Loving Life

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Adrian gets a high from Mark's cherry :D

To celebrate Adrian turning 35, the work team met up at Dempsey Hut to buy him a b'day meal. Dempsies is known for their yummy chicky wings, curry chicken and fish & chips. We ordered a side helping of french loaf to soak in Mark's remaining curry gravy..and washed down the meal with cool ginger beer. Also sang 'Happy Bday' (minus the clapping) and shared a brownie topped with vanilla ice cream. It was also a great bonding session for Mark and Adrian as we can see from the above pix!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

WW 1-4-1 @ Capella

Quick! Rush out to buy the Oct edition of Women's Weekly (WW). It comes with a dining coupon book with fabulous 1-for-1 deals at some good restaurants including Il Lido, Doc Cheng's, Secret Garden, Made-in-China.

We first tried Capella last year when WW had the similiar deal at this place. This high class restaurant located facing the gorgeous victorian church at Chijmes serves fusion italian fare. Their pastas left a lasting impression on us the last time round and we've been looking for an excuse to return ever since. Hurrah for WW to continue the offer! This time, the deal was for a set lunch at $30++. On the lunch menu were a choice of 4 appetizers, 3 mains (fish, chicken and beef) and 3 desserts followed by coffee/tea.

My grilled seafood cake came decorated so prettily that it seemed almost a shame to touch it. I thought it tasted more like a normal "huge" fishball although the accompanied sides blended really well with this dish. The pan-fried chicken was more like Chicken Kiev, oozing with mozarella cheese filing. I found the crust a bit dry though and wished that they there was more of the tomato puree to offset the dryness. I did not realise that my dessert was 70% almond and 2% chocolate :p..not much of a almond dessert fan, I became more keen on Jin's yummy strawberry ice-cream.

Jin's mushroom fritata was actually a quiche (i learn something new everyday :p) and it was good! Just the right amount of cheese so it did not seem too heavy as an appetizer. His grilled steak looked more like a pork chop but it was a real steak alright. Tender and lean, every bite got an approving nod from both of us. His strawberry ice-cream dessert was the chef's selected dessert of the day and was a good way to round off the meal.

We finished our lovely Sunday lunch with good coffee and at $35 (for BOTH of us), this was certainly one of our best value gourmet lunches in recent memory.

Penang food quite Delights...

Since moving to Singapore 4 years ago, Jin and I have nearly given up hope of ever finding good Penang Fried Kuey Teow here. Singapore has its own version which neither of us has taken a liking to (soggy and sweet vs the Penang version which is dry and spicy). So when we read in last week's papers that there was a stall in Aljunied serving this, we happily arranged to have our Saturday brunch there.

Located at Aljunied Ave 2, Penang Delights is a small stall in Block 117. With the Strait Times review enlarged, laminated and proudly displayed outside the stall, there was already a short queue when we arrived at 10am. I stood in line and scanned the simple menu which consisted of 4 items - Penang Fried Kuey Teow (FKT), Penang Asam Laksa, Prawn Mee and Kon Low noodles. We went with the FKT and Asam Laksa.

The FKT looked promising with its 2 large prawns. It tasted close to the KL FKT - they got the texture right but the spiciness was missing. Nevertheless, it was one of the better FKT we have tried in Spore :). The Assam Laksa was also surprisingly good...definitely up yoKL standards and it was served with generous helpings of tuna. For $2.50 a dish, both came in a good sized portion to fill up a lunch stomach. Would definitely recommend this place to anyone who has never tasted Penang FKT and Assam Laksa...next, to come back to try the Prawn Mee (have never found this in Spore until now) and the kon low (dry) noodles.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rack of lamb as thai cuisine?

Patara (fine thai cuisine) @ Tanglin Mall was the 2nd eatery we attacked with Jin's 50% creative eateries discount card. This thai restaurant has not been frequented by us even though it's a 5 minute walk from home because of their dear prices..a dinner there for two can easily set you back $100.

