Saturday, October 30, 2010

新尚中华小厨, Chinese Delicacies

Pan-fried Dumplings ($3.50)

This stall in NTU Canteen 1 was next to the popular China Cze Char. Many were observed ordering their steam Xiao Long Bao ($3.50 for 6pcs) in bamboo basket but we liked to try their Guotie dumplings today.

It was an oily affair; and hardly passable as a good 鍋貼 or Gyoza compared with many others we had. Neatly kneaded in was a recipe of Chinese Chive and Pork.

Next time, we shall review the 小笼包 ;)

Dinner @ Wan Chai Tea Room

Baked Spaghetti with Pork Chop ($5)

"Shall we try Wan Chai's baked rice or Western food? I think the Baked Spaghetti?" I suggested.

Now i shall tell you to steer clear of Wan Chai Tea Room, NTU outlet, safe only for their hot beverages and Chinese Noodles. As you can see from the picture above, the Portuguese Baked was obviously lacking in sauce. This baked befits a rude Halloween scare.

And its Pork Chop was made up of sauteed meat pieces; not a full slab Pork Chop albeit the generous portion. 

Beef Brisket Noodle ($3.80)

Their Chinese section serves so much better food! So far we have had the Wanton Noodles and Beef Brisket Noodles only, but they were all of flagship standards.

And at near half the pricing. Great value!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Tree or Shrub...

I've always love trees, more than flowers. Trees are great, magnificent; tall, towering, providing shades and oxygen generously. I'm kept calm and cool when surrounded by greenery...

Love it when my window has now been encroaches by the Orange Jasmine and Syzygium Campanulatum (known also as Eugenia oleina and Kelat paya). For these past 10 over years, the 3 metres tall Syzygium Campanulatum tree has been sheltering my bedroom's wall from the scorching evening sun, faithfully.

I fall in love with the tree, or shrub particularly for its new leaves of Autumn colors; in orangey red.

And when the tree flowered, it attract birds - 3 hummingbirds chirping happily, hopping about the branches and tugging at the blooms! I really don mind the damage ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CK Tangs' Birthday Treat

Another year had gone by; still holding on to my Tangs Visa Card that pampers its members with a 1-for-1 Birthday treats at Haagen Dazs Ice-Cream yearly :)

Banana Split ($18++) "A timeless creation of Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate Ice-cream served with caramel banana, strawberries and crispy waffle."

This is such a timeless classic! And once you tasted the combination of fresh Cream, Ice-cream, Chocolate sauce and Bananas, you would agree with me and even gladly pay the full price for this goodies!

Paradise ($18++) "Bliss in a heavenly dish of Dark Chocolate Orange, Belgian Chocolate, Tiramisu and Macadamia Nut ice cream, Raspberry Sorbet and Mango Sorbet with chocolate and strawberry sauce."

Paradise was built on 6 smaller balls of Haagen Dazs Ice-cream; luxuriously looking and would have taste truly heavenly if it wasn't imbathed in overly sweet and sourish Strawberry sauce... a tad tarty for us.

Still, we enjoyed Haagen Dazs experience; last year's blog convinced us to come back ;)

Crystal Jade Kitchen

Braised Pig's Fore Shank Noodle, 南乳猪手面 ($6.50++, before discount)

Stewed Beef Brisket Noodle, 柱候牛腩面 ($6.80++, before discount)

Crystal Jade Group of Restaurants never disappoint us in their food quality. Some outlets may have snobbish waitresses and their pricing may be slightly on the higher side but you could trust them with your palate.

Our bowls of stewed/ boiled items today were a refined melt-in-the-mouth...!

Having had a late breakfast; just before our movie in Junction 8 Mall, we decided to wait for the 20% discount promotion at Crystal Jade Kitchen which starts from 1430hrs to 1700hrs daily! That should help save on the GST and service charges :)

Seems we were not the only ones.

Reign of Assassins, 劍雨 (2010)

"我愿化身石桥,受五百年风吹,五百年日晒,五百年雨打,但求此少女从桥上走过­... "

"I had fallen for a girl..."
"How much you like her?"
"I wish i become a stone bridge, enduring 500 years of ruthless wind, 500 years of burning sun, 500 years of freezing rain, for as long as the girl walks across this bridge..."

Movie Trailer

The above were the touching verses from John Woo's latest movie Reign of Assassins that were etched in my mind... long after i left the theater. But how surreal is this degree of love in our sophisticated society...?

