Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Women’s Network Luncheon

This post has got nothing to do about the aforementioned women’s network, but about the lunch at Forlino, Fullerton. How callow! Yeah, that’s me. Haha.

One of the most fulfilling weekday lunches I had for the longest time. And best of all, it is courtesy of the management. Initially I didn’t want to go for the luncheon, because I hate business lunch where I need to put on a fake façade, fake grin, and exhibit fake inquisitiveness.

It was the word, ‘Forlino’ that changed my mind.

Forlino has always been a very highly recommended fine dining restaurant in many food blogs as well as hungrygowhere and it live up to its name! Finally, the word, Forlino can be strike out from my mental to-go list. And yes, I will be back, absolutely.

We were led by a hostess through the concrete maze with extravagant wall designs of black, white and gold. We entered the private dining room and were greeted by a long black table with our name tags on the table to indicate our seat. Lucky or unlucky, I was seated next to the Executive Vice President - Chief Finance Officer who is also the chairperson of the Women’s Network. She did most of the talking and I gave occasional nods and the rest was pure indulgence.

What I ate…

Amuse Bouche with Homemade Warm Focaccia

Crab Salad with Wild Rucola, Sweet Pea Leaves and Cantaloupe

Pan Roasted Seabream Filet with Clams, Tomato and Caper Sauce

Forlino’s Classic Tiramisu

Who would says that the tiramisu is classic?

The tiramisu is worth mentioning because it tasted nothing like the conventional ones which are ‘do-able’ in our own kitchens. Unlike the normal and super classic tiramisu, this one doesn’t make you feel that you are putting on weight as you are eating it, the texture is light and refreshing. Those who did not eat it, got to at least try it once!

Service at Forlino was impeccable, the view is great and now I need my green tea.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cameron & Genting Highland

After experiencing the nerve-racking 6 hours car ride of about 160-180km/h from Singapore to Cameron Highland, it feels good to be home again. Back to Ziv, Coby, my bed and smelly pillows.

6 hours of car ride including the 2-hour twist and turn up the hill from the foot of Cameron Highland to about two-third (not summit yet!) of the hill where our resort lies. The tortuous slope was steep and twisty, I watched my friend, WT (the driver) drove with sweaty palms. Obviously, that’s the botheration when a driver watches another driver drives. I am not sure if Kevin stepped on his invisible brake since he was seated at the front, he likes to do that when I drive.

Cameron Highland (CH) is basically the best place for kids to discover and experience about the lives of people before a city/state undergo urbanization. And, CH is just a very unostentatious state (or maybe hill), it is so simple that I can’t put up with being there for more than 2 nights. I am extremely urbanized, and I only know and confirm about it after this trip. I can’t walk on extremely rocky roads, I can’t eat with houseflies landing on my food, I can’t stand the smell of dirty alleys and roads, I can’t stand convince myself it is safe to dash across the busy road without traffic light, there are just too many things that prove that I can’t stay in a rural place.

That aside.

The hotel, I argued all my way so to make sure we put us up in the new wing, instead of the old haunted looking old building. I don't understand why only ang mo get to stay in the new wing. Super pissed.

Anyway, the view from the hotel balcony is superb.

CH is basically a hill, and the poor residents live at the bottom of the hill, in attap houses and set up a ‘stall’ made of dried big leaves and wood to sell about 5 bottles of honey. And perhaps some weird looking vegetables. Maybe to choose to live where they do is all because of the beauty and peacefulness that a sylvan setting affords, somethings that I failed to appreciate at this point of my life. Anyway, on my way up the hill, I saw the residents of the hill seated together to chat beside their ‘stall’ and I feel that life IS and CAN be so simple. The more ‘happening’ portion of the hill is probably where all the resorts and hotels are located. That’s also the part whereby it has lots of strawberries, bee, cactus farms and tea plantation.

Where can you pluck your own strawberries and eat them on the spot in Singapore? No.
And it was fun.