After scanning their website, I had planned for us to order the rack of NZ lamb and black cod. However, the waiter mentioned that the cod might be a bit too fishy so we went with the grilled jumbo king prawns instead. One of our appetizers was the tom yam soup which came 2 large prawns and lots of mushroom and slices of coconut. The soup had a tangy sour spicy taste - just as like all quality tom yam soups to be.

Our 2nd appetizer was the "maeng kam" - betelnut leaves which you fill up with condiments of peanuts, lime, chilli padi, garlic, baby shrimps, onions and top up with a smear of coconut tamarind paste - fold and pop into your mouth for a crunchy mouthful of mixed flavours - I call it the 4 S's - sweet, salty, savoury & spicy :)

We were served 2 portions of the grilled prawns ($28)...the prawns were very fresh and went well with the lime and lemongrass chilli sauce. The lamb ribs marinated with lemongrass was also similarly excellent... the meat was tender and absent of the usual overpowering lamby...it also came on a generous bed of papaya salad. I would clasify Patara more as a fusion restaurant than thai - a good deal only with our 50% discount - otherwise, a bit overpriced for regular casual dining:).

Turqoise being the new colour..

One my my favourite things about the weekend is that I get to plan and decide on places to eat for 4 meal times. Jin, who is ever accommodating - contributes by agreeing to my choice of outlets, driving us there and most importantly, picking up the bill :D..heehee.

To reward him for to his niceness, I usually try to bring Jin to places which I myself have tried out and found them to be good (this making me his guinea piglet :)....so for today's Sunday brunch, we headed to The Turqoise Room @ Gilman Village. I have visited this place twice in the past and always felt that their pastas were pretty good. On my last visit, I managed to "steal" a bite of crab meat linguine off my colleague's plate and knew instantly that this was a dish that Jin would love!

It was a quiet morning at Turqoise, we were the 2nd patrons. With the light drizzle and amidst lush greenery, coupled with the vast space and whitewashed interior - it felt like we were in our own dream home away from the city..nice! Jin wasted no time in ordering his crab meat linguine and peach smoothie while I gave their brunch menu (which consisted of mainly different variations of omelettes) a miss and went with the grilled chicken with pesto and sun dried tomatoes pasta ( I am a sucker for anything with pesto!)

The food took some time to come but hey, it's a lazy Sunday morning so armed with borrowed magazines, we kept ourselves busy browsing. The crab meat linguine was just as I remembered it to be,,creamy tomato base with generous helping of fresh crab meat..oh, it was wayy too good! My pesto based pasta dish had 3 fillets of chicken and I love it that the sauce was evenly spread among the big portion of linguine.

Turqoise's a great place to check out - although prices are bit on the steep side- you pay for the great tasting food and lovely ambience.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

In hurry for curry...

Hsu Wei's mom makes the best best curry chicken in the whole of Spore..honest! This home-cooked dish is made scratch from only the freshest ingredients ..no store bought paste and all that nonsense. I have eaten it twice in my 4 years in Spore so you can imagine my excitement and delight when Myra organised a dinner a her place and Hsu Wei agreed to get her mom to cook for us...the date of the dinner was infact only set after we first checked with Mrs. Tan if she was free to cook :)..like Myra said - no curry, no dinner!

And the curry did not disappoint and definitely worth the wait :)..it's the kind with tinges of everything - coconut, lemongrass, chilli, spices and it's not burning hot but with the right level of satisfying spiciness.

We had ourselves a feast tonight as Myra worked her magic on a japanese salad dish, tofu with century egg, garlic bits and pork floss, baked wings, thumb-sized mushrooms with a touch of salmon and bacon bits.

Wee Hoon and I delivered a tiramisu cake which we spent our Friday night stuck indoors making ..it turned out pretty well in terms of texture but sadly it lacked the alchoholic oomph :p

Adel kept to her promise and brought along her little Noah..he is such a cutie ;)

Around Singapore in 1 day...

