Tuesday, December 03, 2013

while on transit in hongkong

Meet friends!
Dearest Celia, who drove over from Central for the last hour of transit :)

Deep fried egg noodles with king prawns in kung po sauce.

Makes for a very happy girl :)

but then she regained her composure.

Tsui Wah's mixed meat grill platter.
Here's chicken, pork, beef and sausage all into a single flaming hot grill with borsch sauce.
Now pour with caution.
Open up your napkins and hold it in front of you while the sauce is poured.
Otherwise, be prepared to be blessed with the sauce.
I kid you not.

Tsui Wah has gained a reputation for being a classic cha chan teng in Central, HongKong. The downside? Too many customers and a lack of quality control has caused quite a bit of unhappiness for the recent diners.

Thankfully though, the customer service at the airport was brilliant at 930pm and the food was yummydelish.

The crispy noodles were topped with large king prawns with delicious thick and tangy kung po sauce.

And the mixed grill meats were done perfect. I didn't have to struggle with cutting up any of the meat fillets and the borsch sauce just topped off the entire platter perfectly. Loved my side of roasted baby potatoes too.

Kudos to the chef. 

So while on transit in Hongkong?
Drop in on Tsui Wah at T1 just above the departure hall for a taste of Hongkong.
You'd be hardpressed to leave... :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

love, bangkok

It's the end of the year and Bangkok's a travel destination for many.

So here's some of my favourite Thai treats in the local edition of Expat Travel and Living Travel Guide.

Definitely non-exhaustive.

I've only put in the address to one of the items.

And that's because the suckling pig there is crisp and the thin fatty layers melt in your mouth.

They also have deep fried yam in an outer coating of sugar that makes for a perfect ending to dinner.

The other featured food items have multiple places where they can be found and enjoyed.

Do let me know if you'd like addresses to feast on any of these treats.

Click to read related entries for T Restaurant- famous promfret steamboat. As fresh as it gets 
and Banh Khun Mae- getting all of Thailand in a family friendly restaurant.

Looking forward to Bangkok 2013 in December! :)

Monday, November 04, 2013

Ebi you heard?

If you've been surrounding your taste buds with the might of the Samurai Burger,

Look out for the next burger change from Macdonald's coming up this Thursday, 7th of November.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Ebi you heard? I'm the shrimp they don't scrimp on! :)

Settling comfortably into a zone cordoned off for the bloggers' party at The Metropolis, I was excited to see directions for folding an origami style prawn. :)
It was a brilliant way to break the ice with each other, laughing at our inadequacies in reading origami directions, fiddling with scissors and paper bits.
And keeping our frazzled nerves cool was the very refreshing Tropical Tango McFizz- tasting like a mix of mango and orange.

And did you think I wouldn't succeed?
No origami ebi, no dinner. No origami ebi, no dinner...
How's that for motivational speak!

With great pride! :)

Notwithstanding the success of the origami activity,
everyone of us had our own ebi burger. 
The description that Sam (PR for Macdonalds Singapore) gave us was exactly what my tastebuds would put into words if they could speak.
A tasty combination of succulent whole shrimps in a golden breadcrumb patty, topped with thousand island sauce and crisp lettuce, in between lightly toasted sesame seed buns.
Every bite had the distinct taste of succulent shrimp.
And for double that pleasure, they're having an ebi double burger on the menu as well.
Little wonder that this is their best-selling burger from Japan!

No meal is ever complete without dessert.
Say hello to the new banana pie! :)
That same apple pie crust that has won over the hearts of many with a filling of ripened mashed bananas.
It's almost like the familiar favourite of goreng pisang but just not quite that.
Try it yourself.

Mark the date on your calendars.
Coming to you on 7th of November!
For a limited time only. :)

Many thanks to Janet from omy.sg for coordinating the event together with the PR and Marketing team from Macdonalds.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Will the real Fatty please stand up?

An eye catching display right on the highest possible platform in the store.

And a slice of history.

I was impressed by the rich heritage of this shop.
An immediate text message to my aunt staying down the road at Kerrisdale leaves me feeling like a country bumpkin.
They dine here every weekend it seems!
Well, that's going to change in a minute.

Jumbo Spring Rolls ($3 per roll)

This was a great starter to dinner.
To camera action.
To conversation.
And simple satisfaction.
Crisp rolls deep fried to a golden brown packed densely with a myriad of flavours.
Simple. But so much flavour.
Charsiew, egg, vegan flour crispy bits and beansprouts to keep things moist and bursting with juices.
Eating this with sweet sauce was a preview of things to come.

