Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aloe Vera Hair Care, DIY

Young Aloe Vera - for Nic's home

Ric is putting in the extra hours in overtime this New Year's Eve while i tried keeping myself busy.

Was gardening and trimmed the young Aloe of 5 thin leaves - as i always does, slicing the leaves open, applying the slimy gel directly onto the hair and scalp. Made more cuttings on the exposed flesh which in turn produces more gel and runs my coated fingers through the short hair, massaging the scalp.

Never forget to leave some aside for facial mask.

This is not any hair treatment that Spas and hair salons might fuss over, preferring to use their purest Aloe Vera products, working immediate magic to your hair. This simplest DIY you could do for yourself; leave the layer on over the afternoon and shampooed out by the evening. Especially helpful after my morning dip in the chlorine pool which left me a head of barded wires. The entire DIY feels pure and unprocessed.

Happy Christmas! Peaceful New Year!
Healthy Hair!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Manhattan Fish & Cheese Promo

Manhattan Fish 'n Chips, Cherry Snapper ($13.90++)

This is almost an impossible lunch date with Ric as his work schedule spills over to my off days and weekends as the year end approaches!

We were at City Square Mall to enjoy 1-for-1 set of lovely Cherry Snapper fillet drizzled with garlic herb sauce by flashing their promo poster from the Manhattan's facebook page. It made me rethink about the similarly priced Dory fish fillet at the Swensen's..

And i think i'm falling for something so sinful that i shouldn't - CHEESE potato fries with dusting of Cajun powder!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Buds & Blooms!

Papaya flower

This may not be your first time seeing these blooms but it is for me. How pretty and dainty the waxy flower of the Papaya looked in the morning sun!

These strange December days had been swept by heat waves following weeks of rain and we were watering the young growth, making sure they survive. So it's an extra bonus that they blossom.

Then this is the hairy Honey dew melon fruit and its graceful yellow flowers that are spawning the ground! It's interestingly amusing that the young fruit is all finely furry; i love its touch ;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Samsung Family! with the 8.9" Tab

Samsung Tablet 8.9" ($680)

The Samsung family is growing! We collected Ric's new 8.9" tablet on Christmas's eve, in replacement of his 7" Tab. The bigger screen is great fun to play with and makes emailing such a breeze with the larger display!

But by press time of this post, Ric had sold the gadget and opted for status quo. Why? The higher screen resolution has a much smaller layout for some pages that makes it a really onerous task to read; pages that can't be zoom in. And it seems even a guy finds the size of the near 9" a tad heavy and oversized.

So the 7" Tab and MacBook Air service the man's mobile office for now.
Guys too like it light ;)

Honey House - Italy Candy

Honey House Italy Candy, 130gm ($7.50)

As we need to depart early after the dinner, Nic gave out Christmas presents the couple bought for everyone - Italy Honey Candy! It is a thoughtful and pretty gift, why didn't i think of that?

The lovely pink box with yellow ribbon makes a cheery presentation for the celebratory occasion while the Ambrosoli's honey filled candies are wholesome and nectarous! Yes, i like it a lot; just popped one of the classic flavor and it tasted just like a slurp of real honey!

Will take my time to savour the box of 30 pcs assorted (Classic, Balsamic, Latte, Gelee) candies.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Dinner!

God bless! Our cosy dinner that Nic and wife put together for the families of 10 (with some being overseas).

Christmas grilled Turkey ($80) from the American School in Woodlands sits at the table centre with Chestnut stuffing and Giblet gravy by the side. We enjoyed the juicier grill this year compared with the previous and we had several helpings!

Mutton Briyani Rice, pan-fried Sotong balls, French fries while Sis prepared Japanese hand rolls and i did some sausages and salad.

My plate; first plate... with more to come :) Yumm.

And Nic insisted i took a picture of his first try at making the Longan almond jelly ;) we have to agree it's a successful attempt - not bad for one who's going to be a father soon but acted like a kid who fought with me over the picture taking angles. Haha.

Swiss bake Dark Chocolate Yule Log Cake, 500gm ($24.40+)

Everybody was happily bloated without having the log cake, so Nic cut and packed it separately for our takeaway enjoyment. That's my Bro!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

岑记, Sum Kee Food

, is such rare surname. And we've never heard of Sum Kee Food, didn't know they are sited at a secluded yet exclusive site with their very own free parking lots. What i really like is their mini garden and efforts to green up the place.