We took a super risky car ride up to the BOH tea plantation. It is located at another hill linked to CH and the road is very narrow and it is a 2-way road! Even WT said that he finds it a challenge to drive up that hill. We have to sound the horn each time we approach a sharp turn to make sure no vehicle is coming on our way. But what can I say? It is worth it. Especially with good companionship and sipping hot tea in the cool weather (17deg) on top of the hill.

Do you know that the only Starbucks coffee and KFC on this entire hill is like God’s gift! The first night we had steamboat for dinner, and I am not sure why, or perhaps it is the cool weather here, steamboat seemed to be the most popular food in CH, not forgetting strawberry jam and desserts.

By the end of second day, we had nowhere to go except staying in the hotel room to feast on KFC, Mary Brown with beer and indulge in HK serial drama which I brought along for the trip for the entire night. It was the smartest move to bring along a HK drama, you never know when you will need it.

Next stop after CH is Genting Highland. The ride down CH took only half of the time we took to drive uphill. And we reached Genting with no hotel booking and it was full even though it was low season due to some seminars. And we have to buy rooms from those illegal sellers and managed to get a good deal out of it. Phew!

On our way back to Singapore, we visited a famous temple below Genting.
It is a very big temple.

And what I observed was that, indeed, Genting has significantly less Singaporeans and Caucasians, they probably flocked to embrace our new casino.

No luck at casino, played till 3am and lost about S$300.

At least we don’t have to wave our hands vigorously to shoo the houseflies and get to enjoy morning yum cha in Genting, Baskin and Robin ice-cream for desserts after the fulfilling buffet dinner and importantly, no more room service to curb hunger pangs in the middle of the night.

What can I say? Home sweet home!!

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Road Trip

I will be off to a self-driven road trip to Cameron Highland and Genting for the whole of next week. My colleague and her husband will be joining us. (That goes to show how free we are in the office...ahem)

And who knows, I will strike big in Genting.


And by the way, at the other side of the world, some people are still enjoying the coolness of snow. Here's a picture from R, taken from his living room located at Plano, TX, USA.

It is always heart-warming to have someone send you an email, to tell you that you are being missed even though we may not see each other physically.

Can't wait to catch up with him when we go to US.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Budget Food (Part 2)

The final installment of Budget Food.
I am too lazy to post pictures, and hopefully Cactus is able to try it during this limited one-week school holiday.

Cactus, this is for you! I posted those stalls that are near to our place.

So guys, enjoy!

9. Uno Beef House
Blk 51 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh

This place is slightly over-rated, but overall, edible and value for money. I especially like the round harsh brown and often request them to replace fries with that. I started going there towards the end of my employment with my previous company, and the waiting time during lunch time is about 10-15 minutes. As usual, I will often order the steak on hot plate, because that is my favorite dish of all times.

The beef is pretty acceptable for that kind of price you pay but often, I like to also eat the grilled fish. Something refreshing. Whatever you try, I should strongly urge that you avoid the soup by all means, as that is the most unappealing item on the menu.

10. Tim’s Restaurant and Café
Blk 95 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh

Apart from Gen Shu, this is another stall that I often patronize during lunch time. The price here is a little bit pricier as compared to hawker fare, still, it is pretty worth it, because, how often do you get to eat Nepalese cuisine? At such economy price? And of all place, at TPY? Answers will probably be NO, NO, NO.
And yes, this is the place you got to try! There are many items on the menu and some of the items such as chicken chop, grilled steak on hot plate will set you thinking if they really originate from Nepal. However, when the food arrives before you, you will be thinking, “Who cares, as long as it tasted great!”

My recommendation will be oxtail stew, fish and chip and the assorted burgers, that is based on my personal preference. Also, be sure to check out their daily dessert, the best desssert is the cheesecake.

11. Gen Shu Mei Shi She Jia
Blk 74 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
TPY Vista Market

I have to thank my previous company for moving from NAC to TPY so that I can discover this stall. Each time after a fulfilling meal from this stall, it makes me forget about the sales and discounts I will be missing out from the old office location.

