December 21, 2010 § 2 Comments
The exams have finally exhausted themselves and disappeared from my life (for a whole good year). No more exams till next November! Now that I’ve slept enough and have stopped being a total zombie, I finally have the energy to be excited for the new season ahead (next up: internship!).
So my family had an early Christmas dine-out this year. Traditionally we go for a buffet at a nice hotel every year. We have our favourites – Oscar’s at Conrad, Melt: The World Cafe at Mandarin Oriental, The Line at Shangri-La… but this year Sis booked somewhere we hadn’t been to yet.
We’ve been to Pine Court at Meritus a number of times for birthdays and such (they have excellent dim sum!), but this was our first time trying Triple Three. A couple of hours before we were going to go there, I went to check out the reviews on Hungrygowhere (of course)… and boy were they disappointing! Complaints of bad service and subpar food abounded.
Never underestimate the power of the Internet because Hungrygowhere was the first site that popped up on Google search, and if I had discovered it any earlier, we would’ve canceled our reservation and headed for somewhere else.
Unfortunately, because it was only a couple of hours to dinnertime, Sis and I did try calling up some other hotel restaurants but they were either fully booked or too expensive. (Melt was going for 98++ per pax that night!) So we decided to just stick to Triple Three and test it out for ourselves.
I went with low expectations and a hungry stomach. When we got there, I was pleasantly surprised that I did not encounter any of the bad service reputedly featured on the Hungrygowhere reviews. The extremely smiley and welcoming manager ushered us in, made small talk with us and mentored his staff closely. Sure there were some inexperienced waitresses. We had one from China with very bad English but she tried. Jason had a dirty fork and we got that changed, we asked for warm water but got room temperature water, but these were minimal and nothing to make a hoo-ha about. So my conclusion on the service front: It was nothing much to complain about! Acceptable enough and they were polite and brisk with clearing the tables.
Now we move on to the food.
Of course, I am slightly biased and tend to judge buffets based on how well they do my favourite foods. Aka, seafood (sashimi sashimi sashmi, and other things) and dessert.
For a buffet, they actually don’t leave the sashimi out on a platter for you to take on your own. They have a chef (if you can call him a chef) there to slice the various types of sashimi when you want it (so it means you can’t take as much as you want and you will feel paiseh to go back for seconds because the guy has already seen you before, very smart).
The chef is quite stingy with the pieces, he normally gives about 3 or 4 little slices each and I asked for more because well, I love sashimi. As you can probably tell from his cuts, he’s not very good at this slicing this. I’m not sure whether to give him the benefit of doubt that his knife isn’t sharp enough or that he’s really just not very deft with it, but they were quite badly sliced in general.
Sashimi verdict? Okay lor. Not great. Not bad. Wasabi was the kind that knocks you out and cures your sinuses so I liked it.
Moving on to the crayfish.
This was not bad, but that cheese/cream/calories sauce thing they drowned the meat in was a bit much. Some people like it I guess, I liked it too, but would’ve liked it more if there had been a little less of that cream.
Turkey and roast beef. Okay the thing about Christmas right… what is Christmas without turkey? Turkey was actually the key deciding factor in choosing buffets (because my sister wants turkey).
The turkey and roast beef were nicely done. Turkey was tender. Bad point: no stuffing. Where’s my turkey stuffing? Roast beef was on the medium rare side which I liked.
This is also sliced on the spot for you. Surprise surprise, by the same guy who cuts your sashimi.
Roast duck. The concept of this buffet is they have a lot of stations where people have to prepare things ‘on the spot’ for you. The duck was not bad but I just feel like, I don’t really pay 70 dollars to come to a buffet to eat duck.
Or prawn mee either. Though I must say I liked this prawn mee. It was nice.
They also had very bad chawanmushi.
It was bad, and didn’t taste anything like any chawanmushi I’ve had in my life so I don’t really know how to describe it.
Some of the other stations they had were a stir-fry station, where they had juicy mushrooms and bean sprouts, fish and beef cubes. These were not bad I’d have to say. And they also had an Indian food corner that I must’ve completely ignored.
So my verdict on the mains overall:
Variety – okay.
Quality – okay, some inconsistent. Nothing stood out.
But sometimes if the food isn’t fantastic, dessert makes up for it. But not here.
