Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to where it all started.

Last day of the Seventh Month on the Lunar Calendar and the last of the Seventh Month dinners organised by various committees. I'm long past the age of mad auctions and communal dining even if it is, good food. Dad and I were just chauffering Grandma and Mum over to the Foochow Clan Association at Jalan Besar.

So what's for dinner?

Just around the corner was Jalan Besar Stadium and the Broadway coffeeshop right next to it houses five of the original Longhouse stalls. Perfect for a dad and daughter dinner.

Parking spaces were aplenty at the Jalan Besar Stadium with parallel lots lining the sides of the stadium and a multi-storey covered carpark for those who aren't inclined to parallel lots. 
Like me. 
The last time we parked in the multi-storey, it was cashcard operated but now it's been converted to coupon parking. And at 50 cents per half hour, be sure to park safe and eat with a peace of mind.

*Chew on this!
Did you know that the Longhouse was originally a row of shops outside the old Jalan Besar Stadium? It had to move to Upper Thomson in 2000 when the stadium was undergoing renovation works. Fourteen years down the road, they are back to where they started- next to the Jalan Besar Stadium. 

But I digress. 
Let's get down to the food. 

I don't know about you. But I've missed delicious carrot cake and char kway teow from Longhouse Delights. I couldn't stomach them both so I settled for white carrot cake.

If a higher proportion of egg and radish are your standards for a perfect plate of carrot cake, then this must be it.

Mr Kee Chon Leong of Longhouse Delights was still as smiley as I had remembered.

"Want chilli?"
"Yes please. Just put it on the side."
"So should I fry it in? Or do you just want it on the side?"
"Fry it in and can I please have some more on the side?"
He patiently makes sure that he gets my order right before frying it.

Be impressed.

Dad took a pork chop option from Best Western Grill & Pasta.
Mr David Foo was considerably less smiley here.
Busily manning the grills and toasting garlic bread slices.

Thankfully though, he had a female assistant ringing up the cash registers and doling out smiles.

My favourite coleslaw.
And the most uninspiring crinkle cut fries ever.

At $7 for two pieces of these fork tender pork chops,
the fries were negligent to its popularity.
Dad nary made a cut before he was able to pull it off a piece easily with his fork.
So quick I couldn't even manage a focused shot! :)
Savoury marinade that keeps one going for more.
Mopping up the sauce with the fries greatly increased their palatability.

It could've been nostalgia.
But dinner that night was more than simply just satisfying.

We'll be back for the other original Longhouse favourites soon enough. :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Little Bears 五隻小熊

 The Five Little Bears have moved from their original store at Bugis Junction to Far East Plaza where they have taken up a spacious unit at the first floor.

Boasting authentic food from Taichung,
it was perfect for us both looking forward to some comfort food on this cold and rainy Friday.

Long tables in a canteen style seating arrangement maximises seating capacity in this self service restaurant.

The lunch hour was over by now but still there were a few other groups of diners like us catching a late lunch.

We asked the lady at the cashier for recommendations and she picked just two which was perfect for us both.

The braised pork rice.
At $5.90 for a set that comes with a choice of red/black/wintermelon tea.

The presentation was picture perfect and typically authentic.
This picture was taken without any filter.
The braised pork was tender and melted into one's mouth but the gravy lacked a certain kind of savoury oomph that I had tasted when at Formosa Zhang 鬍鬚張.
The salted vegetables were a perfect accompaniment to take away the oils from the fatty meats.
The braised egg which I saved to the last, was however much too dry. :/

Their other house special was the oyster mee sua.
At a price of $5.50 for a set with the same choices of tea.

The oysters were a welcome sight.
Huge and fatty.
There was no fishy taste present in these oysters and that was a definite plus point here.
The 蚵仔麵線 was cooked with the red mee sua, unlike the white ones we usually cook here in Singapore.
These are flat noodles which are thicker and makes them more resilient to cooking for longer periods of time.
Loved the thoughtful additions of vinegar, grated garlic and chilli.
Perfect bowl of yum when that was all mixed up together.
I just wished it was served piping hot as my last mouthfuls of the noodles were much too quickly cooled under the air conditioning system to be enjoyed.

On the overall though, there was an unmistakable air of simple comfort food that resonates in this cosy restaurant which leaves us feeling happily satiated after our meal even though there were some hits and misses with the food items here.

We'll be back for their desserts sometime soon :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I heart lazy Sundays

It's been awhile since.
I've been back for some of these blended beans.

And boy were we ravenous after a mad morning of hide-and-seek and belly-full of laughter from our mad antics at the Alive Museum Singapore.

Just a hop, skip and well, a taxi ride away.
We find ourselves at Anthesis.

While waiting for our orders, my itchy hands picked up their mini chalkboards for their menu specials.
We asked if we could have some chalk to scribble on the back of these boards and the ever obliging staff at this lovely cafe gladly brought us some!

And there, we have my rubbish scribbles.
Together with the food that swiftly arrived at our tables.
In ten minutes tops.