Seafood hor fun- Large ($14)

I'm a carb monster and this was just speaking to me from the time it was set down on the table.
The generous servings of assorted seafood.
I hoped the gravy would have that umami.
And I wasn't disappointed.
The dish would've scored a lot higher in my opinions if the horfun was not fried with soy sauce for color and instead, simply tossed with minimal oil over high heat for that characteristic wok hei flavour. 

Prawn paste chicken- Large ($22)

This was a deep orange and best eaten piping hot.
Unfortunately, the flavour of prawn paste was a lot less muted than its pungent fragrance.
Having said that, this was still a plate of juicy chicken pieces with the satisfying crackle of deep fried skin.

Homemade beancurd in mushroom sauce ($22)

Silky smooth pieces of beancurd cut into squares and deep fried.
Topped with sliced chinese flower mushrooms and yellow chives, drizzled generously with sauce.
This was my favourite comfort food tonight. :) 

Black pepper beef ($22)

Tender slices of beef well marinated with a strong black pepper sauce stir fried with a generous serving of onions.
Fans of the red meat should make an order for this dish.

Fried Prawn with Oats-Large ($37)

The priciest item on the table that night but these juicy and succulent large prawns were well worth the price tag.
Girls would be pleased to see that the large prawns have been served peeled.
Eating this without getting oats all over your mouth is still an art.
And there were more than enough prawns for practice.
The use of oats in place of cereal was a novel step.
And although rougher in taste than the latter, this alternative was less sweet and definitely very filling.

Fried vegetables with minced meat ($16)

A nondescript dish of chopped veggies topped with minced meat had a je ne sais quoi that kept me wondering.
The boss kindly lets us in on the magic.
Powdered dried flat fish and oyster sauce made for a delish gravy that these veggies were stir fried in.

Sweet & Sour Pork- Large ($22)

These battered pieces of pork were minimally covered in batter so you get a full bite of pork in every cube.
I found the meat a little tough though but I actually would rather lean than fatty pork for this dish.
The sauce was an addiction.
It was also a plus point that real pineapple pieces were used instead of the canned ones.

Nice family style environment, with enthusiastic waitstaff who serve with a smile.
I'll definitely be back with family soon for some Cantonese styled stir fry in the Bugis area.

Always a good time of meeting and eating with the OpenRicers.
Thanks for the food tasting invite OpenRice :)

Wing Seong Fatty's Restaurant
Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street, #01-34, Rochor, 189649
Mon to Sun: 1200 - 1430, 1700 - 2200

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

sundays at prive. :)

the cafe was buzzingly busy on a Sunday afternoon and the indoor seating area was totally filled. I'd totally opt for an al fresco in this gorgeously picturesque marina. 

picture this. a brilliantly blue sky forms a back drop for numerous pristine white yatches of different shapes and sizes docked at the marina reflecting off the sunlight into the distance. 

pictured? perfect.

we were immediately shown to their available tables in the far end of the cafe. I liked being able to choose my tables. 

and my view of course.

nice big fans that don't blow off your wig (!) but keeps diners cool while taking in the great outdoors.
the silhouette of trees of the clear blue skies as you ponder over your meal choices. almost too surreal in the usual hustle and bustle of daily life.

Let's indulge a little shall we? Thick cut fries served with truffle mayonnaise. $10. 

There's something really attractive about truffle. Truffle in anything except in its original form. Trust me, I've had a whole truffle stuffed under my nose and what happened after was not a sight for sore eyes. This dip was delicious. The bits of truffle were visible and tasted like mushrooms. Nary enough to share. We had to ration it. There's no seconds. But there was mayonnaise and chilli sauce available. Settling for second best.

They serve all-day breakfast and the menu runs from 930am-5pm daily. 

And Eggs Royale. $16.
Traditional English Muffins with savoury Norwegian smoked salmon slices and two gently poached eggs. Drizzled with creamy hollandaise sauce with a side of rocket. Mmm. Eggs. It's a skill to cook these easy ingredients well. 
If you didn't already know, Prive runs their own bakery so these soft and fluffy English muffins are are made in house. And these muffins are what I would come all the way here for. 

Get me some chilli cheese lovin'!

10-inch pizza for $20. And it was just OVERLOADED with cheese. 


Spicy chorizo, salami, chilli, tomato paste and mozzarella cheese.

it was a blanket of cheese I kid you not. 

And you'd literally be stuffed with cheese if you murdered the entire pizza on your own.

Which I almost did and hereby testifying the actuality of the statement.

I loved it though. the spiciness of the chorizo and chilli broke the monotony of salty mozza toppings. the crust was like biscuit on the ends and chewy in the middle. 

The staff are also quietly attentive, topping up the glasses of water and clearing plates once we were done. It was a pleasure to dine here.