Today, we planned for some Curry Fish Head that's subsidised by Street deal's dining coupon.

Ngor Hiang ($8)

The Ngor Hiang or five-spice sausage roll which contains bite sized shrimps are quite a delight, one of the best we've had. But none beats grandma's, of course.

Then comes the bubbling claypot that was kept warm by a lighting candle underneath... let us find the diving 1/2 fish head.

Curry Fish Head ($22, $10 after discounted by voucher)

Here! A pot of well spiced yet gently piquant curry that Ric agrees with; coupled with taste of sweet sauce from crunchy Ngor Hiang, it is enjoyable while we sweat, eating. 

Yumm... But we had wished the fish head was fresher though.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mackie's of Scotland

Mackie's of Scotland and Kettle Brand Chips (2x150g for $6.35)

Bought these potato chips from the Robinson's Expo Sale; having tried & tested Kettle, we were mostly snapping up the Mackie's from Scotland.

One characteristic of such expensive potato chips is that they're made directly from real potatoes and are tough and no good for weak tooth. Else you should be enjoying a good savory crunch of the thick potato slices.

Reasonable salted, we cleared out a pack pretty fast; and i had thought i was over my chips enslavement?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Skool for Ice-cream

A nice toasty waffle just out of the hot pan!

Boy! I was impressed that this small HDB shophouse in remote Tampines meant business when it comes to waffles making! Skool serves real "deep-pocket" Belgian waffles of the thickest slab!

Double Scoop Ice-cream with Waffle ($8.40)

And the 2 giant scoops of gelato ice-cream (choose Lime and Green Tea flavor) was more than enough to fill each pockets over the brim - it was joyous! But i wished Ric had help decide on the ice-cream flavor, i was rather clueless over the many choices; Strawberry shortcake sounded nice right?

The dessert was just $3.90 out of our pockets - a shame that only 73 deals were sold on Superdeals! If i knew it was this good, i would have brought more! Next time. Any chance?

Guang Xing Fish Soup at Changi Village Food Centre

Fish Soup ($4)

"Mmmm... ... ... Changi Village Fish Soup?" Ric suggested.
"Oh, yes. Yes! YES! Yeah! How can i forget? Because it's such a distance but Yes... yes, yes!"

It's been much too long since i last tasted the good old fish soup.

Sambal Fish Head ($10)

"I just need the fish soup, you can decide on anything else", in my rare decisiveness. So Ric ordered their sambal fish head with loads of bitter gourd to go with our rice.

I just need the fish soup. Yes!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bodum Double Wall Glass!

Assam by Bodum, 0.25 l, 8 oz ($44.80, set of 2)

Dad had taunted as i ogled admiringly at the newly purchased Bodum mouth blown glasses; had always wanted to own one of these beautiful double wall glasses but was beaten by the sheer expense.

This month though, you could own it at a discounted price of $19.80 with $30 purchase in a single receipt from the Cold Storage Supermarket ;) So Ric got me this pair of handiwork.

Apart from the fact that it looks absolutely elegant holding colored liquid in "suspension", i love its cool dry touch (whether you are serving cold or hot drinks), blocking condensation. And i was surely amazed that the ultra light weight glass could withstand the dishwasher, freezer, microwave, oven!? A Switzerland design.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bak Kee Teochew Satay Bee Hoon

While i was sitting down comfortably, looking at the stall selling some nice $1 rice dumplings, Ric was in the snaking queue in front of the Satay Bee Hoon stall at the Redhill Food Centre.

Satay Bee Hoon ($3)

It was indeed a nice delectable plate of satay bee hoon, well worth the wait; with the right consistency of satay sauce and freshest ingredients. You don't find that many stalls selling these right?

Coming from the West, you can get this good stuff from the coffeeshop at 347, Bukit Batok West where their other relative runs the show - can't really tell their difference, i tell you.

Cheapest Rice Dumplings - $1

Meat Dumplings, Nyonya Dumplings ($1 each)

Hey! This is undoubtedly the country's cheapest rice dumplings; as rising commodity prices become a permanent feature of the new global economic landscape. And it is of a respectable palm size. Our next question would be the taste right?