The crisp waffles with glazed bananas was just as promised in its name sake.
The waffles were crisp but not overly dry.
The powdered sugar on top looked like a whole load but it made the waffles perfectly savoury sweet without the syrup.
I loved my dish although I wish I could have a bigger portion of waffle for the price I was paying.

More items to the table.
Our very dependable flat whites. :)

Of particular mention to this pretty plating of Eggs Duo.
Creamy scrambled eggs and ham and a mushroom frittata with a creamy sauce that I could not get enough of.

And the one that stole my heart.
These huge juicy sea prawns.
Just look at them.
Definitely juicy.
A bite of these crunchy prawns sends umami juices into one's mouth.
Don't bother trying to share half of these,
the pleasure must be taken on in full.
While you're at it, don't forget the capellini.
The paprika powder added just a touch of spice and pretty colour to this dish.
My only reservation was an over generous use of olive oil which culminated in an oily mess at the base of this pasta.

Our table of 7 also had three orders of the Pegasus.

Be still my heart.
Take not your flight.
Till I have devoured this mythical creature descended from food heaven.
Never too much to be shared.

And here's our parting shot.
A Sunday by where the Singapore River flows through.
The food was slightly pricey for some menu items.
But it still has my favourite house blend.
And the food standards are consistently maintained.

Kudos to the very obliging staff at Anthesis.
We loved it,
loved you.
And we'll definitely be back for more. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where Art comes Alive! :)

I can't actually believe that I managed to miss out on 43,000 sq feet worth of Alive Museum while I was in Jeju just a couple of months back.

No one should have to live with regrets.
And definitely not I.
Because Alive has just opened its doors at Suntec City for me to indulge myself and my friends.

Ticket prices for adults at $25 and $20 for children between the ages of 3-12 years old.

The current promotion for the month of August is a free meal at Burger King situated just next door with a purchase of a full priced ticket and a simple Like on the Alive Museum page on Facebook.

This is the biggest 3D illusionary museum in Singapore boasting over 80 masterpieces of which 9 are locally themed and unique to our little red dot.

Now whoever said a museum was boring better eat up their words.

Because our two hour long day out at the museum was a treat for the senses, a belly full of laughs, picture perfect photo moments aplenty and a place where your creativity comes to life!

Go with a bunch of spontaneous friends who aren't camera shy.

Be armed and ready with your camera at all times.

To capture these epic fail moments.

For the girls, try to avoid skirts as the disco themed room has a mirror reflective surface.
Some of the poses also require one to lie on the floor or stretch their legs out.

You wouldn't want to miss Superman would you?

Look out for photo points to position yourself to take a realistic shot for a friend.

Read the recommended photo poses so that you have an idea of how the backdrop can come alive in your picture.

Who says girls can't fight?

And maybe sometimes you can skip the posing.
I'm actually really hanging onto the pole for my dear life here.
And this awesome photo has been submitted for their Alive Postcard contest.
Join in the fun!
And while you're at it, drop a vote for me too on the link above? :)

And be ready to deal with awkward photo moments like these.

How does one receive a hadouken?

We had so much fun, time went by in a twinkle of an eye.
Brunch reservations were pushed back three times.
And it might've been more except we also had people to meet for brunch.

T'was a good Sunday out.
Yes it was. :)

And will we be back?
But of course!
Different unique paintings and exhibitions will be brought in for special occasions and about a third of their paintings are changed every 12-18 months.

Till the next photo crazy day out my beloved friends :)

Alive Museum
Suntec City Mall #03-372 (between Towers 3 and 4)
If you know where Carrefour used to be? 
That's the place and head on up to the third level for the museum.
Opens from 10am-10pm daily and the last admission is at 9pm.

Thanks to and Alive Museum for the invite!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

On borrowed time.

On borrowed time. 
The heart. 
A sudden attack. 
The hospital. 
Seemed such a long while back. 
I hated its sterile grounds. 
My relief when u were finally discharged knew no bounds. 
These days the memories set in. 
Of the past in which you had been. 
Please live well. 
Let your laughter ring like bells. 
Keep an open mind. 
To diminish your sighs. 
Let's make this period your best. 
To take your well deserved rest. 
In this borrowed time.
You've been doing just fine.

Dear Grandma,
I wish it were but just a random muse.
But there you are stubborn when yet precariously near the end of a fuse.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Midweek lunch break @ Swensens

It's always a joy to meet up with a dear friend. 
And her lil daughter.
Perfectly innocent, pure unadulterated joy in her own kiddy bubble. 

We settled in for lunch break but we never got round to making our orders till a long while later.
Just too much to talk about. Too much to catch up on.

We met at 1pm at Swensens in Northpoint.
Smack in the middle of the timeslot for their weekday lunch treats
Monday-Fridays from 11am -2pm.
And apparently we could've chosen from a free side, sundae or free drink. 

That's because right after our order of mains, she enquired what we would like for a free side. There was no mention of a sundae or drink choice. :(

I would've really loved a sundae today.
Sore throats really don't go well with fried anything.
these were perfectly battered and tasting divine piping hot.