This stall specializes in Hong Kong cuisine especially steamed rice with salted fish, pork ribs, lap cheong with double boiled soup and much more. In fact, I don’t really have the luck to try out these steamed rice items as much as I want to, because these items were sold out by lunch time. However, the consolation often comes from the yam cake and glutinous rice. Unlike other yam cakes which you find on the market, the yam cake is as soft as silk and it doesn’t require you to masticate and it will simply slide down your throat. You can choose to form ‘combo’ from your favorite dishes like yam cake and chee cheong fan combo, yam cake and glutinous rice combo (my fave of all times).

How did I discover this stall? Once our driver bought us a few boxes of glutinous rice and yam cake and so happened that it was after our lunch time, so we practically leave the food in the boxes and under the air-con for about 4-5 hours, and by then when it was time to go home, we decided to eat them because we didn’t want to waste the food and our driver’s effort. To our utter surprise, the yam cake tasted nothing like ‘an-unwanted-food-left-under-air-con-for-long-time’. The very next day, my colleague and I waited anxiously for our driver to step into the office and asked him where he bought the food. And from that day onwards, we have to go to the stall at least once or twice a week.

Special note: If you decided to go visit this place on a weekend, please be sure to get out of bed early. If you miss this, you can try the stall opposite that sells nice peanut pancake.

12. Lian Kee Braised Duck Rice
Hin Hollywood Canteen
57 Tanjong Katong Road

Looking at the picture, everyone is able to tell that this is a 101% teochew style braised duck. Since I am now half a teochew, braised duck has been promoted notably in my mental list of favorite food. I frequent this stall as early as year 2001. This was introduced by one of my very best colleagues cum friend at that time. I wonder if she still goes to the stall. Anyway, although the name of the stall did not mention porridge, but porridge is part of the reason why I get hooked on to the stall even after 10 years.

I love my porridge to be cooked to the point whereby I can’t see the rice grain; this I admit is Cantonese style. To pour the dark braised sauce alone on the porridge is enough to make me eat 2 big bowls of it not to mention the braised duck and the tau hu. The braised duck is tender and soft and paramountly, unlike some of the stalls (think geylang), they usually serve duck with more bones than meat. And with that I often feel extremely cheated. The tau hu is tastefully braised, some of the tau hu I tried has practically no taste and although the exterior is braised but the interior is still very much white and flavorless.

I am a big eater and will always remain as one, so very often the 2-person portion doesn’t really convince me that I am full and satisfied, so if you are like me, order more and you won’t regret.

13. Jin Xing Hong Kong Roasted Meat
Block 214, #01-88 , Serangoon Avenue 4, Singapore 550214

“Char siew that melts in your mouth? Are you kidding me?” were the exact sentences that I told Kev when he mentioned that he discovered a super nice char siew rice. I don’t know why, when he mentioned that, I have an image of Steven Chow cooking the char siew using his internal qi just like one of his side-splitting movies. And so, I thought it was meant to be a JOKE. I also have to state that Kev is very fond of making fun of me so I thought this is part of his plan.

So one day, while we really had no idea where to eat and we were already reaching our house, he suggested that char siew again. I agreed to his suggestion because I wanted to know how a tough piece of char siew can melt in my mouth!
I ordered char siew rice and I asked Kev to order noodles from another stall just in case I decided to abandon the char siew rice and he can have it all to himself while I take over his noodles. I tasted the char siew and it was like what the Japanese comic illustrated, I imagined myself rolling up and down of a gargantuan char siew, with the hot thick gravy pouring over me and gasped, ‘Oishi!’ The char siew is tenderly soft and there is no way you ever think that it is roasted like every other stall. The stall owner is very generous with the portion and all of his char siew is quite thick and juicy.

From then on, whenever I have nothing to eat in mind, I will drive to the stall to pack char siew home for dinner. Best char siew ever! Other recommendation includes roasted pork.

Even I myself is hungry after this post, are you hungry too?


Monday, March 15, 2010

Budget Food

Since there's Budget Terminal, I have my budget food.
Those who know me, knows that I am clearly no epicure. And ever since we shifted to the sojourn, there is no more tingkat for dinner. Most of the time, Kev and I have to crack our heads to think of places where we can have dinner.

