Tuesday, December 29, 2015

S.E.A. Aquarium - of Sharks, Manta Rays, Tuna, Schooling Fish and Nemo!

Shark Seas!

S.E.A. Aquarium, the world's largest oceanarium opens in November 2012 in tiny Singapore, drawing huge crowds. Our first visit this evening as it extends its opening hours to 9pm from the usual 7pm; we prayed the place will be less crowded.

Shark seas greeted us at the entrance and got all of us awed! The gracefully swimming sharks stopped everyone in their tracks and lifted our gaze with slightly dropped jaws... Maybe i will even consider feeding myself to the sharks. They are majestic.

Below are some of my favorite shots and fishes.

Beautifully Crafted Aquariums

Goliath Grouper

Angelfish and the handsome Puffer!

'Finding Nemo'

Open Ocean

Now, the centerpiece of the Aquarium is the 18.2 million litre Open Ocean habitat which houses the world’s largest viewing panel (36 meters wide and 8.3 meters high)!

We had probably spend half our time here, gazing on the slow moving marine life - of gliding squadron of manta rays, glittering schools of scads, fusiliers and rainbow runners, gang of fat silvery tuna, more sharks and hammerhead, all coasting closely to the panorama panel, like we never exist. Seems to be reminding us, "Slow down..."

Before we called it a night, we visited the discovery touch pool to give a goodbye touch to the dark hairy pencil sea cucumber and the leathery knobbly sea star. The touch is most unforgettable.

Young Mata Rays in sync

Dance of the school of Scads!

Yong Tau Foo, SG50 建国时代

Last Sunday, long queue at this Yong Tau Foo stall caught our attention at the Bukit Merah View Food Centre. A newly opened stall that had quite won over the neighborhood as we saw many coming with 'tingkat' or containers for takeaway.

It is unsurprising for the stall's popularity because handmade Yong Tau Foo stall is hard to come by; especially one that is going for a song - $3 consists of noodle and 9 pieces of Yong Tau Foo! If this is too mild for you, go for their Ampang-styled Yong Tau Foo, named Yuan Yang ($6); or the deep fried platter ($4).

Having assurance of the homemade goodness, we returned tonight to a comfortable crowd for another MSG-free meal.

 Yong Tau Foo Bee Hoon, Dry/Soup ($3)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

崇正, Chung Cheng Chilli Mee

Prawn Noodle, dry - Chili Noodle ($4, M)

Some food got me excited all over again when i'm reviewing food photos for the blog. This is one of them. I was immediately reminded of the spiciness of the chili that was nose sniffingly hot! They don't call it chili noodle for nothing you know. The crunchy sweet prawns and meat-falling-off the bones pork ribs. It was yummilicious all over again.

I'm not a pork rib person. But i really like the pieces here. A stall from the era of our grandparents; you just got to get burn at least once.

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Monster in my Life

THE paradox of vengefulness is that it makes men dependent upon those who have harmed them, believing that their release from pain will come only when they make their tormentors suffer. In seeking the Bird's death to free himself, Louie had chained himself, once again, to his tyrant.


RESTING in the shade and the stillness, Louie felt profound peace. When he thought of his history, what resonated with him now was not all that he had suffered but the divine love that he believed and intervened to save him. He was not the worthless, broken, forsaken man that the Bird had striven to make of him. In a single, silent moment, his rage, his fear, his humiliation and helplessness, had fallen away. That morning, he believed, he was a new creation.

Softly, he wept.

- Laura Hillenbrand, November 16, 2010
(Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
Motion picture: Unbroken (2014).

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Nakhon Kitchen Pasir Panjang

Nakhon Kitchen, probably the most value for money Thai food we have in Singapore. So it explains the crazy long queue we saw at their main branch in Kovan! Even at all their branches. That clearly puts us off our visit to the cafe till today. Merry Christmas to you!

Our quiet evening was roused by the burning and biting from the Thai salad and soup! Seeking respite, we relished on the sweet pineapple rice and mildness of the fresh squids, scooping up spoonful of the basil favored gravy. Lovingly, we shared the plate of warm glutinous rice dessert.

Our Thai food meal in a long time and we do enjoy ourselves; making a mental note not to repeat the chicken dish.