We bought just 3 meat dumplings and the entire car was filled with its aromatic whiff; that had quite won us over but it wasn't until we unwrap for a bite... i finds it very acceptable with regards to its mild seasonings. Ingredients wise, you can't demand for lots given the little price but we have everything a traditional dumplings should have - lots braised meat, a chestnut, mushrooms. Much identical to that from the Ang Mo Kio Nonya Kueh which i have a photo to show for.

This is 福明熟食, Fu Ming Cooked Food at stall 49 in Redhill Food Centre - they've been on TV for their popular dish of fried carrot cake but we found it too MSG to like it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thalappakkattu Dum Biryani

The nice restaurant named after "Thalappakkattu Biryani", a popular rice preparation in Tamilnadu state of India. House proud owner helpfully explained their traditional cooking of Jira Samba rice, aromatic spices, cashew nuts and meat ingrediants cooked on Dum over slow heat.

You should notice the smaller grain size of their premium Jira rice that's approximately 1/3 size of Basmati. When cooked it is less fluffy and thus absorb very much less Ghee, making it a really healthier meal.

You know, we pay just $8 for this set!
It's on a 1 for 1 Chicken Dum Biryani promotion with Outlet voucher.

I always loves to have these chilled creamy yoghurt sauce! It comes with shredded onions, carrots instead of the usual cucumbers. Then there's another 2 daal recipes that taste delightfully of coconuts and chicken with lentil beans!

Chicken Dum Biryani, Drumstick ($7.90), Mutton Dum Biryani ($8.50)

We topped up just $0.50 for a change from a chicken biryani to mutton, each comes with an hard boiled egg. And we like the mutton bowl that's a more flavorsome one.

I wished i had bought 2 vouchers for this superb-value promotion.

Burger King Breakfast Platter

Burger King Breakfast Platter ($6.95)

All these raining, don't you wish to stuff yourself on rich food and hot drinks in the freezing morning?

Having one of the best deal from Gobbler, i gobbled up 6 vouchers of their joint promotion with Burger King - just $3 for their new breakfast platter set with includes a smoked chicken frankfurter, grilled tomato, turkey ham and cheese omelet, hash browns, croissant bun and cup of Seattle's Best Coffee!

Quite unlike its poster showing an omelet that's oozes melted cheese, it was suffering from serious cheese deficiency, else having a quiet weekday breakfast out with Ric is priceless!

We've got 2 more vouchers to go :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Note - my BEST smartphone so far!

Samsung Galaxy Note, 16GB ($1188, premium charge for white tone)

Barely 2 months old, my Galaxy S2 is making way for the new Galaxy Note; shipment for the Note White just in to Singapore last weekend, exclusively for the Singtel shop! Thus the Singtel charges a premium price for the set.

Having owned Samsung's Galaxy Tab & its Galaxy SII, i conclude having found my ideal smart phone in Note - it is most adept in its larger screen size than SII yet less of the awkward mobility bother of the 7" inch Tablet.

Battery life performance? The Galaxy Tab champs positively, followed by Note then the SII; Note is significantly more lasting than SII. The screen light-out during talk time is a proven energy efficient feature while the phone stays perfectly cool against the cheek during long chats.

Samsung Leather Flip Cover (replaced my white cover for the dark blue)

As an introductory promotion, the Note comes with an original Samsung leather flip case which i finds it hard to put down - the leather cover fits the phone snugly without adding any extra bulk and has a really good feel in the palm; liken the touch to the tight skin of luxury Vertu phone ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tomato Onion Salsa

Making this pretty salad is as easy as 1,2,3!

What's more, it has a perfect color hue for Christmas - all the reds and greens; might do this for our X'mas dinner.

1. Remove the ingredients chilled up in the refrigerator. Wash and dry.
2. Chop up Tomatoes, Onions, Green Chili and Coriander leaves (In any ratios that you like, giving heed that more Onions and Chili make the salad REALLY spicy. In such cases, just add in more Tomatoes).
2. If someone loves Cucumber, cut and add it in too (optional).
3. Mix well and serve immediately.

Superb healthy.
This is a moist but NO sauce salad!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Bordeaux 1998

Bordeaux 1998, Reserve Speciale

Sometimes a good wine is wasted; our bottle had been removed of its metal capping and placed in the fridge, uncork, but the taste of the wine seems to have escaped... how do i post a review on it? Still it is smoothly mellow.

