Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Eve's Fireworks

It's been so many years since we gave up catching the New Year's Eve fireworks at the Marina South - some 8 years ago when we noticed Singapore's population starts burgeoning, that everywhere which used to be quiet became crowded, even at this wee hours.

I was still taken aback to see the entire roof top of the Marina Barrage filled with spectators for the midnight fireworks! Wow...! We even got to bump into some long-lost friends; which is nice :) I like this first picture taken of Ric and our friends in the shadow.

Watching the firework displays, we shared some quiet moments, crossing over to year 2014. "Happy New Year." We greeted one another shyly before parting to return home. It was a memorable night.

Beaujolais Reserve by Georges Duboeuf, 2003

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais, 12.5% Alc.

I had wanted to save this colorful bottle for the occasion, but guessed the Beaujolais '03 has been laid down for too long in the fridge, for it was much lower on acidity - Beaujolais tend to be very light-bodied red wine, with high amount of acidity.

Marked by wine labels with use of colorful flowers images, the French wine from Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, a well-known wine merchant in France is famous for making Beaujolais wine.

The bottle still light-bodied; and we had preferred full-bodied reds.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Korean Fried Chicken at Seoul Xpress

2 pcs Fat Chicks Meat Meal, Spicy ($7.90)

We have never tasted Korean fried chicken, but if these at Seoul Xpress are anything to come by, i don't think we enjoyed it - the taste is heavy and way too salty for us.

We also didn't appreciate the thick flour that coated the chicks, and getting moisten with the savory bean sauce. Am quite desperately begging for some rice to go with this. Much as i hate wasting food, i couldn't finish the meal. The fries was great though.

Now, i miss the KFC.

2 pcs Fat Chicks Meat Meal, Garlic ($7.90)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cadbury Marvellous Creations

Marvellous Creations, 290g ($8.90)

When Cadbury first launches the Marvellous Creations, i thought the chocolate was so much more expensive than our regular chocolate bars of the same weight. What's its specialty, i had wondered?

Now, i'm totally enchanted by its flavor of "Jelly Popping Candy Beanies". For the first time, popping sweets are introduced into chocolates - the popping sweets which exists in the late 80s, 'explodes' in the mouths and brought much fun and laughters to our simple childhood. Now it's here! Packaged conveniently in the chocolate bars; a tad pricey and tasted really sweet, but worth the nostalgia.

The "Jelly and Crunchie Bits" bores no surprises; sticks easily to the tooth and are even sweeter! I still want my popping sweets!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pink Roses Cross-Stitch - 66 x 54cm

And so i finished it this morning. My first and probably only, large cross-stitch (66 x 54cm) on cloth. The feel was wonderful as i ran my fingers on the stitches after loosening the piece from its fasteners...

Remembering the morning when i started the piece in November 2012, i was feeling like a great painter who pitches his easel in the garden where the abundance of natural lights threw in.


It wasn't plain sailing as this was my first large scale cross-stitching. I got the orientation wrong and the color chart misinterpreted - wasted a month's labor and had to redo. After that, i learned.



Finally, something to show for after 6 months of labor - after 6 shades of Red, 2 Greens, 2 Pinks. You can't tell the many color tones just by looking yah? That's the beauty of this.

My plan was to start with the darkest color tone so as to prevent the lighter threads from fading or getting soiled.

28.05.2013 - Another 3 Browns and 1 Pink.

06.07.2013 - Another 1 Green, 1 Brown, 1 Pink.

31.08.2013 - 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Blue, 3 Browns, 1 Orange, 1 Grey

13.10.2013 - 2 Greens, 2 Pinks, 2 Browns, 1 Yellow, 1 White, 4 Blues

28.12.2013 - Finishing up with lightest tone of 3 Blues, 2 Yellows, 1 Pink, 2 Browns, 1 Grey, 1 Orange, 1 Green 

The last weeks of December had me finishing the group of flowers slowly; this week the blue; the next week the yellow; and the final 2 weeks spent stitching up the pink roses.

I hope this will not be my first and last piece. It was really time consuming and taxing on the eyes - i didn't know if i could still afford the luxury when the next piece comes along. I wish to.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sweet Sparkling for the Christmas!

Pink by Yellowglen Australia Sparkling Wine, 11% Alc. Vol. ($21.95)
Bottega Petalo Il Vino dell' Amore Moscato, 6.5% Alc. Vol.