Always remember that sometimes they look better than they taste.
Of the 3 little cups here. One was mango, which was the only nice one. Strawberry was dull. The last we couldn’t even identify but it definitely didn’t taste good.
Green tea log cake, or they should’ve called it green tea buttercream with a bit of cake. Unidentifiable soury brown cake in the background.. I have no idea what it was supposed to be but it tasted like it had gone bad. The thing is, it probably hasn’t, but whatever they were trying at, it failed (might have been an attempt at some sort of yogurt cake). Even the cute little chocolate thing tasted bad. How can?
Completely fail. Except for the lime ice-cream, because it’s citrus. But of course they don’t make the ice-cream in-house so that doesn’t really count.
So would I recommend this place?
If you’re a dessert queen… definitely not. But overall the food is not bad (not good, remember, just not bad) and apart from the chawanmushi
being the only major turnoff, sorry, I forgot the soba, don’t eat that either, the food is actually quite edible. But if you’re going to pay $68++ for a Christmas buffet, I’d suggest topping up another $10 and going to Oscar’s at Conrad instead. Impeccable food and service there. But if you a a DBS cardholder and want to go for the 1-for-1 promotion (that ends at the end of the year, Mon-Thur only, must book because every night is full), then I guess it’s worth a shot?
Anyway looking forward to more Christmas gatherings now. Have one almost every day till the end of the year! Happy holidays everyone. Enjoy the remainder of December and look forward to an amazing 2011.
June 23, 2010 § 2 Comments
I know the description on the sidebar says that I’ll try to shoot more and talk less, but I’ve been talking a lot. Well at least I said ‘attempt’ to shoot more and talk less.
Can’t really edit photos proper so these photos are mostly untouched, just resized using GIMP, which really isn’t all too bad and I should be grateful I can even use, though the process of opening and resizing one photo is inefficiently taking more than a minute per shot.
This is the popular and rather famous (by its sheer convenient location on the Ramblas stretch) La Boqueria Market in Barcelona. It was probably our favourite place in Barca because Junhua and I were there every day.
And the last picture is a little gross so I’m sorry if anyone gets nightmares of dead sheep afterwards.
(Chinese readers should be okay since we can’t comment because half the things we eat is also makes it to the gross list of most angmohs.)
Oh yea, if anyone noticed any difference in the photos (ie. you were thinking is it just me or do they look better than usual, they look sharper, the bokeh is nicer, etc), it’s because they were shot with the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. I have officially given up on my kit lens and if anyone wants to buy it from me when I come back do tell me. It has offered me good range for the past 15 months or so but there is far more it cannot offer me, so it’s time to part ways dear friend.
Don’t know if I’m going to expand anymore because Canon is making me lust after the 5D MkII and even the counterpart to the D90, the Canon 550D has way better video quality than the jellied mesh produced by the Nikon D90. But if I do… a 70-200mm and an 85mm prime would be nice… (Just dreaming…)
April 19, 2010 § 1 Comment
So we missed our flight to Madrid on Saturday because of the epic volcanic ash situation here in Europe.
It’s not as major news back home I know, save for the stranded passengers in Changi and fully booked hotels. But here in Europe virtually every airport is closed and seems set to stay that way till Monday morning at the very least. It’s not visibly crazy here in little Lugano or anything, but the news network coverage in this region definitely gives it more airtime than its probably receiving back in Singapore.
STILL. It meant we didn’t fly into Madrid, and therefore had to cancel all our connections and accommodations for Madrid and Barcelona. Hopefully all the money we already put down will be refunded.
We had actually been monitoring the situation on Friday when all the airports started closing down one by one. At that time Milan Malpensa (MXP) (where we were flying from) had indicated that the airport would be closed till 2pm on Saturday. Our flight was at 7ish, so we were still safe. Got to commend Malpensa and Easyjet for having very good, up-to-date tracking systems for checking flight statuses. (Crisis management!)
Woke up on Saturday and was about to leave for Milan some time past noon when MXP officially announced the continued closure of the airport and Easyjet promptly updated that our flight was most affirmatively cancelled.
SO. We had to find something else to do for the weekend. Fortunately for us we have a great floormate/neighbour who can acquire any movie you could possibly desire in less than a minute. (He has a premium megaupload account.)
