Wednesday, July 1, 2015

h a p p y !

I know I've been MIA-ing again - but today is an AWESOME day (minus me being extremely rusty)  I am now so much more appreciative of what I have :D

Here's a photo of Project Acai's Large Acai bowl cos it looks so bright and cheerful!

I think I have increased my risk of coronary artery disease at least a 1000 fold, grew at least 100 strands of white hair and numerous wrinkles, and that is not counting the zillions of pimples in the last 2 months!

Seriously, I 'm not a self help book/video/article person but I did discover some good resources online. If you're unhappy please go and read this article  (I promise you it's awesome, too bad it came out about 3 months too late for me) and get this book (I read it from cover to cover). Or if you're too angsty and not in the mood to read anything - then watch this 10+ minute Ted Talk with 11 million views (seriously there's SO MANY unhappy people in this world!) But I'm now not one of them!

Alternatively, you can try some small changes (as recommended by the above Ted Talk), if you want to find out more you should read the book which explains why each method is successful in your journey to finding happiness.

1. Writing down 3 gratitudes everyday
Which I tried for like 2 weeks then failed cos I couldn't find anything being the highlight of my day, besides having a proper lunch break of a decent duration. There are a lot of apps which are free (another realisation that there are so many unhappy people in the world).

2. Journaling
I'm not into keeping this diary thing.

3. Exercise
Tried but didn't find it very useful, got an uneven tan and probably will get more age spots.

4. Meditation
Deep breathing exercises/yoga which works for the duration that I'm there, but my zenness dissipates within a day.

5. Random acts of Kindness
Didn't really try this since I usually just go to work and back without doing anything in between, besides exercising and meditating, which didn't seem very effective.

Perhaps I'll be able to dig up a bit more inspiration to write my blog now that my stress levels have normalised and my mood is better.
My black bunny, me, and white rabbit sweet hairband
You can also hug or rub an animal, which supposedly brings down stress levels. Bunny received many hugs and rubs.

Or you can also perhaps repeat the Serenity Prayer many many times (but I don't find it very helpful). Probably would be helpful if you are the religious sort.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Honey Creme

So the K-wave is far from over - but the good thing is that we have now gotten more delicious soft serve ice creams in Singapore. I'm such an old fossil (secretly 82) so I didn't want to go and crowd with all the other young things - so I have happily waited till the craze has sort of died down, before going to Honey Crème.

One of my friends who is in the F&B line has told me that soft serve ice cream is one of the most preservative filled artificially flavored foods ever, but I really love the taste and texture of it, and shall stubbornly remain in blissful ignorance.

I had to try their signature Honey Comb ice cream - which has their original soft serve ic cream with an entire comb honey. Honey on top of soft serve ice cream - such a brilliant idea - to add something sweeter to an already sweet item.

I don't recall ever eating real honeycomb ever (unless you count those fakey ones from the ting ting tang store wrapped in popiah skin with a dash of crushed peanuts). I didn't like the waxy taste that it left (spat it out cos it really was quite waxy) but the honey on top of soft serve ice cream exceeded my expectations.

It's supposed to have a whole lot of minerals, trace elements, amino acids and enzymes but I'm pretty sure that the purported health benefits are vastly shadowed by the amount of insulin resistance you're at risk of...

They have quite a few other flavours, including a cotton candy one (sugar on top of ice cream, just like honey on top of ice cream). I think ths was the tea flavoured one with pearls. Great to have more choices than Llao Llao  or Tsujiri only!

Honey Crème
313 Somerset Orchard Road
Singapore 238895

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dancing Crab

There's been this massive influx of this Louisiana seafood restaurants. I haven't been to any of them till recently. Actually, if it wasn't a department dinner, I would definitely not have chosen this restaurant (not to say that it wasn't good).  It's just that the whole eat with your hands concept isn't my kind of thing. I hate not using cutlery and getting my hands dirty in sauce (especially since I cannot answer my phone or touch my camera after that).
I personally feel that this whole hyped up eat with your hands, no cutlery or plates, is so that they save money on dishes. No need to spend detergent, soap and water washing anything (saves a few staff - no need to employ dishwashers)  - since there is such a dire shortage of labor. Also, the plastic tablecloth is disposables, so it saves the effort in wiping the table. Efficiency FTW.

