Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Notable Dining Experience in Singapore

Its sad that I'm summarizing most of my blogs up as I rush to close off the year 2012. It's just that so much has been happening lately, and I don't want to miss it all, yet I don't have time to blog it all in detail! Yet I have this urge to share these information out with whoever that may be interested to read them. It's my way of contributing to the cyberwide knowledge based I guess.

Anyway, here's an entry on notable dining experience in Singapore 2012 for me.
1st stop: Ember @ Duxton Hill. I told my husband I wanted to try some of the French restaurant they have at Ann Siang Hill, and him being him, we ended up at Duxton Hill at a fusion restaurant call Ember for our anniversary instead. Trust me, it all means the same to him, but TOTALLY different to me. Food at Ember was expensive, perhaps SGD60 to SGD80 per head? But the review at Hungry Go Where was good, so I was looking forward to it. Sadly, the place was rather claustrophobic or me, and the portion was really not up to the price you're paying for. No doubt lots of rich people dine there, but for me, it was really not that value for money. Taste wise, sad to say the only thing I really enjoyed was the dessert which was a french toast with nutella, bananas and vanilla ice cream, something I could totally make at home. For half the price, go Le Bistrot instead. You get awesome food there, with an awesome setting.

2nd stop, luckily for me we did managed to discover a wonderful French Restaurant that doesn't take reservation. It call Saveur @ Bras Basah, and its totally lovely! Go early to get a place, even if it means queuing before the restaurant opens. Everything is affordable on the menu and won't cost you an arm and a leg. Service is wonderfully fast and efficient. Sorry no photo of the food, but please visit it, the duck confit is my fave so far in Singapore!

3rd stop: Au Chocolate @ Marina Bay Sands. Its a lovely fantasy place to visit as the brochures promises, but a  bit flat when you actually visited the place. For such a cliche place, the food was surprisingly good, but then again, for both visit, I tried their Egg Benedict both times! Haha. Planning to go back there in January 2013 to try their Duck Confit soon. As to the service at the place? Well, considering it's Marina Bay Sand, they have a lot to brush up on at the customer service department....

Au Chocolate

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Garden By The Bay

After the disappointment of change of venue from the Retrolicious 2012 organizer (click here to read more), we had a stroke of good luck when my in-law was too tired to go on an RC trip to the Marina Garden By the Bay. The ticket was only SGD10, and includes transfer to and from the RC at Tampines, and entrance to the two air condition dome. So of course I said yes! And drag my husband there for me. I love gardens, and I heard from my colleagues that they were having a Halloween special featuring lots of pumpkins! How could I not go? I have a weak spot for pumpkins ever since my teenage years!
 First dome we visited was the Flower Dome. Before going I read that it would feature different garden from different region. When I got there, there was more concrete than flora...Slightly disappointed. The only up beat thing about it was actually the Halloween patch at the center which, without it I think, would have been a rather dull expedition for me. So all my photos are on the pumpkin patch :)  enjoy!
Next was the Cloud Forest. When you first walk in, the first thing you hear is the waterfall, and once you enter, you're more or less splash with water! I love it! It was exciting and mysterious! I especially love going beneath the water wall and looking up at all the gallons of water falling down like 4 stories! It's a lovely free feeling you get. If only the could hide away all the concrete stairs and metallic canopy walks. I love the Cloud Forrest better as I find its so much more interesting, what's with the heights, the canopy walk and all that water. For ladies going there, please don't wear a skirt cause all the canopy has holes in.

Would I visit the garden again? Not unless I'm accompanying friends visiting to the spot. I wouldn't pay the full price to go as well cause it's super expensive to look at flowers growing out of a concrete garden. I would however travel to Cameron Highlight anytime to look at the flowers there :)

Garden By The Bay

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

2012 Entertainment

Wow it's like 4 months since I like posted. Sorry for being gone so long, work has been crazy lately, and I've been doing some crazy stuff along the way as well. It's Christmas today, and since I'm off and have completed my mountains of laundry, I thought I'll started catching up on my posting and let you know what I've been up to the last 4 months. I thought I'll update you on the entertainment sector that I've been fortunate enough to participate in.
First stop, I managed to attend a concert with two friends at the Old Parliament House a.k.a The Art House. The venue was much more impressive to me than the concert itself actually, cause it was so classical with all the legendary Singapore politician's name carved into the seats. The concert was playing music from a Russian composer mixed with Jazz performed by Singapore youth. It was a bit hard to appreciate, but they were nevertheless good.