For someone inexperience with wine, Nick brought these bottles thinking they made nice red wines for us. But they aren't, both are sparkling whites ;)

Pink has a light pinkish hue with subtle fruity character, aromatic and bubbly. Blind-folded, we would have thought a bubbling Chardonnay was served. Without a doubt, Pink is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes!

The Italian Petalo Il Vino dell' Amore, "Wine of Love" is distinctly perfumed with scent of roses! The first sip of the Moscato is impressively good - i thought it would be a winner with the ladies, but i couldn't take the second glass without feeling i'm drinking a cologne; went back to the Pink.


Christmas Order from Zac Butchery

1. Roasted Turkey, 6-8lbs. Include Traditional Cranberry sauce ($45)
2. Roasted Bone-in-Leg of Lamb, 2-2.5kg. Include lamb sauce ($58)
3. Chicken Ham Honey Baked Ball, 1kg ($14)
4. Beef Shepherd's Pie, 2.2kg ($48)

Every year, Nick would personally pick up his Christmas order from Zac Butchery factory at Woodlands Terrace. It is safer this way. Last Christmas, we waited for their delivery van which never did come..

The food will be served warm and cooked, not requiring re-heating like those ordered from the Cold Storage - we heard Cold Storage took orders from Zac too? You heard?

Anyway, the family always near finished the Turkey, with the Chicken ham being the popular packing choice for next morning breakfast. This year, i thought the roasted lamb is a nice addition - except, you do need some good teeth at some point of the chewing. The Shepherd's Pie was toasty with rich cheese and has moist minced meat beneath the layer of finely mashed potatoes, but we were choosing the roast meats over it.

A Very Merry Christmas to you!
Hope you are surrounded by loved ones too. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Elsie's Kitchen Catering

Festive Delicacy - Honey Glazed Chicken Ham Platter
Rice - Festive Christmas Fried Rice with Peppers and Chicken Ham
Noodles - Seafood Mee Goreng
Chicken - Lemon Chicken
Vegetables - Baby Kailan with Mushrooms
Fish - Emperor Fish with Tartar sauce
Others - Rocky Shrimp Ball
Snacks - Blueberry Cheese Tart
Dessert - Snowy Cinnamon Rolls
Beverage - Coffee

Attended a corporate Christmas celebration that caters the festive Cheer! menu ($14.87 w/GST, min. 40 pax) from Elsie Kitchen. Nothing to fave about but pretty decent food, except for the oiliness of the fried rice and yellowed vegetables - can't blame the caterer during the peak of the Season.

We heard from the office that they often order from Elsie, and food execution has been good. I thought i enjoyed the simple lunch which ended well with blueberry cheese tarts and thick coffee.

Their out-sourced log cake however, tasted disappointingly crumbly and is a mischief to the Christmas feast.

Festive Side Orders: 1.5kg Christmas Log Cake ($55.64 w/GST)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Stamps Collecting - it's out of your era?

This is a familiar, yet bizarre sight as i watched the stamps (cut out of old envelopes) getting submerged in the pail of clear water. How long was it, that i last did this? It was many, many years back.

Today, i was clearing my desk for the new PC. Saw this pack of dusty stamps that was lying around, waiting to be remove it from its sticky back, so i decided to do it - the last soak.

I am finalizing my collection after this.

You know how to do the stamps soaking? I almost forgot. Really.

As the stamps were removed from the water, i was suddenly reminded that China stamps have the most stubborn glue; Japanese stamps are of the smallest size; and as kids, we were most fantasies by the colorful Christmas themed stamps from far away countries, like the States and Australia.

This post registered my nostalgia.

Monday, December 16, 2013

珍妮曲奇, Jenny Bakery from HK

4 Mix Butter Cookies - Flower, Coffee, Shortbread, Raisin Oat, 640g (HK$120)

There is a mania in Hong Kong over freshly baked butter cookies from Jenny Bakery; after those of the wife cake. It has gone to the extent where there's always a long... queue outside the shop (they have 2 outlets only); the time when you don't see a queue is when they are sold out!?

My enthusiastic colleague joined the queue and bought these from her trip; everybody loves them (I could only took a picture after they polished off the 1st tier of the tin)! The cookies are impressively buttery, yet fine and light at the same time; seeming to break at the slightest pressure. I like the shortbread best, and the raisin oat next; both in plain circular shape. I could snack on this all day.

