Saturday, February 28, 2015

海春板面, Hai Chun Ban Mian - Fresh fish slices in one of Singapore's most quiet corner

Ban Mian ($2.80)

Fish Porridge ($3.50)

Strictly speaking, you wouldn't recommend this stall (#01-06 in Blk 1A) in the categorizes of gourmet food, but the faithful stall which stays open during the Chinese New Year festive and offers large serving of their mains with fresh fish slices clearly won our hearts. This is also some quiet dining in laid-back Tanglin Halt Food Centre. You go slow on weekends, don't you?

Being one of Singapore's most remote hawker centre, business is good at Hai Chun; many residents going for their fresh fish slices vermicelli soup/ or porridge, dine-in or packing away - that's how the stall caught our attention actually.

We enjoyed their slurping hot Ban Mian equally; their fried dumplings were just to fill the gap of the overly healthy dinner.

Fried Dumpling ($4)

Rare Looking Blooms - you don't see on the streets of Singapore

The Chinese Lunar New Year bought us back to beautifully flourishing National Orchid Garden; admiring the beauty of flowers is quite a New Year thing to do as we welcome Spring. You may have notices the sculpture - this being the year of the goat.

Having blogged about the orchids here previously, let's just look at some amazing plant species which we are seeing for the first time. And i was surprised that these which flourish under full sun condition, were not planted along the Singapore's roadside?

Callistemon citrinus 'Little John'

Callistemon citrinus 'Little John' - A small bushy shrub 1-2 metres tall; blue/green foliage. Masses of amazingly soft, red brush flowers sprouting from individual speal that forms the sphere of blossom!

Acalypha hispida (Chenille Plant)

Acalypha hispida (Chenille Plant), Red Hot Cat Tail - A very striking plant with soft, bright red furry flowers that hang down like a cat’s tail.

Now, i couldn't locate the name of this tulip-like, dark red colored flowers plant with thick green foliage. It doesn't take our tropic heat, and so is staying comfortably in the Cool House. Pretty yeah! I will find out its name soon.

Bonsoy - best taste of packaged soy milk!

Organic Bonsoy, 1 litre ($8.95) 

Bonsoy is my best tasting packaged Soya milk! This Japan product comes with a heftier price tag too. But it sure tastes good - natural, full bodied with a subtle sweetness which further enhances its mellow aroma. I thought it is only second rated to mum's fresh grated ones from home.

If you aren't into fancy health terms like 'organic' or 'non-genetically modified' in your food list, try the NTUC Fairprice housebrand fresh Soya milk (1 litre, reduced sugar, priced at S$1.55) from the supermart chilled section. Be surprised by its richer 'beany' flavor when compared with other premium branding that is costing more.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flowering Fertilizer for Bougainvillea

With all rational, Bougainvillea easily blossom in the tropics, that includes Singapore. But in our house, they don't. We have the violet, yellow and pinky white; only violet's getting the neighbors' attention - it blooms all year, without fertilizing.

Well, that wasn't the case, many years back.
The yellow and white were doing really well back then, together with violet. Then we had them uprooted, shifted to the adjacent ground; that was when the 2 boycotted till today.

We tried several flowering fertilizer from Malaysia; helpful neighbor also chipped-in to provide good fertilizers, but to no avail. Until a leftover pack of "Flowering Fertilizer for Bougainvillea" from an old neighbor came along - an old and tattered plastic package, i disposed of it as soon as i emptied the bag to a container.

Little do i expect it to work this time! It all happened within 3 weeks, with 2 occasions of light rain and minimum watering, when we finally saw the precious sight of yellow and pinky white flowers. Reunion with violet!

Pity i fail to document this fertilizer that worked. I'm sure it wasn't Bougain which is advertising so aggressively. The packaging looked more local with a few Chinese wording; and its granular, red feeding looked just like the Serbajadi 48. I'll try source it out locally and post it here. Meanwhile, try using the remainder sparingly...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cupid’s Night Out at the Bandstand

Romance is in the crisp, fresh air.

Spent our second Valentine's Day attending a live concert at the Singapore Botanical Garden's bandstand; the atmosphere was magical, prettier than last year's, and looking carnival-like with the addition of colorful bulb strings. It was beautiful.