Ending Sunday with a quiet stroll along keppel marina. Every Sunday should be like this. smile

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Racing past the grounds and headed straight for the skies!

From the directors of Disney's Cars, comes another heartwarming tale of Dusty, the plane who has a fear of heights and seeks to conquer this fear with the help of his friends.

I don't do well with heights either but I had grandpa to help me conquer that fear. 
A ferris wheel ride that made me cry was when he realised I had the courage the size of a mouse and that something needed to be done before it was too late. 

So guess what grandpa did?

He brought me up a rollercoaster. At the age of 58 with a high blood pressure, he ignored the health advisory signages and insisted on bringing his granddaughter for what literally was the ride of her life on Space Mountain- Disneyland.

What came out of that? Mad hair flying everywhere, an inexplicable sense of exhilaration and the best part? Safety in the knowledge of having my gramps with me. 

Now he's just too old to be travelling long haul but Space Mountain rides will always have a special place in my heart.

And I'd love to watch Planes with gramps. Just to let him know...
I haven't forgotten.

A host of exciting activities on Disney’s “Say It With Planes” contest – http://bit.ly/SayItWithPlanes. Participants stand to win Planes movie passes & exclusive premiums.

I've sent the cutest card of Dusty to my girl friend just now. :)
Send yours soon!

Catch “Disney’s Planes” in Singapore cinemas this 5 September 2013! For more updates, like the Official Walt Disney Studios Singapore Facebook Page, follow@disneystudiosSG and subscribe to the Official Disney Studios Singapore YouTube Channel!

Friday, July 19, 2013

the simple things in life.

On a whim,
I decided to grab three eggs and a medium sized red onion.
Sliced thinly.
Just of a personal preference, I like dicing up a part of the onion to fry fragrant in the oil before adding in the rest of the onions and beaten eggs.
Add a dash of soy sauce if you'd like.

Sliced chilli strips.
Sliced tomatoes. (Add a dash of sugar)
Preserved radish.
Diced luncheon meat.
Sliced button mushrooms.
Colorful capsicums.

Are there any other variations to the simply versatile fried egg?
Do leave a comment to add on to my list. :)

breaking fast on the 8th day of Ramadan

The essentials of nasi lemak.
And I do concur!

The name literally translated means 'rice in cream'. Coconut cream of course.
And progressions in today's efficient world system means boiling the rice in coconut milk these days.
But here at Nasi Lemak Kukus, you get your coconut rice steamed the time honoured traditional way.
Making sure the calories count!

Now this was a statement that caught my eye. 
Was this a glaring reminder for the kitchen staff?
A daring guarantee for every customer?
Or a subtle challenge for a return visit?
Very nicely encapsulated in a mission statement.

And do we have a Robert Browning fan in the house or perhaps an AC boy?
Most definitely a Commando though ;)
If you know what I mean.

I love the rustic laidback feel of concrete walls filled with writings.
A perfect place to kickback and chillax with good food and great music.
The photos and banner help to highlight food choices for the fickle minded customer. :)

Settling in happily with an order of a Vietnamese drip coffee.
At $2.50.
I kid you not.

Help yourselves to dinner please.

Even as I'm typing this, the unmistakable fragrance of the steamed coconut rice floods my senses.
Past midnight, this is a disaster for my heightened senses.
The good part about this though, 
is that Nasi Lemak Kukus stays open till 3am.
Yet another foodie find going into the treasure trove for midnight supper club dates! :) 

Staying focused and moving on. 
The fragrant rice costs just $1 and it's free flow.
So please. No sharing of rice guys.
Eat up! 

The plethora of dishes that lay ahead all looked tantalizing.
I wanted a bit of everything!

It was only at the checkout counter that I saw how much my little bit of everything cost.
This was an $11 plate of nasi lemak. 
Now I understood why the serving staff behind the counter topped up my okra for me.
The charges per serving are neatly typed and pasted on the glass panel above the dishes.
I'm not sure how my serving of 3 sambal prawns would cost as compared to say 5 sambal prawns?

Costs aside,
The rice was chewy and had a good bite to it.
It's uniquely different from the nasi lemak rice found in the usual hawker stalls.

The mutton rendang was sedap nya! :)
For a non-mutton lover, the meat didn't have the gamey taste I'm afraid of and it was tender to the bite.

Ayam masak merah was a perennial fave for me till tonight.
The chicken drumstick was tough and the sauce wasn't at all appetizing.

Two choices on the sambal. 
I had the spicy option. 
And boy, that was an instant addiction.

If you ever wanted just rice and sambal,
I'd give this place a 5/5.

Dripped and stirred.
Rich with the fragrance of coffee and thickened with condensed milk.
The perfect accompaniment to my fiery sambal.