Last Sunday saw Yen Ling, Ed, Jin and me driving all over Spore as part of the Power 98 Carvivor event. It was a treasure hunt of speed that had us do the following :-

1) Answer 8 questions at Downtown East
2) Fold paper aeroplanes at West Coast Park
3) Separate red beans from green beans at Lower Delta Road
4) Squeeze lime and drink the juice at Chua Chu Kang stadium
5) Skip rope and answer questions at Sentosa

Once we found out that this hunt was based on speed, we were realistic that our chances of winning was slim with 120 teams to compete with. So we decided from the start to just enjoy ourselves and not even attempt the rush ;)..I got to ride the sentosa sky tower for free and the views of Spore from the tower really wowed me! Brave Jin had to drink up all the sour lime juice mixed with lime seeds, grub from our hands and lots of our saliva..he was the MAN! (poor hon! - thankfully you did not get stomach ache). Ed and YL were great team mates with Ed's vast knowledge of the Spore roads (he was our talking street directory) and YL's infallible chirpyness definitely made the hours on the road that much more fun.

We got lots of door gifts including free tickets to watch the Spore Slingers vs Adelaide 36ers basketball game next week..kewl!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jin and Cin - 6 years!

Jin and I celebrated our 6th wedding annivesary last weekend in KL.

As a treat, we checked into the KL Hilton and spent the weekend with friends, good Msian food at affordable prices and time with family. The nice thing about being married is having someone to do something with you (the poor spouse has no choice! right? ;)..it really magnifies the FUN factor. This week alone saw us attending our first pop concert - Westlife, watch a weekday movie (The HOST rocks!) and spent a good part of Sunday driving all over the island (north, south, east and west - we kid you not!) as part of the Power 98 Carvivor Rally.

Join me as I make a "blog toast" to Jin and me for many more HaPpY years to come and angst to endure ;) My one wish is that Jin will look at me as lovingly as my grandparents and in-laws are still doing :)

Addicted to Prison Break!!!

Finally got hold of the dvd set of the latest "IN" tv series - Prison Break..this show is the reason I can't wait to come home during the whole weekend - forgoing weekend shopping at Orchard and not allocating time to check out the full suite of new eateries at meal times :p

Since Friday night, Jin and I have been averaging 5 hours of Prison Break a day. In between, we managed to squeeze brunch yesterday at Steeple's Deli and dinner at Al Dente trattoria.

Since hearing Charmaine raved about the peanut butter choc milkshake at Steeple's Deli, I could not come up with any good reason why we should not check it out for brunch seeing this old-time deli is barely a 2 minute walk from home ;). We sat ourselves at the half-filled bar counter and immediately ordered the milkshake. Then only did we allow our eyes to wander through the rest of the blackboard for the mains.

I choose the Reuben (pastrami with cheese) and Jin went for his usual Saturday morning brunch burger. The milkshake came first and one sip and I was silent for a good 5 minutes :) (still trying not to think about the 1000+ calories that shake's probably made of..instead, focusing on the good - nuts are good for you aren't they? hee)

I found the reuben quite ordinary - it came as a open-faced sandwich laden with tons of sauerkraut, followed by slices of pastrami ham and one thin layer of swiss cheese. Don't get me wrong..it's tasty but nothing super memorable...I think I miss my fav sandwiches at Simply Bread :). Jin's burger was a surprise... A good reasonable sized patty tucked in between 2 fluffy buns - and that's it! I was like ..err, where's the cheese? pickles? tomatoes? anything??? But there was a good reason why it came so plain..I guess the smart folks at Steeple's know how to make a good patty and they did not want any other ingredients to spoil the taste. Burger was succulent and very juicy. Not as fantastic as Marmalade's but then again, this burger was half the price :). Steeple's seems like a good place to go for quickie comfort food....laidback atmosphere and pleasant service too.