We had the cornbread which was pretty ok - I somehow think that all cornbread should be like Kenny Rogers, but this ones were more uniformed and cake like. Slightly sweetish, moist and crumbly, went well with the whipped butter.
I really liked the crab cakes - partly because it involves very little effort and yet you get mouthfuls of succulent crab flesh, and also because they were juicy and well seasoned.
The bag of seafood - which has crab, prawns, mussels, potatoes, corn and carrot all cooked together in a mildly spicy Cajun sauce. I don't know why they can't just put everything into a nice bowl(like below) but have to pour it all over the table.

The whole no plates concept also bugs me to no end cos the menu (which I doubt has been cleaned in recent times) and other dirty fomites (i.e. my hand phone) have just been sitting on the same surface that I'm going to eat off . Ok I think this is OCD max and I bet that the other 99.9% of the others diners don't think of this kind of thing, so I shall stop and carry on about the food (which is pretty good).
I must say that the service is not too bad. Not the most attentive but then when I told them that one of the crabs wasn't too fresh, they offered to change it (but then the other half was already devoured by someone else) - which still counted as pretty good service to me.
The clams in this creamy white sauce was also pretty good - just that I really cannot see how you can eat it without cutlery or plates for that matter. It's such a messy and stressful affair.
I really liked their butter garlic prawns. Minimal sauce and flavoring so that the prawny taste can be fully appreciated. I think I'm deprived but I haven't eaten such big prawns for a real long time (rather spend my cholesterol quota on salted egg sotong - shucks I have a massive craving now).
These prawns were freaking huge and I really don't have small hands (that's my thumb btw).  My fingers also continued to smell like sauce the whole night after that (thankfully the sauce smell went away the next day).
I thought that their service was really strange - apparently they refused to let us make a booking for anything earlier than 7pm but when the punctual people reached earlier, the restaurant was empty - not like they are having two seatings or anything. Don't see why they can't let patrons sit down earlier (and earn money from drinks/snacks).
Dancing Crab
200 Turf Club Road
Singapore 287994
Phone 64663303
Closed Mondays
Where MAD used to be, and near Valentinos
(free parking!!!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nakhon Kitchen and Project Acai

 Thai food is my 3rd most favourite kind of food - but since my chilli tolerance is pathetically low, I can't eat most of the ultra spicy dishes. I've tried Nakhon Kitchen in Bedok once (recommended by colleague KH 5 years ago) and most of their branches are located in really hard to get to out of the way places (i.e. industrial estates). I'm really glad that they have a branch in Holland Village now.

Its a no frills extremely affordable Thai restaurant, which serves really delicious authentic Thai Food. Quite similar to Diandin Leluk at Golden Mile, just much more accessible.

I their papaya salad as they can adjust the chilli level according to your tolerance. The pineapple rice is nice and sweet, and their phad thai tastes really authentic. Their fish cakes and prawn cakes are not bad either. Plus they serve water for free!

Also, the prices here are really pocket friendly (much more affordable than Thai Express) and the taste is really good (lots of Thai staff here). Superb place for lunch when you're in the Holland V area. The queues can be a pain but if you eat lunch early at about 1130 it shouldn't be a problem.

Nakhon Kitchen Holland Village
27A Lorong Liput
Singapore 277738
 One of the highlights of going to Nakhon Kitchen is that I can hop over next door to get myself a bowl of Acai goodness from Project Acai. I'm not sure about the purported health benefits of acai, but since it tastes so good, I just take it as a dessert (plus perhaps half a serving of fruits).
The acai pulp texture is similar to a slushie and it is the same shade of colour as red bean. I really like how refreshing it tastes, especially when paired with lots of fresh fruits.

Project Acai 
Holland Village
27 Lorong Liput
Singapore 277738

Monday, May 18, 2015

Marmalade Panrty

 My 2 favourite dishes (other than all things Japanese) is actually the Crabmeat Linguine and the Sticky Date Pudding from Marmalade Pantry. Although I don't blog about it much, I do go there to get my pasta and dessert fix once every few months, for >5years already (shucks I'm such an old woman).

I'm happy to say that they have maintained their food standards, although the prices of their dishes has risen exponentially. Oh how I miss the days when the Stick Date Pudding used to be $10 (yes I am secretly 82years old). I love their sticky date pudding (can taste the butter yum) and the huge scoop of Kapiti Vanilla bean ice cream and just looking at this picture makes me want to go back tomorrow...