I had gone for the show in my admiration for the female lead actress, Michelle Yeoh. And she lived up to our expectations. Yeah, i don't like just pretty faces... Michelle has a classy aura ;)

After John Woo's box-office record for Battle at Red Cliff, the Reign of Assassins showcase sleek sword playing and a beautiful love story, on top of skilled cinematic craftsmanship. It's a "feel good" plot great for lovers and family viewing; pity for a missing love theme song to the motion picture though, else it would have touches more hearts.

Clitoria, Butterfly Pea

Clitoria Plant

It rained last night.
Seeing i was a little early for Ric; took my camera to snap some shoots of the Clitoria wildflowers i saw blooming yesterday evening :) Its first blooms since seeded 8 weeks ago.

The Clitoria or Blue pea flower, also popularly known as Bunga Telang (in Malay) or the Butterfly Pea, is a common ingredient used as natural food dye for making Nyonya (Peranakan) Kuihs.

A fast tropical climber plant that blooms all year, it grew wildly in Singapore's tropical climate; i had seen it frequent among the bushes of abandoned fields. Read here for good pics of it as a food dye.

These are the other two Wildflowers of Singapore that swept our garden grounds; i've yet to know their names... Do you?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Secret Recipe - Cappucino Cheese Cake

Cappuccino Cheese ($48.00+, before discount)

Today was an eventful day; receiving notice of some changes to my workplace and a proposed meeting with my Chiefs...

Despite all worriment, it was sweet console having the Cappuccino Cheese Cake that Ric had specially bought home. The blend of Coffee and Vanilla Cheese with Chocolate Rice on a layer of Chocolate Cookie base was a good change from plain Cheese Cakes. It has a delectable mix of both savory & sweet.

In celebration of Secret Recipe's 11th Anniversary, they have a selection of cakes offered at $28.80+ during the last week of October. We took advantage of it ;)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

G7 Vietnam Coffee

G7 3-in-1 Instant Coffee Mix

We had actually quit 3-in-1 coffee, shifting our focus on to bitter tasting dried freezed granule coffee. But 'somebody' smuggled a pack of G7 3-in-1 instant Vietnamese coffee in for sampling ;)

Mmmm... Vietnamese coffee. And I should say it's quite good. In simple terms, it was not as sweet as our usual 3-in-1, having distinct traces of caffeine bitterness albeit light tasting.

Yes, given a chance we shall try some authentic Vietnamese Ca Phe Phin with drip filter. At Trung Nguyen Cafe Liang Court, perhaps?

麻辣中国, China Cze Char AGAIN!

鱼香茄子, Fragrant Eggplant ($4) 

Forgive my repeated visit here; whenever we dinner out over the crowded weekends, i choose to retreat into the cool comfort of NTU canteens. No waiting in queues at Shopping Malls restaurants for us.

I reckon this stall in Canteen 1 specializes Sichuan cuisine although its signboard does not suggest that; its Signature dish does. And this Eggplant dish was one of the popular one that got sold out the other night! Today, we were early ;)

 香辣虾, Spicy Prawns ($8)

Spicy Crabs was what we had in mind initially, but they serve no Crabs today. So we settled for the Spicy Prawns which was also one of their trademarks.

The piquant dish, stir-fired with Onions, Celery, Peanuts and Dried Chili can be a complete meal on its own; it goes well with plain rice, or even Beer..

The Sudoku Bug

Sudoku from Tabla! Papers

It's been many years Sudoku game went widely popular, but i've only caught up with it this year! Believe me? Though Ric been nudging me years back to work my idling brains with Sudoku :P

Sudoku puzzle has become my favorite pass time for the weekends while i listened to Music. I don't enjoy doing it on-line, i prefer it on papers.

Started my groove from the ones printed on My Paper daily, till it bores me. I was gratified then to come across Tabla!, a Indian diaspora with 30,000 copies being given out freely on each Friday.

Tabla! thrills me with its challenging Sudoku layout! I perceives that Indian could really be better in Mathematics? Very much looked forward to their publication each weekends!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Greedy Dog's Love

Greedy Dog Milk Treats, 80g ($4.95)

This is my Jack Russell's favourite treat from Greedy Dog, newly available from our local Pet Lover's Centre.

Uncommon from most weirdly scented dog's treat, these from Greedy smells great! Smelling so delicious, it makes one wonder if they might be fit for human consumption also.

I've been using this bag sparingly while Mom's out of town this week. It's especially helpful for cheering my despondent dog who misses his dearest owner and help whets his appetite when he refuses food for days... After his treat, he would happily dig out his toy ball and play around me, groaning happily once again.