Just a record for the wine, from Pauillac France, the Barons de Rothschild.

On TV and movies, don't we always heard the affluent ordering, "Give me a 82 years, Lafite?" Haha... our 98 years quite close lah ;)

Honjin Japanese Buffet

California Salad. Jelly fish, Chawanmushi, Baby Octopus, Kimichi (Appetizers, anti-clockwise)

Seafood Salad

Honjin Japanese at Chow House Robinson Rd is getting quite well known for their Ala-carte buffet which serve big plates of sashimi, free flow. Many years back we were here on a credit card 1-for-1; today's were on Groupon deal.

I love Japanese salad and all its appetizers. Without hesitant i made a full order for the listing and thoroughly enjoyed the crunchy greens and savory sides!!

Tuna Maguro, Hamachi, Salmon Shake, Tako (Sashimi)

Yes, this the place to be if you were so craving for a good serving of all-you-can-eat Sashimi; each slices thickly cut for a satisfying chew. We made a repeat order for the firm textured Hamachi and sweet Tako.

Yellow tail Hamachi, Tako Octopus

Grilled Salmon & Grilled Chicken with sweet sauce, Edamane (salted green soy bean)

And you must have their grilled salmon! Even Ric who hates fish, obediently gobble one. It is oishii.

Soft Shell Crab, Salmon Skin (Mini Handroll)

Up till this junction, everything had been almost perfect - well cooked food served warm from the stove, chilled food fresh from the chiller, all's fine and crisp in ideal portion.

Food standard starts going downhill as we begin ordering from the 2nd section of the ala-carte buffet menu - fried pork Tonkatsu, Gyoza, Kakiage, assorted Tempura, with boring Maki roll, Buckweat noodles, Udon and Ramen left a bad taste in the mouth. Only the Ebi Prawn Tempura was worth saving some appetite for.

Quite disappointingly, 6 slices of orange were served as dessert to end the meal; being fruit-of-the-day.

Hot Buckweat noodles, Garlic Fried Rice

Gyoza, Ebi Tempura, Shitake Mushroom, Eggplant & Sweet potato (Age-Mono, clockwise)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Singapore Science Centre - 20 years on

It used to cost just $0.50 for children visiting the Singapore Science Centre (SSC), compared to the $5 now. So we used to pop in often during the school holidays, enjoying the air-conditioned, dark and mystic setting that holds many interestingly fun scientific displays.

I never expect today's trip would be appealing (just didn't want to waste the 2 complimentary tickets from the HSA); SSC just for kids isn't it? But being now older, i could better appreciate the aspects of Science and the exhibitor for putting them across to the general public so simply; relating Science to our everyday life.

In retrospect, we were definitely lucky kids to have the Science Centre, 20 years back.

Some scientific observations still fantasies me, such as this anamorphic print painted by Istvan Orosz where an image is cleverly hidden in an overall scene, only revealed from specific angles or reflections onto the column. Can you recognise any part of the image from the painting?

Portrait of Jules Verne

An interesting poster. "This quirky cat hides more than its growl. Can you perceive the hidden bunny?"

Gravity Iron Ball Drop

Dance Patterns of the Dry Ice

I couldn't cover even half of the 1000 individual displays in the 10 halls. But surely, nothing beats watching these kids held spellbound by these interactive exhibits - just like how we used to.

It maybe this belief of bringing Science to the people of Singapore that kept the Science Centre going through these years..!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bangladeshi Lady Finger

A sizzling wok is always enticing! Can't help peeping in while my Bangladeshi friend whips up a vegetable dish to compliment our packed lunch. Mmmm...

It is an easy and really delightful recipe - enliven with sweet Onions and zesty Green Chili!!

1. Chop up the 500g of Lady Fingers, 1 Onion and 3 small Green Chili.
2. Heat up Oil in wok, throw in the Onion and green Chili. After a while, give a generous pinch of Salt.
3. Add in the Lady Fingers, stir fried a little before covering it.
4. Open the lid and stir the mix from time to time for about 2-3 minutes apart. During these time, sprinkle some water to create steam.
5. Continue this simmering process until the vegetables reached your desired softness.

Serve. Yum!