Marmalade Pantry
#03-22 Ion Orchard

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Teppei Syokudo

I really really like Teppei for its budget no frills super worth it chirashi don. But going to Tajong Pagar area during lunch time is really a major pain. Not only do I have to pay ERP, pay for the super expensive CBD parking when I finally get a carpark lot, I have to queue too. I'm so glad that Teppei has come up with the concept of takeaway chirashi dons.
They have a very concise little menu, which includes a hamburg steak as well as some Japanese Curry dishes. But of course, I didn't manage to try those.

The chirashi don is great - marginally less tasty than the original Teppei but for no queues and no carpark angst, I'll definitely come back here again. All those lucky people who work in the area - I'm envious +++. No frills fuss free seating - stools and wooden tables uncomfortable enough so you won't hog the seat.

Teppei Syokudo
Millenia Walk #01-105
9 Raffles Boulevard
Tel 62381945

There's another branch in Takashimaya but I have yet to go there.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tart Blanc

We were hankering for some dessert after Teppei, so after trudging around Millenia Walk, we settled on Tart Blanc. Because I wanted to eat the peach salted egg yolk tart.

I must say that it is a really good combination - syrupy sweet peach on top of a subdued salted egg yolk custard. Served warm. The shortcurst pastry is just right - at least, for me. Not too buttery or oily and yet not too flakey or crumbly. Would definitely be back to eat more of this, when I next come back to have some Teppei.

Tart Blanc
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-102 Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hibiki Restaurant - Bukit Timah

I'm the most uninitiated person when it comes to trying food near my house. Hibiki restaurant has been there for quite some time but I've been dragging my feet and haven't gotten around to trying it. Dropped by Hibiki restaurant for lunch on a Sunday (recommended by C and WKR).
The yakitori is really good but isn't cheap. The Tsukune ($4.60/stick) which is their chicken meatball was very delicious, and so was their Tokujyo Pork ($5.80/stick). It's similar to what you'll get from somewhere like Kazu, just minus their ultra crampness and noise.
We also had some yakitori vegetables - the Nasu ($5.50/2sticks) eggplant with a brushing of miso sauce, Eringi Mushroom ($5/2sticks) and their Shishitou ($3.20/2sticks).

I really liked their tofu salad  ($12) which is quite a generous portion. I'm a huge sucker for tofu salads, especially those with home made sesame dressing. The sesame taste was very strong and it wasn't as sweet as the ready made ones. I really liked how the sliced onions were nice and crisp.
We also had the Negitori don ($20) to share - semi fatty tuna minced with lots of sliced shallots on top of a bed of Japanese Rice. Similar to the tofu salad, I felt that the portion was good sized for the price.

Overall we paid $70 for 2 people - not bad - will prob be back for a weekday lunch to try their lunch sets (the Yakitori don is $19++, comes with miso soup, chawanmushi and a dessert).

Hibiki Restaurant 
833 Bukit Timah Road #01-06
Royal Ville
Singapore 279887 
Tel 65196894

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Banana Tree

So we conquered 3 side-by-side restaurants within 3 hours - the last being BananaTree. 
All my judge-y friends walked past and completely dismissed the dessert cafe. Despite my best attempts to tell them that it really looked interesting - and all because of the name!! :OAnyway, I managed to persuade them to go in (despite all of them hating the name)and so that's how my post came about.
They have a saccharine sweet concept - desserts on top of desserts and to top it off, and make their desserts even more cutesey - they stuff some flowers on top of the dessert. Presentation ftw. 

So we tried 2 of their desserts (but not their signature cotton candy drink) - one of which (the small pot) was the banana chocolate pudding. I'm not a big fan of bananas unless they're in dessert - and their banana pudding really exceeded my (initially very low) expectations. Layers of cake, chocolate and banana packed into the small pot (on the left).

The large pot is actually the Korena Bing Su - which is essentially a Korean ice kachang.  Topped with a huge ball of vanilla ice cream, red bean, and lots and lots of milk. I wouldn't buy this again though - rather spend my empty calories on the pudding. 

 The interior is really bright and cheerful and best of all there's free flow of iced water. Service is prompt and efficient (they were rather empty when we went).

Banana Tree Singapore
26 Keong Siak Road Singapore 089133