If you are interested, visit here to view the range of flavours Greedy Dog offers, at a cheaper price too. My doggie adores the Cheese and Milk flavored ones.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Triple Three @ Mandarin Orchard

Hong Kong Dim Sum and Japanese Chawanmushi

This is a buffet you wouldn't want to be late; Triple Tree Restaurant's lunching hours from 1200-1430hrs could barely accommodate our sampling of their wide spread International Buffet list. There are also queues to observe at their popular live-cooking counters - the restaurant has almost a full house today. 

Priced to pay: $65++ per pax. Optional free-flow drinks to be paid separately.
We were on Citibank 1-for-1 Oct promotion.

Japanese Sushi and Sashimi

Eggplant and Shrimp Tempura from Live-cooking Counter

Their Japanese entrees were reasonable good, with really fresh and tasty Tuna Sashimi you seldom find in buffets. Alas, we had no time for their Teppanyaki Grill station, Miso Soup, Takoyaki or Chilled Cha Soba.

Ham, Salmon cold cuts and Salad Greens

Fresh Seafood on Ice

I do not know if most restaurant practice this for their gimmicky 1-for-1 promotion. At Triple Three today, fresh Oysters were withdraw from their usual buffet list (and what other dishes? we do not know) and price of buffet upped from the standard $45++ to the now $65++ to offer you a 1-for-1??

Grill and Fried Snacks live-station

I can't resist the well-browned German Sausages and deep fried Potato Wedges with Chicken Karaage. There are even little tartlets of Scallop with Cheese.

Asparagus with Blue Cheese sauce had to be the healthiest item on this plate.

Roast Duck Noodle

Went to the Chinese Food cooking counter and asked the chef, "What do we have here?" The chef answered blankly, "What do you want? Noodles, roast duck?" "Both!" i said. So this was what i get instead of the Fishball noodles they were serving.

It was so good. The broth, and especially the roast duckie!

Premium Roast section - Tender Beef Steak

Ric enjoyed his Beef Steak while i got smitten with its flavorsome Broccoli, little Potatoes and Mushrooms sides. The steak got a little too tough and dry as you went on.

Nasi Padang Counter

I took a little of everything from the Malay Nasi Padang Counter. Superb tasting fragrant rice with green vegetables, Chicken Curry & Mutton Rendang. I must compliment the Prawn crackers; it was tongue-bitingly crisp!

Seafood with Sea Cucumbers and Cauliflowers

The buffet line has a long list of international dishes plying the lone corners and sides of their poorly lighted serving counters. You could easily miss them or find them totally unattractive.

Dimly lighted Buffet counters are something i can't understand, they made food look really undesirable. And Triple Three had their entire Buffet section dreary dimmed.

Soups, German meatballs, Soy-Sauced Chicken and many more exotically named dishes of seafood and farm fowls. But were all quite forgettable.

Red Bean & Vanilla Ice-cream (adds-on of Longan fruits)

 Assorted Cakes and Pralines

By the time we reached our dessert at 1400hrs; half hour before their closing the buffet bars, there was just the balance from messily cut up cakes. It still tastes good but aren't any photo-worthy.

But what was best, we were served Coffee.

So do we really need to go for lavish, expensive buffet? I think not.

The hullabaloo with the crowd, the vast spread of dishes you got to try and could not afford to go back to the ones you really fancy, having to miss live-cooking Pasta Corner and Teppanyaki Corner where there was always a perpetual group in front of the Chef, was not what i wish to go through for the second time.

Especially when the serving chefs were mostly unfriendly, in both their body languages and reluctance in answering your enquiry on their food offerings. Ignoring you even when you were hovering in front of their counters, looking lost yet intriguing.

Conversely, their junior waiters and waitresses were friendly and earnest.

I miss humble yet peaceable buffet experience with Saltwater Cafe and Creek, Melting Pot and Cafe Mosaic. Buffets i would go back to if i wasn't trying to blog on different buffet culture here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

French Vanilla Creamer

Nestle French Vanilla Creamer, 425.2g ($10)

Never mind the difference between Vanilla and French Vanilla; we just couldn't accept the Nestle French Vanilla flavor in our coffee. It makes our coffee tasted sweet while faint on milk essence..? Nestle addition of Sugar in the Creamer was quite a misconception, we thought.

We decided to give away the French Vanilla.