Second stop, Ivan Heng was performing at the Esplanade so how could I miss that? So off I went to La Cage aux Folles broadway style. I fondly recall my very first play was also by Mr Heng, the legendary Emily of Emerald Hill. I totally love La Cage! It was one very touching and funny play. Highly recommended!

Third stop, was the The Hossan Leong Show that my colleague drag me too. Hossan Leong was incidentally was also in La Cage, and compared to Ivan Heng's majestic performance, I wasn't actually looking to this show very much. It was shown at the National Library, so I was rather excited about that, but nothing more. The play started, and the jokes was lame, and I mean really really lame. After half an hour, the jokes was so lame that it was headed to the other extreme of being lamely hysterical. And when he actually took off all his clothes and did the pole dance, I was totally impress and in love with him! Managed to took a picture with him after the show. Can't believe he had more make up on than me or my colleague! He also had flawless skin and is older than me or my colleague! Look at him! And look at us (hung head in shame). We love you Hossan!

 Last stop: Retrolicious 2012. The only reason I said yes to this concert was because they initially plan to held it at the Garden By The Bay, an excellent site I've never been to. But one week before the event, they announced that it will be moved back to Fort Canning :(  Boo! Since the tickets were already bought, what can we do, right? So we went. This year features Tiffany, Wang Chung, Howard Jones and Alphaville, I was only familiar with Tiffany, and didn't even like her as compared to Debbit Gibson at that time. But after the concert, I can happily confirm that she sounds better live!
Here's my fave photo of me and my hubby at the retrolicious 2012 concert with matching glow stick bangles!

Old Parliament House a.k.a The Art House 
La Cae aux Folles
Ivan Heng
The Hossan Leong Show
Hossan Leong

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

Happy Birthday Malaysia 2012! This year is extra special cause I'm hoping I can call a part of Malaysia my very own soon!   :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raya Special : Chicken Curry

I'm on a roll here! Cooked my second curry dish in a week! Just two days apart from my Curry Fish.

Anyway, still feeling the raya festive mood, so ingredient list as per below! Difference is probably the meat, the indian meat spice, and potatoes! Everything else is more of less the same :) easy peasy! 

 Cooking Instruction:
1. Add oil to pan, add curry leaves and indian spice and cook for 5 minutes until fragrance.
2. Add minces shallots and onions and cook another 5 - 10 minutes until fragrance.
3. Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and potatoes and cook another 10 minutes.
5. Add curry powder, some water and santan and let it simmer until ready to eat (around 15 - 20 minutes)

To make it easy, I've arrange the items in the order they are suppose to go into the pan, from left to right! Easy-peasy!

Relaxing day at home. Can't wait till I retire! I'm never bored at home!!! Suddenly I feel like I could tackle Penang Laksa! Look out for it soon!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Raya Special : Indian Curry Fish

If you don't know yet, I'm totally in love with curry. It's something that I've always wanted to learn how to cook with it coming out smelling authentically Indian, instead of those ready made spice you just add and the dish came out rather blend. I was in luck as while I visited an old Penang friend the other day, she cooked me curry fish and taught me the simple recipe. So while I was back in Penang just a week ago, I bought all the spices required, and on the eve of Hari Raya, to curb the wonderful smell of curries coming from my Malay neighbor, I venture to try the fish curry my friend taught me.

Photo below shows the ingredient you need. The recipe is also available when you purchase the Alagappa's curry fish powder from any supermarket (I got mine from Tesco in a new packaging that cost only RM1.00, SGD 0.45). The recipe at the back says you need 80g, but the package only comes in 25g, but no need to panic, I cooked it with just 25g, and it turned out wonderful. Of course I did spice it up crazy with shallots and spices!!

Anyway, you need Santan a.k.a. coconut milk. Photo shows one small packet, but I actually used only half, saving the other half for my curry chicken coming up in the next post! 2 big Tomatoes,5  ladies fingers a.k.a. okra, curry powder 1 pack, hand full of shallot (mince it up), one bowl of tamarine juice or more depending on taste, black pomfret works wonderful in this dish, curry leaves, 1 big onion slice (not shown here, oops!), and a handful of indian curry spice. Note there's a different buying fish spice and meat spice, please get the correct one!.