Eating luxuriously in fine dining restaurants after work is inappropriate and can burn a big hole in the pocket and as for other restaurants, the cheap and good ones are often packed during dinner time.

But, but, there's always some economical, delectable comfort food that we often savor and doesn't require us to wait for too long, maybe perhaps just to wait for a parking lot.

Here's my list:

1. Ji Ji Wanton Noodle Specialist
Hong Lim Food Centre
Blk 531A Upper Cross Street

Call me 'moutain tortise' if you wish, it may not score the highest rating among the food bloggers, but at least Ji Ji got a super high rating from me. Apart from the pretty eyeful stall lady assistant with super memory, the dried wanton noodles made an impact on my taste bud. The gravy used to serve on the dried noodles is very unqiue. I kept going back for more even though I had it for lunch on some days.

2. Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh
251, Geylang Road (Beside Lor 11)

I am not a BKT person. And often, I wondered what are the pleasures that people get when they simply devour a bowl of rice with soup. Seemed measly to me. I am the kind of person who loves to see assorted dishes that laid nicely on a table, and in some ways, I think that arouses my appetite. However, one day, Kev bought me to Geylang for the so-called 'to-die-for BKT' and the rest is history. Who knows that BKT is not just BKT?

The stall serves peanuts (which I really love), yu tiao (that is if you think that BKT is not sinful enough), and many others side dishes. And what ensnared me is the 'customizable' hot pot BKT. I can request for bak kut, or even pork belly, liver and whatever you can think of (that comes from the pig). On top of that, the soup base is tastefully unify with the content of the hot pot. Plus, not forgetting the chopped garlic with black sweet sauce and sliced chilli. Everytime after meal, Kev and I can actually form a farting symphony because of the huge portion of garlic we chomp down our stomach.

3. Teo Seng (Teochew) Eating House
1012 Upper Serangoon Road

I have to constantly remind Kev that I am NOT a teochew and so, there are many dishes which doesn't really appeal to me as much as they appeal to him. What I like about this stall is that, it serves not just the 'hardcore' or 'strictly-for-teochews-only' dishes but some of the very common dishes in small portions. Why small portions? Because you get to order large variety of small portions! The porridge warms up my stomach during raining season.

4. Macpherson Barbecue Seafood
34 South Bridge Road
Singapore 058668

Yet another highly customizable food place. Do you happen to go to some places and want to replace item A in the set with item B and you don't mind to pay more for the exchange, but the waitress simply snorted, "Sorry, you can't change the items, they are FIXED!" You looked at them with fixed eyes and still, they allow no exchange even you willing to pay more. So what's wrong with these stalls? Do they deserve to close down? I say, 'Yes'.

This seafood place is so flexible that it makes my dining experience super lovely. You can mix and match what you want, add vege at 50 cents, add egg at 90 cents, add whatever you want if you can find it on their menu. Of course, being flexible is not the main reason why I patronise this place twice within a week, the taste of the popular stingray is simply delightful and mind you, its really hard to make nice sambal sauce and they did it! I had the combo whereby I mixed stingray with chilli prawn (the pictures on the menu looked tantalizing), and yes, the chilli is indeed hot, but very shiok. The reason why I went back for more is that, I fell in love with the spareribs, I was already titillated when my friend ordered that during our first visit there, so I told myself, I have to go back again!

5. Noo Cheng Adam Road Prawn Noodle
Stall No. 27
Adam Road Food Centre
2 Adam Road

There are lots of outlets peppered in Singapore, I don't know is it some sort of affinity with the location or what, I always go to the same outlet at Adam Road to have my prawn noodle fix. In fact, I used to work in Bt Timah for about 2 years and I know the place pretty well. For me, the most critical thing in a prawn mee is the soup base. It has to be thick, taste like prawn and dark in colour. Noo Cheng never fail to satisfy me and so I am always back for more more more.

