Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sin Lee Foods

Tucked away in the sleepy Bukit Ho Swee estate is Sin Lee Foods. Although the name sounds like a Tzechar restaurant (it actually retained the name of the coffeeshop that used to be there), it's actually a cafe serving really interesting cafe food. Since my food radar has been down for quite a while, I've completely missed this place. But thanks to  G who somehow found the place and booked it. This was the day that I also went to watch Jurassic World but then due to unforeseen circumstances (and bad planning on my part), didn't get to finish the show and I guess I never will :(
Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12)
Twice Fried sweet potato fries, house made salted duck's egg sauce, crispy curry leaves 

The salted egg sauce was one of the best I've tasted - great flavour and no skimping on the amount of duck eggs, and the aromatic curry leaves made it even more fragrant.
I somehow didn't really think that the sauce went particularly well with the sweet potato fries (though I also can't think of what would have gone better with the sauce). Sorry for the un-constructive criticism... I'll write it down when I finally think of what would go better with it...

Mentaiko Crab Mantou ($21)
Golden Fried Mantou, housemate mentaiko cream, season and breaded whole soft shell crab, papadum crisps 

Really interesting dish, though it's rolling in oil - fried papadums with orange sugar, crispy mantou (my favourite and most unhealthy carb), with deep fried soft shell crab. Unusual combination but really well executed. Would recommend this dish if you're not afraid of raising your cardiovascular risk.
The one and only Sin Lee's Fried Chicken and Waffles ($21.90)
Juicy boneless chicken leg, Iron waffle, house slaw and melted maple butter

I thought that out of all their other main courses, this sounded the most mainstream. It wasn't exactly mind-blowing. Sure, the chicken was done well, waffles fluffy, and the coleslaw reminded me of the homemade kind you get form the western food stores in the hawker centres (which I really like btw).

The texture of the waffle was good, but was a bit too light to hold up the weight of the chicken, and it became a soggy mess with the maple butter.
The Croissant and Butter Pudding ($14)
Butter croissant, vanilla beans, assorted fruits, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce
Think of this as a level up from the usual bread and butter pudding. Worth a try.
Don't quote me but I think it's Kapiti ice cream that they use. Kapiti vanilla ice cream is the best! Especially since its the same ice cream that Marmalade Pantry uses.

We didn't manage to try the Aburi Broccoli salad ($12) which sounds really interesting, or the Macklemore ($20) which is spanish mackerel with corn and lap cheong relish, cos we were really really stuffed from the above dishes.

The restaurant seating area is REALLY tiny so do book in advance if you want to sit inside (i.e. aircon). The parking's also quite a pain.

I could feel plaques forming in my arteries after the meal. But it was really delicious and unique. Will definitely come back again since I'm nearby.

Sin Lee Foods
4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee
Singapore 162004

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Smoked Duck from Dirty Duck Diner, Ubud

My blog's collecting dust cos I'm very busy. Just a short update on what I've been up to in June, which involved contributing to Indonesia's economy thrice. 

Went to Ubud for 4 days in early June to take a much needed break from work. My 2 months of misery has such long lasting effects - my friends think that I've undergone reformative training, and one even claims that my handphone has been hacked -___-" 

So many people have been raving about the Crispy Duck from Bebek Bengil, so I had to be one of those lemmings. I did my research before going there, so I managed to try both the crispy duck and the smoked duck (cos I can't pass up the chance not to!).

Being my greedy self, I ordered the smoked duck (comes in a standard portion for 2 people) even though I was dining there myself, just because I simply could not have gone all the way to Ubud and not try it. It costs about SGD$30 for the whole set which includes keropok crackers, rice, some sticks of satay, a vegetable dish, and 2 fruit punch. 

The smoked duck has to be preordered 24hours before, so I got my driver (yep got a driver cos I didn't want to worry about transportation) to drop me at the restaurant the day before to put in my order. They didn't require a deposit - not sure if it's cos it's low season but I read somewhere else that they do require a deposit?

The smoked duck has a very strong herby taste, and a more gamey taste than the crispy duck, which is really quite dry and pales in comparison to the rich smells and flavours of the smoked duck. The duck is smoked in a betel leaf and stuffed with traditional herbs and spices. It looks like a mummified duck (as pointed out by WKR) but it's really very soft and moist, with the meat easily falling off the bone. Definitely a must try if you go to Ubud. 

Managed to get a table on the 2nd floor, overlooking the paddy fields (which are increasingly being cleared to make way for new restaurants and hotels).  I hope that there are still rice field left in the next 5 years. 
Dirty Duck Diner (Bebek Bengil)
Jalan Hanoman, Padangtegal, Ubud
Gianyar Bali 80571, Indonesia 

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.