Bunch of happy campers!
Thanks to Openrice.sg for the invite and to the awesome coordinators- Calvin and Fizah. :)

Nasi Lemak Kukus 

Address: 908 Upper Thomson Road, S(787111)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thank you

Mum and I are diametrically opposing forces. Yet essentially we're one and the same. She's 55 this year and not looking a tad bit like her age. 

See what I mean? 
Same same but different.

Yes her vanity in skin care shows in the cute fridge stock piled full of skin food that she uses religiously. The facials that she makes appointments for and quarrels relentlessly till she gets her usual therapist. But that's really where her extravagance ends. Oh wait. There are those numerous handbags she just cannot stop herself from buying. With good reason. Yes of course every reason for a handbag is good. There's the classic, "Let's buy, we share?" or the neverending quest for a clutch. And because that quest never ends, let's just go with a handbag. Because how can you go to Europe without returning with a bag. Oh let's make it a few bags since we're at it. 

And have we discussed about shoes yet?

Aside from all that. She's as simple as simple comes. She doesn't go out with her friends and there are the few that she's declined so often they don't call anymore just because she cannot stop worrying about the family. What she worries about I would never know.

 A 21 year old son goes out for a swim competition and she wonders aloud, "I don't know if ah boy brought out an extra set of clothes to change into." This ah boy of hers has gone through the full army commando test. Complete with a Ranger badge and wings to boot. An 18 year old son goes to church on his own one Sunday and she immediately calls home shortly after leaving, "Hey, go take xxx bus to this place to switch buses. Do you know how to go?" And yes, he has been in the church for a long while and he does come home after church on his own every week. 

So where does ah girl feature in all this? Sadly, the days of the above-mentioned eye-roll and cringe worthy calls and statements have passed me by. 

Once upon a time, I rejoiced for that. Thinking it was a testimony to my ticket to freedom, their acknowledgement to my entrance to adulthood. It is true. Youth is the perfect excuse to ignorance. 

An Italian family holiday in recent years has seen the cumulative stress take over. I demanded to know why it was always about the boys. Never about me. Mum walks out of the shower and simply says, "You're grown up already girl. Your brothers are still young. The age difference is so big. Of course Mama would worry about them." And if she ended her statement there. I would've walked out into the streets of Rome and never come home. But she didn't, "Mama is very proud of you, for all the things you've done. Being a teacher, packing lunch for me. I always say good things about you. You're all grown up now. We trust that you can think and manage things on your own." While that stopped me from my wild attempt at walking out into the streets, it got me thinking. That's me right there. Ms I-can-handle-the-world. Ms Independent. Did anyone ask what alias I had? Ms I'm-bloody-tired-somedays-of-trying-to-save-the-world-and-be-strong? Yeah, that's a mouthful right there. No wonder no one has asked. The night ended with me locked in the room under the covers crying myself to sleep.

She loves me. She just loves my brothers more. 
She loves my dad the most. :) Truth.

It doesn't make me love her less. She travelled alone with me on a plane ride to look for my dad who was permanently flying around when I was young. Very young. Was that Australia that we went to? 
I remember translating Aussie slangs for her. She couldn't make out a thing our family friends were saying.
That's probably where the certain twang in my voice came from.
I've been laughed about it since young. 
The torture continues till the present.

She suffocated me to death with Hello Kitty collectibles. You name it, I had it. She bought me surprise presents every week. just because. I had dolphin pendants. Bear chunky bracelets -even before they were statement pieces-. Fast forwarding ahead. She spoke to me almost every chance possible delaying dinner time, when I was on exchange. I cried as hell. So badly till she almost bought a ticket to fly over with grandma. Thinking back, I should've let her come. Just so grandma would have the chance to see Montreal. On graduation from university, she took me on a HK trip with granddad. Amidst tears from a broken heart. All she did was to tell me to stop the tears for he wasn't worth it. She let me cry. She scolded me for not stopping. She walked about with me. She ate sushi at 9pm with me. 

See? Sushi at 9pm.
We had Itacho before Itacho was famous.

She went wherever I wanted to. Because she knew I needed her. 
On graduation from NIE, she let me go to London on one day's notice. Booking flights, changing currency. Just because she knew I needed a break. No questions asked. A lot of worries but still she let me go. She has stood by me even when mistakes I've made are not worthy of being stood by. She put up with my frustrations. Even if it meant being told to shut up. She apologizes for being brash with me. She shares verses to encourage me. She tells me that it's okay. Even when it's not. Even when I cannot even stand myself.

Right now, she's sleeping in her room and I just wanted to tell her, that I'm sorry and I love you very much. There's no one else in the world I'd rather share a gelato with.

Happy mother's day. Everyday.