We spent our Saturday watching Star Trek 8, and part of Star Trek 4. And the first episode of The Pacific which I FNALLY got to watch and zomg I hearts many. THIS is the kind of production I would absolutely adore having the opportunity to work on.
Vita Humpa from Czech Republic. Don’t be fooled by the harmless nerdy image portrayed here. He’s only wearing specs to watch the movie. The rest of the time he’s a walking, beer guzzling ball of wit and dry humour who is great fun to have around. Hehe.
So that was our Saturday. Grabbed some extra ingredients for a second round of devilishly awesome oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies to make myself feel better and baked them after church today while we watched Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.
My gosh, it’s one of those films that probably deserves a cult following at some point in time. It’s British humour and really one of those daft, irreverent things sort of like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that you’ll either love or hate.
But this entry isn’t about the film but the amazing cookies, so I decided to shoot the baking process more thoroughly today since I had the luxury of time. Measurements here are done by guessing mostly because of the lack of proper baking equipment. And yes I had to cream the wet ingredients with a fork by HAND because we obviously don’t have a stand/handheld mixer here.
Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
From Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (optional, didn’t use it as I didn’t have it)
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature (‘defrosted’ it in the microwave for a bit)
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or chunks (chopped up 2 100g bars of milk chocolate and 1 bar of dark chocolate)
Getting Ready: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Ingredients! Salt, white sugar, brown sugar, expensive peanut butter that doesn’t seem too big here in Switzerland, three bars of Migros chocolate (2 milk, 1 dark), eggs, muesli (the recipe calls for rolled oats, but I just sifted out the raisin and fruit bits so they wouldn’t interfere with the taste), weird little packets of baking soda and vanilla essence. Vanilla essence is disgustingly expensive here. That one little sachet cost me 90 rappen (90 swiss cents). AND obviously it’s only 1 teaspoon’s worth.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. (Did this completely with a very tired hand holding a fork, sista!)
If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick.
So yes that was my Sunday. And here’s an extra picture of Vita and Marco having lunch.
(As you can tell for all of us, every day’s a pasta day. One day I’ll dedicate an entire entry to pasta. One day.)
So well. No Spain, but still a pretty interesting weekend here in USIHome.. No school this week so I’m going to go find stuff to do like draw or design and keep looking out for internships or something.
April 14, 2010 § 2 Comments
Shall I make an attempt to squeeze 8 days of an italian holiday into a single entry?
Yes, I shall.
So us Lugano folk met up with Eldon and Janie (studying in Hatfield, UK) and Walter (Sweden) and did a crazy whirlwind tour of Milan, Venice, Verona, Florence & Pisa in eight days.
The holiday cost me about 450 euros. I budgeted 400 euros, which I wouldn’t have exceeded but I spent about 70 euros shopping. More than 200 euros went to transport and accommodation. The rest was food and entrance tickets and such. Italy is an amazingly tourist-ed place. You have to pay to get into anywhere. And I was faced with so many tourists over the past one week that I’m not even sure how many people I saw were actually Italian.
Each Italian city had it’s own unique flavour and architecture. Every where we went it felt a little different. (Prices and quality of food too.) These are my general impressions of each city.
Milan: Wet and cold when we got there. Couldn’t walk around without getting harassed by street hustlers. Four girls who looked about 12 tried to pickpocket me on the train. Generally couldn’t move without feeling on my guard all the time and not the most pleasant first impression or experience of Italy. Furthermore we were there on Easter Sunday and all the shops were closed. Will have chances to head back again so I’m sure I’ll find something better to say the next time I’m back.
Not many pictures from Milan because it was cold and wet and the pictures all turned out shitty.
Venice: Walking around the entire island was like being in Chinatown on Chinese New Year’s eve. We even joked that the island was probably sinking because there were simply too many tourists. A pretty place that everyone has to visit at least once in their lives even if you have to fight for elbow space with about a hundred thousand other people. Whoever built Venice never heard of urban planning. Navigating the streets was like moving through a labyrinth. You almost never go down the same street twice, unless by accident. Fun place to get lost in. Obviously a lot more pictures from Venice because it deserves it.