Deep fried mushrooms
Juicy mushrooms encased in a perfectly crisp batter.
Even when it's no longer piping hot.

Spice 'N' Chic
A first time for me.
It was served as promised, plump and tender chicken strips full on flavour.
Just a little on the salty side.

My friend had a Healthier choice Pesto Salmon.
Nicely grilled with flaky salmon pieces that her daughter loved.

While I went for the works on their signature Mega Burger.
And boy was it massive.
The burger patty was a little too well done but it was still juicy and delish.

And their sunny side up egg with chicken ham and turkey bacon made it feel like I was having a double meal of breakfast and lunch altogether at once.
My only reservation was that the burger bun at its base was a little soaked over with oil.
It was all too much but I loved every bit of it.
If pregnancy was bliss,
I definitely felt it at lunch. :)

All photos were taken with no filter applied.
The counter seats at Swensens here in Northpoint were right next to the window and the lighting there for photos was just perfect.

It was a good midweek break.
A delicious catch up session with my favourite mama.
Happy belated birthday my dear friend!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Chicken soup for the soul.

Black charcoal and white hot ash. 
I watch as she toils over the well-worn stove. 
Her movements restricted. 
Her hearing impaired. 
Her speech lacking in life. 
Her pride, 
As a proud woman who devotes her life to keeping the house in order. 
She will clean. 
And cook. 
For as long as she lives. 
Her stubborness translates into a perfect bowl of chicken soup. 
She feeds my soul. 
My grandma.

Chic-a-cherry. Skip the cola.

This comes a little late but its cherry season and I've been having a bunch of these juice pops on a daily basis.

The most commonly seen cherries in our supermarkets in this period are the Bing cherries and the Rainier cherries (pictured above)

Bing cherries have a deep red color with a firm texture.
In theory, they should have more antioxidants with their deep rich colors.

But I'd choose my Rainier cherries over them any day.
Simply because I like sweet :)
These golden hued berries with a slight red blush have a generally higher fruit sugar content than the Bing cherries.

But really.
What's the deal with cherries anyway?

The Health Benefits of Cherries

I loved this infograph.
These juice pops, while small in size
are amazing big on our health benefits.
Eat them for a healthy heart,
a better night's rest.
They even combat pain.
Gotta love popping painkillers if they look and taste like that all the time. :)

So chic-a-cherry.
Skip the Cola.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Buta Kimchi Chigae

Homemade kimchi.
Napa vegetables quartered and soaked overnight in salted water.
Drain and wash two to three times to remove salt and sediments.
Radish salted and drained.
Scallions quartered.
Mix Korean beanpaste (gochujang) with 
Salted shrimp (saeujeot),
Fish sauce,
Chilli spice powder,
Minced garlic/ ginger,
And some flour mixed with water.

Carefully spread the paste over the vegetables leaf by leaf.
And mix thoroughly.
Pack into an airtight bag/ jar and let it ferment.

We made this in Jeju when we were staying at our guesthouse.
This kimchi making class cost us way more than we were prepared to pay for a huge pile of vegetables but I must say that it does taste pretty awesome.

What better way to bring back my K memories but for a bowl of pork kimchi soup.

Boil kimchi with water and add one cube of Knorr chicken seasoning to 1 litre of water.
Add in sliced pork once it comes to a boil.
Don't bother with marinating the pork.
That kimchi flavour will do all its magic for you.


Beat the heat with some peaches and iced honey lemon aiyu

This was heaven in a bowl.
A packet of Signwin brand Aiyu Jelly powder available at NTUC Fairprice to make the jelly.
Chill and cut into cubes.

These Del Monte Peaches come in a can.
Reserve some heavy syrup to make the dessert base.
Finish with a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of honey.

Amazing way to beat the heat in this crazy weather.
Thanks to godmummy for the refreshing love. <3 p="">

Shanghai Special

Tong Xin Ju
Special Shanghai Tim Sum with a history that dates back to the 1940s used to be at Margaret Drive is now at Maxwell Food Centre.
And still as good.
If not better.

Their Shanghai Nian Gao with seafood.
This is the small portion at $4.
It isn't big on seafood.
But that isn't the main star of this dish. 
Their sliced nian gao is and it shines through.
Delightfully chewy yet easily digestible.
The gravy is lightly seasoned and encapsulates wonderfully umami seafood flavours within that makes one want to finish up every last drop of this!
Seafood hor fun is my favourite cze char dish but it's definitely taking a backseat to this.

And how can one not make an order for their legendary dumplings?
I went for their healthier option steamed dumplings today.
Served piping hot.
They steam only upon each order.
Generous servings of minced meat mixed with some chopped ham for that tinge of pink peeking through its translucent skin.
Perfect with ginger and vinegar.

Tong Xin Ju Special Shanghai Tim Sum
Maxwell Food Centre
1 Kadayanallur Street #01-92
Open Tuesday to Sunday
11.30 am to 8.30 pm
Closed on Monday