Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Gold Class Experience - Unforgetable

Standard Price $39 (All days)

How many years later are we, to actually enter a Gold Class Hall? It was 1998, when Golden Village first opened a cinema at Great World City to include a Gold Class Theater. The more than tripled ticket price kept us away; we couldn't see anything past monetary.

At Vivo City, an exclusive ticketing hall directs us to a cozy waiting lounge where we rest and freshen up. Smiley attendants then ushered us into the theater when screening time nears.

It was a private world that we entered, calm and uncrowded. Blues and Jazz were playing. Carefully, we adjusted our roomy seats to recline at our comfort. With a touch of a button, we were lowered and a footrest extended! It was pretty delightful. We almost refuse to budge towards each other - we were enjoying the rare serenity, alone. We felt truly relaxed...

Then there is a wool blanket in the black cushion for the lady who often feels cold in a theater. At the call of a button, friendly waiter service offers you anything from a glass of premium wine, ice cream, warm snacks or simply the popped corns.

What's most applauded are the top range digital audio systems and wide screen that is explicitly placed to make you feel you are watching a mega TV screen in the living room! In funny moments, you'll feel free to laugh out loud, it was like watching a movie with just a few strangers. Although the hall was fully occupied, it feels intimate.

The experience tonight is memorable and magical. I'm looking forward to more of it, hopefully soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

美美, Mei Mei Satay at Haig Rd!

Pork, Chicken, Mutton Satay ($0.50 per stick), Ketupat ($0.60)

This is honestly our best taste of satay for a long time. The meat was thickly cut, made for very satisfying chew. It was like a bite into a succulent piece of steak, seasoned with spices. And having pineapple puree for our satay sauce is quite a perk these days.

Business is brisk at Mei Mei Satay in the Haig Road Market & Food Centre. We just managed to get their last piece of rice dumpling, with the mutton satay being sold out. But we'll definitely be returning to do a pack away for the family soon!

This is our dinner tonight, with a good Indian Rojak from the stall just behind. Go find it.

The Istana - Home to Rain Trees and LKY

Snaking queues for security checks at the Main Gate

This is our first visit to The Istana - the official residence and office of the President of Singapore, also the working office of the Prime Minister of Singapore. Singaporeans will forever remember our aching hearts when a gun carriage conveyed Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body from the Istana to Parliament House on Wed, March 25. That was the last time he is leaving the office he had worked all his life for this little red dot.

So when chances come for members of the public to register for SAF50@Istana, organised by the Singapore Armed Forces, i jumped on it. I want to see the ground the great man walked.

Singapore Crest on the Main Gate

Benches fabricated from timber planks recycled from the former National Stadium, as part of URA’s project to commemorate the national icon. For more information, visit http://ura.sg/pickabench

Visitors for the day took part in interactive games and activities, including flight simulators. Kids have fun with bouncy castles, face painting and have their photo taken with little SAF uniforms! While i enjoyed browsing through SAF artifacts on display and exhibits highlighting the SAF's contributions and capabilities, including stories of how past servicemen and women built the forces. Performances by the SAF Band and the Music and Drama Company kept us spirited.

Now i just wish children can be gentle to the badly scraped benches, designed and fabricated from timber planks recycled from our former National Stadium.

The Swan Pond - largest among the 4 ponds in the Istana grounds. So called because of the swans which inhabited it 
in the 1970s, it lies at two levels with an island in the midst of the main body.

Rain Trees lining both sides of Edinburgh Road shade the half-kilometre walk from the Main Gate to the Centre Gate.

The Istana Main Building

(Purple-Colored) Misai Kucing, Cat's Whiskers, 猫须草 at the Istana Front Lawn

Singapore's National Flower - Vanda Miss Joaquim at the Villa

Lastly, let me share this tribute song for Mr LKY... named '1965', the year of Singapore's independence. He had left us for four months now, but the feeling is still raw. Thank you, Mr Lee our nation's dad.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

南南, Na Na Curry Fish Head - from Marina South. Remember?

About 18 years ago. That's how long we last tasted Na Na Curry. Those days, we drove up to the undeveloped Marina South - a land covered with wide green fields where kites were flown, and dinners gathered at the many steamboat outlets. Large crowds will gather too, during the Fireworks Festival! Large empty carparks lots, strewed the grounds.  