Verona: Amazed that there is actually tourism here because of 1) a rather unimpressive roman amphitheater, 2) Juliet’s house, Romeo’s house, and Juliet’s grave. Tourism at work I tell you. These characters don’t even exist. But yes we did go up Juliet’s underwhelming balcony and marveled at why Verona has tourists.
Roman amphitheater. Heavily under repair/construction/whatever. But they were still charging people 6.5 euros to enter, unbelievable. We bought the Verona Day pass for 10 euro so we could go to all the touristy places at a cheaper price and take the city buses for free.
Florence: Lovely, lovely city rich and abundant in culture. Food was more expensive here. But I managed a spot of shopping. Visited the 3 David statues and appreciated some lovely early European art. I like Florence more than Milan because at least I don’t feel like I have to guard my bag with my life all the time and that someone was going to try and aggressively con me of my money in a heartbeat.
Pisa: First impression was ‘cui’. And that it was dead boring. There’s the leaning tower. Small, unimpressive and underwhelming. But we still did the tourist thing and took lots of pictures. There’s an old town with a bazaar and lots of shops, but we didn’t spend much time there before taking our 8 hour trip back to Lugano. (More on the experience of traveling in Italy below.)
Food in Europe is generally expensive but we’re getting used to it. After all we pay out of our noses for everything in Switzerland. Every day was gelato day. Almost, at least. Italian gelato is heavenly. If you don’t go for the rip off ones (some of ours were). The best were the ones on Venice and the last gelato we had in Pisa. 2 to 3 scoops of amazing Italian ice-cream every day makes the world a better place.
The other cheap food option were the kebabs for around 3.5 to 4 euros. These were always hearty and satisfying (and most importantly had CHILI). Can’t say much for Italian pasta because I’m sick of pasta (I eat that stuff every day in Switzerland) and never really liked pasta anyway. The only pasta I had was squid ink pasta in Venice and it just tasted like the one from Waraku.
The pizzas I had were just ‘okay’. Nothing that screamed wow. Need to find out where the places are. We’re always in the touristy areas and no matter what I buy (food, icecream, clothes, etc) I feel like I’m being ripped off at least a little (it’s just the degree of rip-off-ness).
Sandwiches were nice, if not a little pricey too. 2.5 to 4.5 euros. Yes budget traveler I am. The rest of the money goes into shopping. I shall gush about how much I love European fashion later on.
Below: Other more expensive yummies in Venice we didn’t buy.
Okay. It’s rather bad to put it this way, but crossing the border from Switzerland to Italy really feels like I’m taking a train from Singapore to Malaysia. Being in Switzerland has spoilt us rotten. The comfort of Swiss trains are indubitable. We rode on a variety of Italian trains. Some were alright. But our final one back to Milan was a bit of an experience. It was a six seater carriage but we were sharing it with 2 huge Italians and their dogs and another guy. And also a father and son who were occupying our seats before we arrived and tried to claim that the seats were his. Had to spent the latter part of the journey having the kid glaring eyeballs at me for having ‘chased’ him and his dad out of the carriage. And oh, smelling like dog and having fur all over my clothes of course.
Fortunately the couple didn’t ride all the way to Milan and got off at Bologna. If not I’ll probably never get the smell of wet dog out of my belongings.
Generally the Italian transport system isn’t very much different from what we’re used to in Switzerland, it’s pretty easy to understand and find your train. It’s just the trains themselves and the people whom you would potentially meet on board that are a little… different.
I congratulate myself after 21 years of existence as a Singaporean for finally understand how IMPORTANT it is to dress according to the season’s fashion after going to Italy. Italy right now has become far warmer, it was about 20 to 21 degrees in all the cities we visited, warm enough to wander around in shorts and tank tops if you so chose. And all the winter clothes have been shed and everyone’s decked out for Spring. Not dressing accordingly in Italy really makes you stick out like a sore thumb!
I wonder how it’ll be in Spain. Spanish people take great pride in their fashion too. (We’ll be heading there this Sunday for 5 days of culture and shopping!) But I really, really, really love European fashion. Gosh the clothes and styles and colors are just absolutely LOVELY. Hence yes, 70 euros spent in Italy on clothes. Just a bit of H&M, Zara and Tezenis. I’m not a big fashion spender or a brand whore. But I do love a good bargain and unique designs.