Al Dente Trattoria is located at the Esplanade's riverfront...and with the scenic Spore skyline as a backdrop this makes for a romantic dinner venue. With average mains costing $30, we usually only frequent such pricier establishments only occasionally. However, Jin received a "pressie" in the mail a few days back.,..courtesy of Citibank Platinum memberships services, he was presented with the Citibank creativeateries card that gives up to 50% discounts from the creativeateries group of restaurants. Yippee!! so Al Dente's the first on the list which we decided to check out.

Our appetizers were the grilled portobello mushrooms (which came with a good sized mixed salad) and the flower crab bisque. Both were yummy and despite having a conversation on the cell, I managed to quietly dig into my favourite mushrooms and salty rich bisque (I later found out that it was made with brandy..no wonder it tasted good..hic!). As a main, I found little fault with my oven-baked black cod fish accompanies with sides of garlic mash and slices of carrots and zuchinni. Jin thoroughly enjoyed his garlic cream based linguine arragosta which came with small portions of mushrooms and fresh lobster meat. Unfortunately (or fortunately), we had no more room for dessert but went home to Prison Break Disc 3 with happy tummys especially since the good meal came up to less than $50 for both of us :).

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Let's go eat! I am hungry!!!

These 6 words in Charmaine's email prompted 5 ladies to head to Majestic Restaurant for a sunny Wednesday lunch date. She had read about the lobster noodle review on Chubby Hubby's blog and the picture of the lobster alone got our crustacean cravings going :))

The 4 course lunch set started with a trio of appetizers : meat dumplings, jellyfish topped with 2 slices of bbq meat (char siew) and soft shell crab. Of the 3, my fav was the crab..it was fried with garlic and had just the right amount of seasoning to make every crispy bite delicious :). The dumplings tasted like normal "shui gao" to me and the bbq meat was like Steph commented - too porky :p

The double-boiled soup came next..presentation wise, very ordinary (hey, it's a soup..what did I expect? fireworks?..heee)..but the taste was quite aromatic with a tinge of herbalness and sweetness. Came with cubes of a chinese vegetable root..I have no idea what it's called but it had a cruncy texture like a lotus root.

Then came the highlight course - braised live boston Lobster noodles with spring onion and ginger. The portion served was surprisingly generous in nature. We had a meaty claw and one half of the body. Might be a bit too much for some but to me, the portion was just right :). The noodles were a tad too soggy and Yappy commented that the taste of the noodles and lobster did not gel. I loaded my noodles with red cut chillis and finished them in a jiffy. The remaining lobster noodle broth was not wasted either - slurp slurp ;)

We ordered an extra dish of pan-fried carrot cake to share. I thought it wasn't that great - too soft and wet. And Yappy found an "added ingredient" in her plate of carrot cake, which resulted in the chef coming in to apologise ....we were also given complimentary custard-filled mini buns as a compensation.

The set lunch ($40 with OCBC card) included dessert (choice of 8 options). My love of orh nee has not subsided so I choose that over the durian crispy ice cream. To my dissapointment, Majestic's orh nee did not impress..came slightly overcooked with a layer of almond paste (I hate almond paste :P) and 3 gingko nuts. I ended up finishing Yappy's durian pastry ice cream dessert instead..heehee..she had no choice but to share seeing that I was sitting next to her..hah!

Andrea commented that the ala-carte menu served better food at more affordable prices so I will definitely come back to try it out! One thing for sure, with great service and quality food, it's no wonder this place is packed most of the time..every table was filled during lunch!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Working on Merdeka :p

It's Merdeka day in Msia today...all my msian friends had the day off while poor me had to work :p. I volunteered as a HP Demo Dayer at COMEX (computer fair) - which saw me standing on my feet for 4 hours this evening, with a huge smile plastered on my face, saying "Hi - can I help you? do you need photo paper? do you need cartridges?"

Am happy to admit that I managed to sell quite a bit - now I need my bed to rest my aching back and feet..kudos to all the folks out there who have to be on their feet all day long. You have my full R.E.S.P.E.C.T (said in full Ali G's style ;)