We watched and listened from this distance as the ground was rather pack, but it felt equally wonderful. With our shoulders touching, Shili and Adi, and Jocelyn Ong delivered familiar love tunes from the 70s.

Then fleeing, as Jack and Rai ascended the stage at the last hour, singing appallingly... ;)

254 Fishball Minced Meat Noodle, 鱼圆肉脞面

Fishball Mee Pok, dry ($2)

Would you believe a good $2 fishball noodle exists in year 2015?!

Yah, we knew about San Yuan Groumet $2 mee pok with fishballs; the ones here come with additional fish cakes and minced meat, not mentioning its large, bouncy fishballs! Furthermore, we like their hand-made-like noodle that is less yellow in color and cooked al dente.

It tastes deliciously old-school albeit the strong MSG; but i was overwhelmed with thrill for dining in one of Singapore's oldest hawker centre which retains its high ceiling design after several rounds of upgrading works. And the place is busting with energy, as busy shoppers does their marketing for the coming Chinese New Year!

Long breakfast queue at 254 stall (#01-32)

Friday, February 13, 2015

A LINE Characters Valentine's Day

McDonald's Forever Love Special Edition Box  (S$19.80; available with purchase of an Extra Value Meal™)

Ric left office without lunch, rushing to queue for McDonald's limited release of LINE Valentine's Day plushies - BROWN and CORNY. We both thought they are cute.

The animation of couple bear and rabbit are sweet and candid; even when they are in disagreement! Just as very different individuals who come together, we fought so much too. The cartoon illustrates our love relationship playfully and explicitly - we quarrel, we fought but staying very much in love...

Happy Valentine's Day, BROWN!
CORNY loves you too. Hehehe...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

驰名西餐, No. 1 Western Food

Pork Chop ($5)

Chicken Chop ($5)

Yay, we all know about famous "Chef Hainanese Western Food" at Blk 1A, Tanglin Halt Food Centre, but since they only open sharply at 6-thirty pm, and we were early, we could only turn to "No.1 Western Food" who is already up and serving, with a queue! 

The chicken chop was mediocre, but you could really give their pork chop a spin - i marveled its taste of a good roasted pork belly! With BBQ smokiness and lusciousness of a red meat slab. Just be warned that their simple sides only consist of thick cucumbers, tomatoes slices, fries and canned baked beans.   

I'll try their much faves about Chicken Cutlet, next. 

Neo Garden Catering

Neo's Deluxe B Menu ($15.99+ per pax)

Had always wanted to try out Neo Garden Catering again, because of their familiar surname; wouldn't you do such thing?

Food presentation and table arrangement were this pretty and neat that our expectations rose - Sin Chow Bee Hoon/ Thai Pineapple Rice, Chap Chye with Black Fungus, Cereal Fish, Signature Curry Chicken, Crispy Butter Prawn, Sotong You Tiao, Yam Ring with Prawn and Ice Jelly with Cocktail. We were silently hoping that none of them tasted too salty. But alas, wonder which of these pretty dishes gave us that after-MSG effect - so thirsty!

It is commendable that they uses 100% biodegradable paper/ plastic utensils.

Chap Chye with Black Fungus

Crispy Butter Prawn

Yam Ring with Prawn

Sotong You Tiao

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tiffany Cafe Revisit

Cakes & Dessert Counter

Tiffany Cafe is a well-known Halal restaurant in Singapore that serves reasonably priced buffet dinner at $59.80++ per pax; often with a 1-for-1 all year promotion. 

While Tiffany never does extensive buffet spread, we always appreciate their good quality fresh prawns and Salmon sashimi, which are our priority. There's definitely enough food choice which ranges from mediocre meat, fish and veg dishes; while i photographed just what i really enjoyed tonight - nice Hong Kong Dim Sum to note. Fairly standard fair of desserts.

Dining space was ideal though; we didn't have to wrestle large rowdy crowds, and sitting is cozily comfortable. Buffet table was constantly replenished; even at 9-thirty when we were leaving.

Beef Rendang, Roasted Potatoes with Herbs, Fresh Prawn and Salmon Sashimi

Steam Buns, Shrimp Dumplings, Japanese Sushi