But if the buying experience at their shops were as unpleasant as described in this blog; i too think i wouldn't join in the craze to spoil the vacation. Between the 2, i'll still take my wife cake ")

Saturday, December 14, 2013

武藏, Menya Musashi

Takatora Tsukemen, 1x regular portion of 120g ($14.90++)

It's been a while since we last had some Japanese ramen. Today we were at the Menya Musashi after hearing so much about them - that if you like chewy noodles, go for the dry Tsukemen where you dip the ramen into the boiling hot soup that's served separately.

We did just that and really enjoyed some well-textured ramen. The independent serving also allows us to savour the smokiness of their roasted pork meat while the golden fried bean curb skin stays crispy. We left Menya Musashi with satisfied palates.

Oh, and which soup bases to order with your ramen? I suggest you try all the 3 that are on the menu ")

Wingstop Singapore

 Louisiana Rub - Cajun and Garlic, 6 pcs ($7.95)

Lemon Pepper, 6 pcs ($7.95)

From American, Wingstop made its first stop at the newly opened Bedok Mall.

These American-style buffalo wings are small-sized, made up of wingettes and drumlets. A wing or a drum here is considered 1 piece. At this pricing, we thought it was really expensive for a small, sauce-coated fried chicken. No doubt, i really like their moisten, lemon pepper ones.

Then, our late night visit to IKEA's cafe for their popular fried chicken wings, further attest our conclusion.

Friday, December 6, 2013

酷比魔方, Cube - Our Best China Tablet

Talk 79, 7.9" ($250) with Talk 9, 9" ($300), excludes shipping

We have sailed the seventh seas - trying out popular Apple, Samsung and several lousy China tablets. Now, we tell you this is the one, the Cube!

Our 'coolest' tablet. Really mean it stays cool, doesn't warm up even when i streamed a online movie for half hour. I was impressed. It runs on Android 4.2.2 and has reasonably sleek interfacing between Apps; of course, it doesn't beats Apple IOS, but at this pricing!? It sure beats all other Android tablets for value.

Camera quality is lesser equip but doable for standard recording. For video playing, the display is clear and the volume control is very much supportive. I'm getting used to the Cube from my iPad, more each day; and growing very fond of it.

And, both of these tablets talk - you can make phone calls from it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Eatz Catering - Packed Bento

Breaded Fish Fillet + Chinese Cabbage with Oyster Sauce + Egg Tofu + Onion Omelete ($4)

Slice Fish with Dried Chili + Chinese Cabbage with Oyster Sauce + Kung Po Sausage + Potato Bergedil ($4)

Attended a few corporate talks that provide lunch bento from Eatz Catering which i thought was pretty decent. And i especially missed their breaded fish fillet and potato bergedil.

At $4, there'll be good firm steamed rice + 1 meat or fish + 1 veg + 2 sides; with an extra of just $25 for delivery charges. Makes much money sense indeed.

Lunch would have been perfect, if Ric was here..

Sweet & Sour Chicken + Curry Vegetable + Sambal Egg + Ngoh Hiong Roll ($4)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

来来, Lai Lai Taiwanese Dining

Herbal Pork Ribs Rice ($7.90++)

Work has been busy for both Ric and me, so we really had to make an effort to meet for lunch. This being our only break hour, i much appreciate our restful time at Lai Lai - easy food in a comfortable restaurant.

Beef Noodles, soup ($9.90++)

Food quality is reasonably good but not exceptional. The melt-in-the-mouth pork ribs, soft stewed beef and beef tendons quite easily satisfied the work day appetite. For something creative, we ordered the rolled pancake with cheese and eggs - a delicious but rather expensive rendition of the Indian roti prata.

What i found most unforgettable is the bottle of spicy fried shallots served on each table; it adds a nice fragrant to Lai Lai's lightly seasoned dishes. I like it. 

(Pan-fried Roti Prata) Cong Jua Bing w/ Cheese & Egg ($6.50++)

Spicy Fried Shallots (condiment)

Friday, November 29, 2013

大姐, Da Jie Niang Dou Fu

Soya Bean Soup, Yong Tau Foo

Another stall naming itself the 'Big Sister', this time it is the Halal Da Jie Yong Tau Foo and they have a website you could visit. Ric wanted the soupy rendition while i was craving for some savoury sauce, and Aunt chooses the Laksa.

We aren't disappointed with the food. Ingredients are fresh and the sauces well balanced. But Da Jie could perfect their service if the serving of noodles weren't this petty; doing with lesser salt on the Laksa's samba chili and improves the Laksa recipe to add more punches. Then could they be the 'Big Sister' and charges $13.80 for 3 bowls of noodles with 6 ingredients each.