6. Unknown carrot cake stall
Serangoon North Ave 1
Kopitiam facing the temple and with other popular stalls that sells roasted ducks and curry with bread

Kev loves to eat the black sauce carrot cake from this stall. It was cooked by an old man and everytime when he goes back to his mum's place which is nearby, he can't help but pack the carrot cake home for supper. I remembered, throughout my pregnancy, the black carrot cake was the only food that I craved for. And Kev bought it for me promptly because he loves it too!

7. Sin Kee Chicken Rice
Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice
Blk 159 Mei Chin Road
Mei Chin Food Centre

Seriously speaking, I don't know what is so great about this chicken rice, but I always go back to the same stall when I am in that area. Again, it reminds me of my days in Singtel (Hillcrest) where a few of my colleagues will go to the food centre to order chicken rice with lots of side dishes. Overall, I would say that the price is reasonable unlike the one I tried at Serangoon Gardens.

8. Unknown Western Food
Blk 159 Mei Chin Road
Mei Chin Food Centre
Facing church

You can't miss it because there is always a long queue forming in front of the stall. It takes quite a while to get the food on your table and it is not recommended if you are really hungry. But, the wait is worthwhile. It served a variety of meat, such as pork, lamb, steak and others. And out of the many selection, the steak is the best and it is served in hot plate.

I guessed I should stop here, because the more I blogged, I became extremely famished. There's in fact alot of more comfort food that I wanna introduce in this blog, but I guess I should keep it to myself till the next time round.

So what's for tonight?


Sunday, March 14, 2010

12 or 14?

"So is it 12, 13 or 14??" I asked Kev eagerly.


While sipping from glass of red wine, over-looking at the forever incomplete construction of the Marina Bay IR, Kev popped a question. "Do you really think that we have been together for 14 years?"

My eyes lit up and as sure as sunrise, I replied zestfully, "Isn't it amazing??"

Kev looked fixely at me and sighed.

"Did I get the year wrong?" I thought to myself and started mental calculation instantaneously. All of a sudden, I was flummoxed, I couldn't make out a year. "I shouldn't blame Kev for forgetting the dates, at least he won't blame me this time round." I thought.

Decided to adopt the "confuse & convince" tactic. "So is it 12, 13 or 14??" I asked Kev eagerly. I always know that guys are never too mindful about dates and years plus, I got the hunch that he was just trying to test me.

"We have been together for 12 years. And we started dating on 14 March 1998!" Kev calmly elucidated.

"Oh really?" that was the only two words that managed to blurt out of my mouth. The foie gras suddenly seemed tasteless and the clanking sound of the cutlery seemed to be getting louder. And I uncovered just another unmindful bobble, today's date is 13 March not 14!

So how did I managed to get out of situation like this? LAUGH. Laugh at my blunder.

"Yeah! 12 years! It seemed like wonderful 14 years to me! And you are the most assiduous man that I ever know!" I gasped. I turned to Ziv who was busy savouring his 3 pcs for $30 scallops and said, "You have to learn from your Daddy, he is the most attentive guy in the world!"

Kev smiled. I smiled.


The bill at The Lighthouse was pretty hefty. Because there isn't any kid menu and I do not wish to be caught by fellow diners for snatching food away from my stick thin son. So an apetitzer and a main were ordered specially for Ziv. Ever since we discovered his soft spot for the white, pricey, tiny shell thingy called 'scallop' we have been very accomodating by ordering it whenever we dine out. Looking at the price on the menu, it costed just as much as my foie gras, I regretted about the discovery!

This little rascal has expensive taste, I often have to beesch him to finish up the pasta from Waraku, however for the lobster pasta, he was eating on his own and even nagged at me when I stole a piece of lobster from him and in fact, I was pretty sure he was looking away at the gal beside our table.

Anyway, in the midst of the meal, Ziv pooed twice, that goes to show how much he ate for the dinner tonight.
Overall, the dinner was great, apart from the impromptu Q&A session, I was pretty please with my dish selection. Anyway, I know Kev wasn't angry about my blunder, he is one of the most magnanimous I ever know in my life. In fact, I felt a wee bit guilty for my absent-mindedness. I tell myself that I should make an effort to take note of that next year!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Being Reliant

As years goes by, as a matter of fact, 14 years, I find myself growingly reliant on my better half. On many things. And mainly trivia matters.