Cooking Instruction:
1. Add oil to pan, add curry leaves and indian spice and cook for 5 minutes until fragrance.
2. Add minces shallots and onions and cook another 5 - 10 minutes until fragrance.
3. Add curry fish powder and tamarine juice and let it boil a few minutes.
4. Add tomatoes, ladies finger and santan and let it boil another few minutes until the tomatoes are slightly mush. Bless it with some salt and sugar to taste.
5. Add fish last, and let it cook 10 minutes top! After that, kill the fire and let it rest. Don't overcook the fish!

Here's what it looks like while still boiling happily away.
 As always, a home cooked meal is better and cheaper than the food outside. This is super easy to cook, and fills your home with the wonderful fragrance of spices that is just priceless! I had mine with onion and eggs and white rice. Normally we eat brown rice at my home, but somehow I can't make myself cook brown rice with curry, it's just isn't done that way! Ever!
Wishing you a wonderful Hari Raya wherever you are! Curries make me feel happy and less home sick and brings back wonderful memories of my days in Penang! Stay tune for chicken curry up next!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Photo taken from the Singapore Flyer during National Day Rehearsal 2012. Singapore Flyer is like my lucky charm. First time I went there, was via a company event ticket for only SGD10! I went up during sunset, and took a photo that won't be a canon isus camera that I sold for SGD200! And with that I bought my DSLR.

I was invited there again this year for Blood Donation Day celebration, and during the lucky draw, we won ourselves 4 free tickets to the flyer! So I used it for another ride, this time during the NDP rehearsals, and these are some of the wonderful photos I took :)

Happy Birthday to my adopted country! I've been living here for the past 14 years!!! Time to retire back to Malaysia, eh?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Handmade Handphone Cover

Finally got my new phone the other day, and I wanted a change from my boring usual black color handphone and handphone cover. So I decided to pick a white handphone, have only a bright blue cover, and a pink color handmade phone cover!
To start, the above is the drawing board on the left, followed by pairing of the cloth, which took like over night before I decided on the final pairing..... I decided to jazz it up a bit with accessories, some handmade patch, and as usual, always have inner pattern to make it look high classy! 
 Here are some better photos of the near finish product. Love the inner lining although I thought I should have gone with a darker colored pattern. But the good news is, the top floral cloth was really really soft, and now it feels like I have my pillow case with me wherever I go! Love the color, love the texture! Interestingly, the floral pattern cloth only cost me like SGD2 to SGD4??? Got it from a cloth merchant behind OG Chinatown. Got to go shopping there soon!
Lastly, my phone and it's new cover resting in our guest room. Behind it is my sewing machine cover. I'm surprise I've never posted that before cause its pretty cool looking too! Unfortunately, it's still not finished, and  neither will it be any time soon cause it's already functional.....

Anyway, hope you're inspired to make something after seeing this. I know I love sharing them with you :)
Btw, my new phone is a HTC One XL. It's 4G connected, and totally geeky.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Dead Kitties Mystery

7 little kitties sitting in a garden...
one fell through the matrix and soon there were 6...

6 little kitties standing by a cliff...
one took a dive and soon there were 5...
5 little kitties sleeping on a bed...
one developed bedsore and soon there were 4...
4 little kitties climbing up a tree...
one feel down and soon there were 3...
3 little kitties licking their shoes...
one fell ill and soon there were 2...
2 little kitties staring at the sun...
one got its eyes burned out and now there's one...

one little kitty murdered on a desk...
solve this mystery and help laid the kitties to rest.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Padi Fields of Ubud

Terrace style padi field was what I had in mind when I visualized what it would be like in Ubud. It wasn't exactly as I expected, but still pretty impressive. One of the nicest walk we had was through the padi fields! Entrance is at Jalan Kajeng north west of Ubud, and just follow the path to the wow factor! Here are some scenes of the padi fields.
 My favourite photos are of the duck and their minders. You see lots and lots of ducks in Ubud.
 There are some narrow path way as well, so do be careful. You can also cycle along the padi field, but you would probably have to carry your bikes when you hit trails like these.
 There are bungalows along the path, and you can actually rent these to stay in. There were also artist huts selling their wares, and an organic farm with a small cafe in the middle of the padi field. All in all, it was a very relaxing walk, something that I think I'll never get tired of doing :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ubud Culture