The few restaurants and Kopitiam eatery like Na Na curry were like an oasis in the dessert then. With Marina South being redeveloped, we found Na Na in Blk 303 Jurong East Street 32 today - still ever popular with the office lunch crowd.

Claypot Curry Fish Head, big ($25), Rice ($0.50)

Curry Vege ($3)

The curry still packs a punch. Its mutton is well perfected, and crisp beancurd skin served atop the piping Curry Fish Head is so clever! But i guess people change.

We are now unthankful of the powdery taste of the curry - it doesn't rationale with plain white rice. I can't stop craving for their well-toasted baguette ($0.60) to go with the curry instead. It would have been heavenly!

Curry Mutton ($4.50)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

合家欢, He Jia Huan Ban Mian, Mee Hoon Kway - Tom Yum!?

We seldom come across Ban Mian stall that drew so such attention - always a crowd, a perpetual queue at its crammed corner in the spacious Kopitiam. Their specialties are the zesty Tom Yum and dry rendition, where dark soy sauce greases fresh, bouncy noodle.

The tasty soup was always served scalding hot, and its ingredients were of freshest standards - minced meat, meat balls, pork slices. My colleagues would always request for additional helping of their fried anchovies at 50 cents extra.

If you are anywhere near, do drop in at Blk 492 Jurong West St 41. You wouldn't be disappointed.

Tom Yum Ban Mian ($4.50)

Ban Mian, soup ($3.50)

Ban Mian, dry ($3.50)

U-Mee, dry ($3.50)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jurong West Claypot Curry Fish Head - About 30 Years Ago!

Claypot Curry Fish Head ($32 large. Prices start from $17)

The new project team comprises of mostly foreigners (China and Malaysian) whom are crazy over Singapore's Curry Fish Heads. So we decide to show them the good stuff - this Kopitiam stall in blk 492 Jurong West St 41. which has remained popular for its curry fish heads, all these 30 odd years!

And we were bowled over - succulent freshness of the fish, piquant and spiciness of the curry sauce that was 'just right', not overwhelming nor jialat, neither was it mild. You believe we emptied the claypot and asked for an extra bowl of curry for top up!?

Side dishes were mundane, save for the beansprouts with salted fish and pork lard!

Omelette Egg ($6), Xiao Bai Cai ($6), Salted Fish Beansprouts ($7)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Rasel Catering Singapore - since 1997

Italian Chicken Cacciatore; Fusilli Aglio Olio; Coconut Prawn topped with Laksa Leaves 

Desserts in Shooter Glasses.

Attending a full day conference at the NTU today. And we got served from a new caterer this time - the Rasel.

We had actually planned to skip lunch as such caterings were usually a mundane affair; but thankfully we did not. It was refreshing with their tasty Italian Chicken Cacciatore, Coconut Prawn topped with Laksa Leaves, Poached Spinach with Egg Trio in Oriental Style and Traditional Shepherd Pie filled with Country Style Chicken Filling!

The mundane made magical continued with desserts in shooter glasses - Yam Paste with Gingko Nut/ or savory Black Glutinous Rice with Coconut! It was thick and creamy as it should be!

Yes. This is the huge multitude they are capable of feeding today. Now Rasel is a good choice for consideration, if you are craving some element of surprise to your usual buffet fare.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

裕城肉骨茶, Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh - You have 2 choices here

Pork Rib Soup (small, $5), Preserved Vegetable (large, $3)

As far as we can remember, Joo Siah Bak Koot Teh - the Teochew pork rib soup stall was always packed with office lunch crowd. Dues to a forthcoming renovation of the Yuhua Market & Food Centre, the stall had since moved to the nearby Kopitiam at Blk 349, just beside the multi-storey carpark. Everyone managed to find them.

By our standard, Joo Siah can be the better ones around - peppery hotness in their soup, side dishes of nice mushy peanuts, flavorsome preserved vegetables and absolutely delectable braised pork belly are the very reasons for repeats. Without doubt, their soup left you fire in the belly.

You know there's another popular Bak Kut Teh stall in the vicinity? Located along the last row of stalls in the Food Centre is an age-old Hokkien pork ribs soup stall - lesser spiciness of soup but guaranteed freshness of their pork ribs, you taste it! They serve steam fish for a healthier option too. Make your choice.

Braised Peanuts (large, $3), Braised Bean Curd Skin (large, $3), Braised Pork Belly (large, $7)