I entrust him to send me to work every day, without fail.
I depend on him to pick me up from work, rain or shine, OT or no OT.
I count on him to pick up Coby’s poo, clean its urine and stock up his food.
I lean on his shoulder for consolation when I didn’t strike the 10 million TOTO draw.
I expect him to be ‘not working’ when I am on MC or leave so that we can have time together.

I became dim-witted because of HIM.
I became tactless because of HIM.
I became a tyrant who refused to take ‘NO’ for an answer because of HIM.

I was coddled because of his assiduousness.

I condemned all hubbies who did not chauffeur their wives around as apathetic.
I even put up with the inaccurate date on my watch just because I refused to learn how to adjust it, knowing that he will do it for me when I pester him.

And tomorrow is our 14th Anniversary. Apart from the dinner at The Lighthouse @ Fullerton, I guess I should have a hand-written billet-doux for him to thank my dearest for what he does for me every day.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Goodbye RSZ...

And hello... BMW X1...

Just when I thought that I am the ONLY one in the family who will buy birthday present for myself months before the day comes... I have a companion now! Great minds think alike? Or birds of a feather flock together? Kevin pre-booked his BMW X1 this afternoon from Performance Motors after our brunch at Spruce with the Yip family.

Kevin, who often falls prey upon by new car models (just like every other guys in this world), always has the tendency to change his automobile once every 2 to 3 years made no exception this time round. He has been eyeing on the arrival of this SUV model since last year and it will be coming to this sunny island this June or July. Just in time for his birthday.

I am ecstatic that he is finally able to actualize his dream of owning a conti after so many years. By the way, this automobile has a reasonable price tag and it is deemed as one of the cheapest or second cheapest SUV in conti car market. (Kev will grind his teeth when I said that).

May I present the BMW X1 (we booked a white one)

We were in the Performance Motors showroom test driving and chatting with the sales consultant for about 4 hours till the point whereby Ziv becomes so familiar with the logo that every time he spots a BMW logo he will exclaimed, "Daddy's car!", regardless of the model.

Next up, news about our house. Good news! Our new abode is expected to TOP in 1 or 2 weeks' time! Was invited to a poolside party this evening and took a few pictures of our unit.
Our unit is the penthouse as highlighted in the picture below:

Not only Ziv is thrilled looking at the swimming pool, I almost wanted to jump into it to have a dip because the weather these days is just too humid and boiling hot!
The gym room is facing the swimming pool, club house is on top of the gym room.

At this point of time, my life is really fabulous!

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Everyday I Love You

Everyday I Love You -- Boyzone

I don't know but I believe
That some things are meant to be
And that you'll make a better me
Everyday I love you
I never thought that dreams came true
But you showed me that they do
You know that I learn somethng new
Everyday I love you
'Cos I believe that destiny
Is out of our control (don't you know that I do)
And you'll never live until you love
With all your heart and soul.
It's a touch when I feel bad
It's a smile when I get mad
All the little things I am
Everyday I love you
Everyday I love you boy
Everyday I love you
'Cos I believe that destiny
Is out of our control (don't you know that I do)
And you'll never live until you love
With all your heart and soul
If I asked would you say yes?
Together we're the very best
I know that I am truly blessed
Everyday I love you
And I'll give you my best
Everyday I love you

I have always think that it is impossible to love someone every day. Especially when they love you so much that they charge you for every lizard killed. And I never expect to turn my man into a better him because I never intervene with his late-nights out and his smoking habit until he changed it himself eventually (long ago). Because I think, if I ever changed him, he will no longer be the one whom I love.

But I agreed that we never live until we love quixotically…

Recently, I realized that I can love someone every day. I said ‘I Love You’ to this little man of mine for about 2-10 times a day, every day and am never sick of it, may I add. And last Saturday, I got the most amazing reply from him, “Love Mummy” is what he said to me. Although it is not a complete sentence, the 2 words sent me dumbfounded and melted for a good 5 seconds. I was deeply moved. I hugged my little man tightly and ran to Kevin to brag about it.

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