Can’t wait to shop in Spain. Hope I can find a cheap new pair of Camper (which are, I must say, my favourite snugly comfortable brand of walking shoes). And a new bag.
No pictures of the new clothes.
Okay but here’s one of my new scarf which I got from one of the many street vendors in Florence. Everyone there was wearing such pretty scarves and I couldn’t resist it any longer. 9 euros! A little on the pricey side but I really liked the design.
(And the grey tshirt is a new Zara basic.) Strangely I’ve been buying a lot of GREY since I came to Europe. Which is funny because in Singapore I never buy anything grey and think I look absolutely horrid in grey. (I still look bad in blue and orange though, that hasn’t changed.)
But I’m so happy shopping here because they have ALL the types and shades of colors in the earth range and the bright range that I like and look good in.
Okay I’ll stop gushing. Will probably have more to gush about after shopping in Spain. But in the meantime I’ll just leave you with pictures of us enjoying ourselves.
Till Spain! Or when something more interesting comes up.
March 18, 2010 § 2 Comments
Engage in every means possible to create food that does not involve pasta.
(Normally this also means just eating cereal/biscuits/crackers/chocolate/ovomaltine. But occasionally I try to cook something different.)
Color difference reflects nice natural light in the afternoons and the most impossibly gross dim yellow lighting in the evenings.
February 19, 2010 § Leave a Comment
So we didn’t steamboat during CNY.
But we made do with a carbfest.
Food for 6 girls. Took us more than 1.5 hours to prepare, and about 20 minutes to completely devour.
2 huge plates of fried rice, 3 packets of boiled instant noodles, and a pot full of chicken curry with loads of potatoes. And a terribly hard baguette. Srsly it wasn’t bread, it was biscuit. Bread here dries up and turns hard very quickly.
A scary colored yu-sheng that Becky’s parents brought up for us.
It was quite funny cause none of us know enough ‘four letter words’ to say while lou-ing. And we all basically ate very little of that stuff and chucked it aside. (We all agreed that normally in Singapore, some male relative or another is usually responsible for vacuuming up the yu-sheng which none of us were prepared to do.)
So we tried to get rid of it by offering it to an Indian neighbour, who became pretty enthusiastic about his new strange and wondrous discovery of strange Chinese food and proceeded to have seconds.
But the rest of the time we mostly have rather normal meals.
Okay, like I’ve mentioned we’re on shoestring budgets.
So all the rooms basically cook the same stuff in different permutations every day:
Potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic.
Almost every dish we cook has the above 4 items.
Me and my roommate also indulge in mushrooms.
But every room has it’s own idiosyncratic indulgences, we’ve realized.
Meat comes as a whole chicken (cheapest at 7.05CHF), or 0.5kg of minced beef at 6.95CHF.
Carb choices revolve around pasta (we will aim to try more than just Conchiglie [seashell shaped] and Spaghetti), rice (which we generally either overcook or put too much water), instant noodles and potatoes.
We’ve had soup for the past 3 days (forgot to take picture) made from the usual suspects: carrots, potatoes, lots of garlic and onion, and a whole chopped up chicken. With a mountain of fried shallots that my Momma sent up. Life is good.
But I think our kitchen ski||z are getting a little better. Tonight we had sauteed shrooms with minced beef, steamed broccoli and cheese omelette for dinner!
And I remembered to put enough salt for once. We used a good quality block of cheese I bought but wasn’t as flavorful as my cheapo Brie chunk.
Can’t read any of the names here since everything’s italian so I figure I may have purchased a cheese that was more suited for cooking, because it tasted real good with the omelette.
But Brie (and I will buy a block of Camembert to try next!) still remains my preferred selection for bread/crackers.
Okay, maybe more photos of food next time (must remember to take photos). But you can see the rest on facebook.
Will upload again soon on next week’s adventures in Bern and Lucern.
Doubt there’ll be much to say in the next couple of days since we’d actually be having them 8 hour classes. @_@
Shall have to sleep now!
February 19, 2010 § 2 Comments
Alright, so today I will talk about food (nothing else to talk about, we’ve run out of things to do in little Lugano).