Stir-Fried Squid w/ Hot Basil Leaves ($10)

Thai Mango Salad ($5)

Seafood Tom Yam Soup, Clear Base ($6)

Pandan Leaves Chicken, 4 pcs ($6)

Pineapple Fried Rice ($6)

Mango Sticky Rice served w/ Coconut Milk ($5)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yummy Delights 美食摊 - Fried Crayfish Tang Hoon

Fried Dong Feng ($4), Seafood Fried Rice ($4)

Business isn't good at this old stall which has seen its glorious days at Sixty Stalls (六十摊) Food Centre along Corporation Drive, where patrons filled tables with plateful of fried Crayfish 'Dong Feng' or Tang Hoon (a type of transparent vermicelli made from mung bean starch). It costs just $4 then, and serving was lavish with seafood! It was most memorable.

After relocation to the Taman Jurong Market Food Centre (#02-87) more than 10 years ago, the bustle is now gone. And we seem to be the only table of patrons for lunch today.

Fried Hokkien Mee ($4), and the entire spread.

It must have been difficult to maintain food standards when turnover is so low... But the seasoned chef relieves our worries with fresh seafood and proven recipe. Albeit the unsavory Hokkien noodle and modest serving which left us all still hungry.

Nostalgia bought us back here. And i'm just thankful that the old hawker is still in business.

Fried Chili Crayfish ($12)

Fried Hor Fan ($4)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

(Malin+Goetz) Apothecary and Lab. New York

Complimentary Tube Samples for Qantas Business Customers

It was year-end spring cleaning that got me to finish the Malin and Goetz sample tubes.

As promised, the face moisturizer and hand+body lotion are the non-sticky type that effectively coats the skin to protect yet doesn't feel a tad clinging or heavy. I emptied the entire tube of oil-free body lotion in 1 application; and the man who is in dire of gummy rubs, approves it. This is seriously one of the best that doesn't melt on you in the Tropics.

I adore its natural scents that quickly evaporate - it feels free and clean; not having to worry about stains on the clothes that will smell. The lotion causes zero epidermal irritation on my occasional sensitive skin, it feels really easy. Even when a speck of it sprayed into my eye, the stink quickly subsided!

A check on their website however, brought back the reality of cost for such exemplary product.

Monday, December 21, 2015

75 Ah Balling Peanut Soup

Normal Price: 4/ 5 Rice Dumplings in Sweet Soup ($1.70/ $2)
On Eve of, and Winter Solstice: 4/ 5 Rice Dumplings in Sweet Soup ($2.50/ $3)

I kept having craving for desserts these days.

This little stall in Golden Mile Food Centre may well be the oldest or best known name for the traditional dessert - glutinous rice dumplings in sweet soup, eaten on the annual Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi). The Dong Zhi is tomorrow.

We purchased a mix portion of dumplings consisting of crushed sesame, peanut, red bean and yam, all the 4 available flavors! The smooth and flavorsome yam is a delight. While option for spicy ginger sweet soup is not available dues to the busy festive. The peanut soup is slightly too sweet today, but i agree that's how traditional dessert should be. Sweet and bliss.

No matter how the human race advances in science; our food kept us grounded.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chateau de Candale Chateau Roc de Candale Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2001

Ever since Chateau de Clotte in 2012, i was introduced to France Bordeaux wine and has been fond of it for its subtle but distinct difference from Australia's red. Maybe our bottles of Bordeaux have always been mellow, earthy and easy.

This 2001 vintage from Chateau de Candale winery is 14 years aged. Have been meaning to enjoy the bottle sooner, but until now. Great color and nose; just a tad musty. Smooth tannins and delicious. A fine St. Emilion merlot.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Golden Prata, 华人煎饼!

Mutton Curry ($5), Large rectangular Mutton Murtabak ($5.50) below the Plain Prata

This is the prata that has stayed on my mind since.

There's the banana, cheese, mushroom and even mushroom + cheese prata. Having tasted them all, we knew the best way to enjoy the ultra-crisp prata was plain or blisteringly eggy! So this was exactly what we had today.

While we don't normally associate good roti prata with Chinese hawker, this stall in 252 Jurong East kopitiam is an exception. It does a rare rendition of the oil-fried pancake in its dry, crusty form. It is most unforgettable.

Plain Prata ($1.10)

Egg Prata ($1.60)

What's become of the Murtabak!

I was enjoying my prata, dunking every mouthful into the soft-melting mutton curry when i realized the guys had left a quarter of the Murtabak for me. They were all done!

Finding it too much of an all-flour meal, some savory Hong Kong dim sums and coffee from next door Tiong Bahru Pau were bought to enrich the meal. An absolutely perfect match!

 Deep Fried Yam Puff, BBQ Pork Puff, Fried Prawn Dumpling, Deep Fried Spring Roll ($1 per item)