. It is very true, that even buying raw ingredients from the market to do our own cooking is hurting mom's purse. Not mentioning, eating out at hawker centres where $3 is the norm for a simple meal - clear soup noodle.

How luxurious does one wants their fishball noodle? I just crave for a serving of lightly savory hot soup, fresh crunchy fishballs and al dente noodles - satisfying our unsophisticated needs at a 24hrs stall in Blk 409, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Teck Ghee Square hawker centre.

Remember their Laksa too, with loads of fresh cockles! and soft-boiled Tau Pok! Support! Support!

Laksa Noodle ($2)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dim Sum at Canton Paradise, and Peking Duck Promotion

Roasted Peking Duck, whole ($58++)

Canton Paradise is where the office loves to entertain - welcome, farewell and birthday lunches.

Everyone, particularly loves their roasted Peking duck which i too agrees. And was always secretly praying for a larger serving of their springy Yee Fu noodle with the duck meat, it was addictive.

Braised Yee Fu Noodle with Shredded Duck Meat ($10++, with order of Peking Duck)

While the office (made up of mostly guys) preferred fried dim sum, i thought their steamed entrees were much excellent. Maybe it's the oil used, i quickly develops a bitter aftertaste when we returns to the office. Sipping my favorite warm honey lemon drink from the restaurant didn't help.

Even the supposedly fragrant Osmanthus cake with water chestnuts were greasily pan-fried ($4.20++). Their crispy BBQ honey pork bun ($4.80++) does it so much better.

Nevertheless, Canton Paradise does offer some fine Cantonese fare with their best from Hong Kong - very much a roast specialist, but aren't a Dim Sum guru with their lardy pastries and fried.

Pan-fried Radish Cake ($4.20++)

Baked BBQ Pork Pastry ($4.80++)

Steamed BBQ Honey Pork Buns ($4.20++)

Custard Salted Egg Buns ($5.20++)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Delifrance Sandwiches - Oh! It's been too long...

Baguette Sandwiches with Seafood D'sire and Tuna D'licious (background), with thick Coffee Black

Why has we took this long time to revisit the simple Delifrance sandwich?

Price factor. With Subway coming in, offering much affordable and healthy sandwich choices; we simply jumped on the bandwagon. Even my neighborhood Delifrance closes down for a new Subway outlet!

But you can see how popular Delifrance still is, when they ran a $5.50 meal promotion with Groupon. It was sold out within days. Between us, we bought 4 vouchers, or possibly more.

It is a nostalgia for my first Delifrance sandwich in 1997. Often working late nights, my senior would suggest a Delifrance meal when we got bored with hawker takeaways. Fresh graduate like myself, certainly felt grown-up and fab to munch on sandwiches dinner. Today's proper sit-down lunch with mom tastes just as very good!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2011 Grand Jacques Cabernet Sauvignon vin 188

Grand Jacques Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5%  vol. (HK$116)

Friend brought few bottle of these from Hong Kong for our gathering this afternoon; cited we couldn't get the vintage in Singapore. Can we?

Benefiting Hong Kong exchange for the nice flavour of this rich and elegant wine makes it worth the trouble of bringing it over. If you find this in Singapore, let me know, ok? Yes, i want to buy.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Bakes at Crusty Oven

Cherry Brandy ($6.40), Baked Banana ($3.80), Oreo Cheesecake ($3.50)

I have to buy a $8 for $16 voucher for some pies at Crusty to realize that not all pies are created equal; some are more equal than the others.

The priciest cherry brandy pie which the stall lady recommended was a disappointment; it was dry and flaky. In contrast, the humble banana pie which Ric picked, was deliciously moisten.

The Oreo cheesecake was by far, our strangest tasting cheesecake - it has the rich look of an American cheesecake, but tasted and smell so weak; it even turned slightly icy after we left it in the fridge for the night - water in cheesecake!? Forgive me.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

韩江鱼汤, Han Jiang Fish Soup

Late lunch on a Sunday; we want to decide on something fast.

Spotted this really long queue as we drove into Blk 409, Ang Mo Kio Ave 10, Teck Ghee Square  hawker centre and i decidedly joined the line. Lucky we did; we were their last customers this afternoon as they declined new orders - explaining their near consumed fish broth.

Fish Meat Porridge ($4)

Good choice to follow long queues. It was satisfying biting into these thick slices of beautifully cut fillets! Wonderful, with a dipping sauce of cut chili and salted soy beans. The soup comes with lots of greens and seaweed and tastes on the sweeter side; while i had preferred a savory broth.

Still, we shall return for their thick fish slices, but most probably not the fish heads.

Fish Meat Bee Hoon Soup ($4)

Batang Fish Head Soup ($4)

Bio-Life, 100% Pure Tea Tree Oil

26 Apr 2014, Sat

Woke up on Saturday morning and hurried to check at the mirror - cos i was amazed to feel my stubborn pimple finally subsiding! Just after 1 night application of the Tea Tree Oil! 

You had no idea how disturbed i was when this pimple stayed for weeks and refused to go away by itself - which it usually does. Being such a pig head, i refused to apply my trusty Hazeline Snow cream. Then every salesperson i met during this period tries to recommend products for pimples! That was when i realized how glaring my redness was. Believe me, it was a swelling red, much worse than this first photo. I became desperate.

No stinging pain when i first dripped the oil onto my broken pimple that Friday night. Just a little stinging followed by an amazingly cool peppermint sensation; i was grateful. A few more applications on the weekend while i left the pimple alone on the busy work week, checking back and administering it only on the weekends. See it is healing? Slowly but surely.

4 May 2014, Sun

11 May 2014, Sun