We’ll be travelling out to Luzern and Bern next week, we largely have very little class to attend. Yes we only have about 35 days of school in total, shocking ain’t it? Most modules are cleared in about 5 days, BUT each day’s seminar is 8 hours. 8.30am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 5.30pm. Give and take la huh?
So we’ve been here 2 weeks and haven’t even eaten out yet. (Expensive. Duh.)
We told ourselves we’d eat out once a month somewhere nice. Haven’t done that yet, but fortunately we have loads of instant noodles and curry powder to keep us sane.
But we’ve been having loads of pasta and bread and such as well. And cheese. Even the cheapest cut of Brie here is yumyum. And cheap.
So being cheapo students on exchange trying to spend as little as we can, sniffing out good bargains in our favourite place (the supermarkets, which we have never spend so much time in Singapore as we do now) is an important activity we engage in every other day.
Here’s one of us being very proud to find a twin pack of ham discounted.
Meat here is expensive, but being Singaporeans who really cannot just eat pasta for every meal (as we have noted some neighbours doing), we need the carb/meat/veggie balance met.
Veggies in this country are quite inedible in soup. Being Chinese and all, obviously we boil everything. But most of the veggies here taste terrible boiled (as we have experimented). So far the most familiar and palatable is broccoli. There’s spinach here too but people mostly eat it ON pizza so they sell it in these expensive little packets ready for pizza. The only other roll of veggie we’ve found that doesn’t taste terrible after boiling is iceberg lettuce. So we’ve settled on that.
Funnily it’s like an inversion here. Veggies are kinda expensive, we saw ginger that cost 9CHF just now. Crazy seriously.
But stuff like cheese is really cheap. And hazelnut flour.
There are hoards of hazelnut products here. There’s nutella and about a zillion other nutella substitutes that taste practically like nutella, just waterier. (But of course there’s also ovomaltine, my love.)
I really love my ovomaltine spread. (The bottled stuff on the right hand side.) Haven’t bought any other Ovomaltine products because they’re not really cheap and none of the other girls are particularly enthusiastic about Ovomaltine so I can’t share with anyone.
Ovamaltine spread is like a cross between nutella and ovaltine with rice krispys in it. *_*
And these Italian-speaking Swiss folk really love their pasta. Should’ve taken proper shots to do a panorama with but since I didn’t here’s 8 pictures of the same shelf in the supermarket featuring the pasta collection.
Tadaaa. This isn’t even counting the need-to-be-refrigerated type of pasta like ravioli and gnocchi that are on a different shelf!
Anyway with easter coming there are shelvessss of chocolate bunnies all over the supermarkets. And since chocolate is so cheap here, some of the big hollow choco bunnies are already only $4.95. Wonder how much they’ll go for once the Easter slashing starts?
(Behind is a woman walking two ridiculously tiny dogs that don’t look like they should even be let out of the house to walk. They were seriously, smaller than my rabbits.)
They also sell colorful, sprayed eggs during the Easter period.
Which is kinda pretty, and cool, but also kinda gross. These are the metallic ones. The prospect of you accidentally eating is just rather ick.
Alrights, more in the next entry about what we’ve been eating per se here.
January 28, 2010 § 2 Comments
YES! Another food entry, fresh from tonight. Burps.
So tonight we went to Curry Wok which is reallyfarawayfrommyhouse and a ratherlongbusrideaway.
It’s at Coronation Road which in the general Lizzy Map Of Singapore doesn’t exist.
Bukit Timah is superbly far removed from my sphere of knowledge. Lol.
But we made it there and although I was very reluctant to go at first for many reasons, it was definitely a hit.
The Curry Wok
ADDRESS: 5 Coronation Road #01-04 Coronation Arcade Tel: +65 6464 8878
OPENING HOURS: Wed – Mon 11am – 9pm
Hungrygowhere reviews here!
Couldn’t tell that they closed at 9pm, we were there pretty late, by the time we got there it was probably 8.30pm and we weren’t the last to order.
I had my doubts about this place for several reasons. Or actually, 2 main reasons. One being how far it was from my house and knowing what a lazy traveler I am… The other reason was the key reason – being that their signature dish, fish head curry, was quite far removed from my ‘favourite food’ list. In fact, the distinctly fishy taste that accompanies fish curry drowned in a sea of coconut milk is a memory that remains rather nauseating. (Or maybe it was just the plague of that particular childhood memory of that one particular fish curry.)