 Hakka Yong Tau Foo

Laksa Yong Tau Foo

Saturday, November 23, 2013

陈年老桔, Essence Lime with Liquorice

三叔公, Essence Lime with Liquoorice (RM$22, 800g)

The weighty bottle of San Shu Gong Lime syrup sat on the kitchen shelf and does not draw any interest after Dad bought it home, prettily wrapped. One day, Sis came down with a nasty cough and thought it tasted really nice after i made her some - i was marinating freshly cut Aloe Vera with the thicken lime syrup.

Today, i am doing the Aloe again. Recovering from my Flu, the dry throat and bitter mouth-feel made me craves for the bitter-sweet-sourish drink. Actually, i hate Liquorice (甘草) in confectionery, but this is really tasty.

The precious bottle, now seats in the fridge.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hot Tomato Cafe and Grill

USA Pork Chop & Sausage ($11.50++)

Hot Tomato is an affordable dining cafe serving all-time favourites - grilled meat and spaghetti. A Sirloin sets you back at only $11.50++ while their best of Filet Mignon is but $16.50++. Given the standard of gill today, we felt safe to come back for their steak.

I hope their steak comes with the same garlicky pasta and crunchy lettuces, dribbles in lemony dressing. We like them both when serve with our Pork Chop today.

The name of hot tomato though, kept coming back as hot potato... Don't you?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dunkin' Donuts - it is happy food

After Ric packed a sugar glazed Dunkin' Halloween for office that day, i couldn't wait to get my hands on more Dunkin'. Yah, i have a thing for donuts ;) It is happy food.

Dunkin' Donuts ($1.70 each)

So we finally got them. 

But it wasn't the same thing having so much of it in one go. It got cloying as i was greedy to taste a bit of everything - everything is nice, except for the Oreo because i like my donut soft, warm and sugar glazed not crunchy or nutty, don't you? 

Still, this is too much of a good thing. Next time, i'll go slow. Don waste it.

The Christmas Box!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nando's Chicken

Nando's 1/4 Chicken, with choice of 2 sides ($13.90++)

Nando's is all about their signature flame-grilled Portuguese Chicken that was marinated for 24hrs in Piri Piri sauce and then basted in your choice of Peri-Peri flavors - mild, hot, extra hot and lemon with herbs.

We were having the mild spice level and the lemon with herbs. For such lightness, the sweetness and aroma of the juicy grilled chicken is distinct; which i thought was commendable. Howbeit, the rustic temperament of the good chicken makes eating it in sit-down restaurant, unreal - it would have been cool to serve this in a less formal setting, an alfresco laid-back eatery, perhaps. Then you get to suck the juices off the chicken bones!

Sides of Chips, Mediterranean rice, Potato wedges and coleslaw for making it a meal, weren't worth the mention.

Friday, November 8, 2013

吉祥, Ji Xiang Ang Ku Kueh

Ang Ku Kueh, peanuts or sweet bean paste ($0.70 each, box of 10 at $7)

It may sound crazy - the amazing buying power of office's lady. A total of 47 boxes were ordered today when Ji Xiang Confectionery does free delivery with a minimum order of 30.

How's the taste? Not bad at all, but none too amazing. Freshness does it, with convenience of delivery to the doorstep; the merriment of bulk purchases with colleagues is irresistible :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gimbal's Jelly Beans - I call these Joy Beans!

Gimbal's Gourmet 41 Flavors Jelly Beans, 14oz. ($6.30)

Weighted down by a harsh slam from boss and an unfamiliar job task, I couldn't have been more blue... Popping these, not pills but delicious jelly beans from Gimbal's Fine Candies, lifted my spirit and cheered me to take all in my stride.

Thank God for Jelly Beans! 

These does not have the funny plastic taste which i remembered, and comes in 41 fantastic flavors, i.e Watermelon, Root Beer, Tutti Frutti, Green Apple, Tangerine, Wild Cherry, Pink Grapefruit, Strawberry Cheesecake, Pomegranate, Coconut, Mango, Spicy Cinnamon, Licorice, French Vanilla, Roasted Marshmallow, Tiramisu, Kiwi, Butter Popcorn! I am amazed, how do they do this? And all without Trans fat and high fructose corn syrup.

37 pieces of these chewy beans yield just 27g of sugars and 140 calories! I'm eating all that i want to stay gleefully happy!

To satisfy my craving, we later bought from the Jelly Bean Factory, as Gimbal’s is not available in Singapore market. But it doesn’t match up to Gimbal’s; quite contrary to claims that jelly beans tasted the same.

Not all jelly beans are the same.