I read, "The term French vanilla is not a type of vanilla, but is often used to designate preparations that have a strong vanilla aroma, and contain vanilla grains. The name originates from the French style of making ice cream custard base with vanilla pods, cream, and egg yolks. Inclusion of vanilla varietals from any of the former or current French dependencies noted for their exports may in fact be a part of the flavoring, though it may often be coincidental. Alternatively, French vanilla is taken to refer to a vanilla-custard flavor." ~ Wikipedia."

Basil flowering...

With sweet breathing of my Basil plant, it had flowered.
First flowering, first leaves buds, i've captured it all on photos...

When a gauzy, purple butterfly,
Softly tilts a golden flower,
It's cool wings ease the summer flame
As laughter sooths a troubled hour.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nomos Glashütte

NOMOS Ludwig

NOMOS Glashutte watches are made in Glashütte, Saxony, Germany. And there are standards for Glashütte watches.

"A watch may not be sold as a “Glashütte watch” unless at least 50% of its caliber’s production took place in Glashütte: if a manufacturer buys 100 euros worth of parts elsewhere, then he must carry out at least 100 euros worth of work in Glashütte. Glashutte is home to four important watch companies. The other three are: A. Lange & SohneGlashutte Original and Muhle."

Looking extraordinarily simple and beautifully naked. We were drawn to the elegance of NOMOS's sleek, timeless design. Notice also the tempered blue steel hands.

The 35mm dia. Lidwig runs on a manufactory caliber with manually wound movement that's capable of 42 hours power reserve; and sits coolly on my small wrist.

What does NOMOS means?
In Greek, it's "Law" and "Order". I like that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

松记, Song Kee Fried Oyster

Oyster Omelet ($3)

If you were surrounded by the many stalls of Fried Oyster Omelet stalls in East Coast Lagoon Food Village and do not know which to order from, place your bet with Song Kee Fried Oyster - the one with most patrons.

Song Kee (No. 15) was an old tenant at East Coast and its generous portion at $3 with at least 5-6 Oysters was a good bargain. Yes, we packed another for takeaway ;)


It was quite sad to note that not all old hawkers at the East Coast Lagoon Food Village packs in the good stuffs, still.

Tonight, we had ordered from Ah Hwee BBQ Chicken Wings (No. 14) that tasted overly salted with their seasoning and Lagoon Leng Kee Beef Kway Teow Soup (No. 33) who entrusted our taste senses to MSG? It was so bad, my lips numbed while drinking from its Soup.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

道记, Toh Kee (Chop Hean Kuan)

Yam Ball ($0.80 per piece)

Mum told us that one of Grandfather's favourite was Fried Yam Ball; and it have to be from Toh Kee (#01-1018, People's Park Cooked Food Centre)

Remembering then, we bought Yam balls from 2 different stalls and could clearly distinct Toh Kee's from the other of Tiong Bahru Pau. We kept the ones from Tiong Bahru Pau and offer the better to Grandpa.

Toh Kee Dim Sum stall also includes Egg Tarts, Malay Cake, Charsiew Pastry, Pork Buns and a few other selections, but we championed its Yam Balls. It was the best we could find in Singapore..

The Tavern Pub & Restaurant.

Complimentary warm bread basket (with Butter and Olive Oil)

Ric said we should try the $50++ set lunches at The Tavern Pub & Restaurant...? But... it was expensive; i was repressive... At the end of our lunches, Ric high rated it as an exquisite dining experience.

So, maybe you could be the judge? I was impressed with the Rib-Eye steak though; never had i managed to finish a whole beef steak until today, here.

Escargot with Mushroom in Cream and Toast.

Avocado Prawn Salad

The 3 courses set lunch comes with a choice of 5 Appetisers (Soup, Salad, Toast), 3 Mains (Beef, Pork, Seafood), 2 Desserts and Coffee/ Tea Options.

We choose the most interesting 2 Appetisers and had Rib-Eye steaks for Main.

U.S. Rib-eye Steak with Baked Potatoes and poached Vegetables

Baked Potatoes

Baked Pineapple topped with Vanilla Ice-Cream

Mango Pudding topped with plump Lychee fruit

Coffee set with Sugar & warm Milk

At the end of the meal, i was no longer feeling the pinch for the dollars spend; comfort and easy dining environment, good service, exquisite food quality. Foods taken in positive spirits are good for the soul...

And priceless when you got to enjoy quiet, quality time with your loved ones. Right?

(DBS/ POSB Cards are currently running a 1-for-1 Set Lunch promotion at $60++ here.)