SO. You have no idea how pleased as punch Jason was when I was pleasantly surprised by the curry.
The curry wasn’t ‘gelat’ (overbearing), it didn’t have that fishy smell I was expecting, the fish was SUPERBLY fresh, and it was really, really good.
The boyfriend is happy that the fussy girlfriend likes the food.
So happy that he went a little crazy with ordering, as he does quite often these days. He’s starting to adopt my mom’s lavish food ordering habits.
We had FIVE. FIVE DISHES OKAY, between the two of us. FIVE. I could feed my whole family dinner with the amount of food we ordered (and FINISHED).
The rest of the dishes. Oh the best part is that they serve you ALL YOUR FOOD at one go. Very awesome.
Ngor hiang! ($4 per roll.) This was good. These are most authentic when made by your grandma / my grandma, and yes the best ngor hiang in my book is definitely still grandma’s (which she doesn’t make anymore). But this was good ngor hiang.
Chup Cai! ($6/$8) Oh ho ho I feel so Hokkien and connected to my roots tonight. This is realllllllly shiok chup cai. Quoting one of the hungrygowhere reviews. It has the ‘tastes-like-home’ sort of feeling for kiddies like me whose family cooks about once a year (if ever).
Unassuming prawn omelette. ($6/$8) I wasn’t expecting much from this because, hey, it’s just fried scrambled eggs and all. But it was SO. MOIST AND JUICY. Better than any regular 菜饭 omelette. Incredibly moist and delicious.
Tofu with century egg. ($6/$8) I don’t eat century egg. But this was an interesting dish of cold tofu served with century egg and a very pleasant concoction of soy sauce and other stuff. Fried shallots added to the unique flavour as well. Good to try but nothing fantastic. It was interesting though.
They also serve an interesting drink of lime juice mixed with chin chow (grass jelly). ($2)
It’s like… sweet, and sour, and all sorts of confusing for your poor tongue but it was really refreshing to wash down the meal with it.
Jason cleaned the fish right down to the bone. It was like watching Pedro eat. Pedro eats his lamb chops so cleanly you’re surprised he doesn’t swallow the bones as well. But anyway I had the (dis)pleasure of watching Jason clean every last bone. The fussy eater known as Liz comes from the embarrassing sort of Chinese family that doesn’t eat a lot of the stuff Chinese people eat. But then again Chinese people seem to eat practically… everything. What’s that saying about how the Chinese eat everything as long as it’s back faces the sun?
Okay, yes. But I’ll be BACK. When I come back to Singapore. For braised pork knuckle. Kinda regretted not ordering it. And the otah smelled really delicious too (floated over from the neighbouring table), so looking forward to trying some of their other dishes 6 months later… Lol.
But for now curry is still swimming inside me…
Mom’s going to be back on the weekend and then it’ll be her turn to stuff me into a turkey. :s
January 28, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Yes, more food. I’m off to Switzerland in 9 days and the boyfriend sees fit to stuff me on behalf of my Mom (who’s away on work in China at the moment) with everything I won’t be able to eat for 6 months.
ADDRESS: 220 East Coast Road Tel: +65 6344 3114
OPENING HOURS: Daily 11.30am – 11.00pm
Hungrygowhere reviews here!
Okay, so we came here because it was a Monday night, and we had originally wanted to go to Casa Do Churrasco Brazil but FORTUNATELY they’re closed on Mondays. (One stuffed Lizzy being served right up. We had Wan Dou Sek the night before.)
I know you guys are probably bored about reading about food and wondering why the heck I eat so much (not scared grow fat meh?), but yeah I’m sure once I hit Switzerland I’ll have other things to blog about, since there isn’t much to eat in Europe except, I expect, cheese and chocolate. And gelato. :]
But we’ll get to that when it comes.
In the meantime…
On to the food!
Cafe Oliv offers lunch and dinner set promotions which are really value for money. Dinner sets are only $16.90++ that includes soup+drink+entree+dessert. There are some more expensive sets that are also very decent.
We ordered one set and an additional set of sausage and rosti.
Beef stew with (some sort of) rice, part of the set menu. The rice is really, really fragrant. Jason said he’d never seen me eat so much rice before.
Actually he finished the first plate of rice and we ordered an additional one (at $1) on top of it. The rice is really appetizing, 很开胃！And the beef stew is hearty and well worth the crazily cheap $16.90 set. Wait till we get to dessert.
DEEEESSSERTT. The most important part of my meal. They only have 3 desserts here but they are ALL. SO. GOOD. You can choose from a mudpie, a brownie served with ice-cream as pictured above, or creme brulee. Ordered on its own each item is only $5.90, the brownie is $6.90. Mudpie not pictured here but it is cheaper and comparable, and perhaps I think even nicer than the one from Coffee Club!
But I decided to have brownie that day. It’s served WARMED, really warm, with vanilla ice-cream dribbling off it’s warm fluffy head to complete any meal with a little bit of heavenly comfort. GOOD. STUFF.
Service wasn’t great though. The lady boss whom I usually see around wasn’t there and the two waitresses were from China – there was definitely a bit of a communication issue but overall the food at Oliv has been and continues to be an enjoyable and satisfying meal. For the price you pay, you are reallllllly getting some really great food.
If you’re wondering where the bluish light that’s being cast on us (and the food) is coming from, it’s from the TV hanging on the wall opposite our table that was showing New Police Story on Channel 5 which had both of us quite distracted for a large part of dinner.
Highly recommended dinner place which won’t hurt your pocket terribly and is a good place to bring friends or a date. Come visit the East! Lol.
January 25, 2010 § 14 Comments
Jason and I hit Geylang yesterday for some dim sum at Wan Dou Sek.
First went there with the ASFV boys (Lide, Jeremy and WL) for dim sum & durian after we wrapped filming and had the yummiest chee cheong fun evarrr. But unlike Jeremy we have no Mini Cooper so we cabbed there and back from my place. (Not exactly the most convenient or nicest neighbourhood to be wandering around, that area.)
Wan Dou Sek
Address: 126 Sims Ave Singapore 387449 (between Geylang Lor 15 and 17)
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Loads of reviews of this famous place available online including ieatishootipost.
Beverage-wise, I really loveeee the stuff here. We ordered chin chow and plum juice. All their drinks are served in this plastic bowl that hurts the environment so so much, why do they do it? But yea. $1.50 for a generous serving of chin chow that’s enough to fill 10 cups (or more) of chin chow water from Canteen A.
And the plum juice was the right amount of suan-ness (sour) to hit the right spot. Mmmmm.
We had EIGHT dishes of dim sum between the two of us. Think Jason is starting to order like my Mom. Scary.
Fried yam cake. This one, very good.
Prawn wrapped in very fried tau kee. Oily but terrifically crispy on the outside, prawns really juicy on the inside. Their serving staff recommended this. Have to admit that it’s good though I’m not a fan of these.
Unimpressive har gao. Prawns are okay, same prawns after all right? But not as juicy as a har gao should be.
THE STAR of all Wan Dou Sek in my books. The chee cheong fun!!!! *_* (Yes sparkly eyes.)
We loved it so much we ordered it twice. Prawns the first round and char siew the second.
There’s something about the sauce. It’s this magical sauce that tastes like… Well the closest thing I can describe it to taste as is pork floss. Bizarre I know. But it is very, very, fantastic.
Glutinous rice wrapped in somesortof leaf. Has generous portion of meat and mushroom inside but rice was dry, I no like.
Siew mai. I’m a big siew mai consumer. It’s one of my favourite dim sum dishes of all time and I must have it/try it everywhere I go that has siew mai. I see this siew mai no up. It’s not bad, it’s just unimpressive.
One of my favourite readily available siew mai is still from Tiong Bahru Pau. Which I love. My favourite cha siew pau is also from Tiong Bahru Pau. I grew up eating, living, breathing, smelling Tiong Bahru Pau.
But I digress again.
Let’s carry on.
Okay, I ate about 10% of this and I’m sure Jason knew that when he ordered it. (He just wanted it all for himself. =x) Steamed pork ribs. Not my cuppa tea.
Overall. Dim sum here is not bad, maybe we didn’t order more of the right stuff. Would return here for more of that awesome chee cheong fun and generally not bad dim sum.