Most of the people in Ubud are Hindus, and spiritualism runs high here. Day in day out, offerings(puja) and prayers take place. It's a rather graceful gesture to watch the offering being made, mostly by the women dressed in their traditional clothing. Offerings are found on every road side everywhere you go.
Night time religions procession was also quite common. Here one we saw while we were waiting for our cultural show to start.
Another one while we drove past a village towards Jimbaran. A village religious police in the black and white sarong directing the traffic as worshiper walked past us.
The closest I encounter the local festival was when I was on my own and wondered into the market area one day as Dewa had told me not to go home early as there was renovation going on at the Homestay. The market was packed that day! I even saw performances and people queuing up outside the temple waiting to provide their offerings. It's amazing how much more things one can encounter when one is alone :P I wrote a short journal while I was on my own, and I think I'll share some here later on. Looking back, the journals were rather hilarious....

Hinduism in Indonesia

Friday, June 15, 2012


What did we do while we were in Ubud? Lucky for us, we stayed pretty central of Ubud. So what we do pick a direction to go everyday, and just walk there. With reference to the map here, all I want you to remember is north, south, east, west, cause I'll be using that as reference point to where everything is.
 To the north was towards the town area and market. Here are some sights of central Ubud.
To the west, towards Bintang Supermarket, a nice scenic walk of around 30 minutes. On there way you will walk pass the town area, Blanco Museum, and further west the Neka Art Museum which I will elaborate on in later posting.
To the east, Delta Supermarket. I actually when there while I was on my own, and saw the magnificent structure on the right here. Amazing.
To the south, the massage places. I actually went to Jaens Spa twice while I was there.  Balinese Relaxation Message(1H 30M,  Rp 180.000, SGD  24.40) was totally heavenly. I repeated the treatment and also had a scrub (Relaxation Body Scrub + Mask ( 2H 15M, Rp 300.000, SGD40.70) the second time I was there. The flower petal bath with candle light was pretty amazing too. The only thing I didn't like that much was it was rather dark in the massage room. Other than that, it was very very relaxing. They picked us up both time, and even send me home when I was there alone.

Lastly, on the street we were staying at, we also did a yoga lesson at Bodyworks Centre which left me in pain for one whole day! A one hour lesson cost Rp50,000, SGD6.70. We had the teacher to ourselves, and it was held at the top floor of the centre in an open air room. Did I mentioned I initially wanted to do yoga at Ubud for like 3 times a week at this place call Yoga Barn? End up I only did one lesson and decided to enjoy the rest of my holiday there instead :P

Jaens Spa
Bintang Supermarket
Delta Supermarket.
Blanco Museum
Neka Art Museum
Ubud Bodyworks Centre
Yoga Barn.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jati Home Stay

Searching for a hostel to stay, I ended up booking a place call Jati Home Stay in the center of Ubud. It had great review, and I booked 2 weeks and arrange for transport to pick us up from the airport upon arrival. Communication broke down and we waited an hour at the airport with no one there to pick us up. Because this was my do-nothing holiday, I wasn't even piss. We took a cab instead, and had an unpleasant ride to Ubud where the cab driver kept telling us we couldn't turn here and there cause it was a one way street and we would have to go one big round. He also kept asking us for tips and extra money. Not the best impression I got on my first day. Luckily I have a map of the place I was staying, and being brought up in Malaysia, I was very good at ignoring the bad side of people.

We made it to Jati eventually. Here are some pictures of what it looked like from outside. We had to walk in a narrow alley to reach it.
But once inside, it opens up to a family courtyard, and eventually downwards to a main building, and a two storey building which was the home stay. The building was facing a padi field, and we got the Room 8 at the ground floor. No aircon, but there was hot water inside. Two beds, and some shelve to put things on. The bath room was rather modern, but the bedroom and outside was rather traditional.I think it cost me around SGD400 for 2 week's stay.
 I was moved to the room upstairs after my husband left, which was a lot newer, and nicely decorated with a balcony. The last two pictures above are of the room upstairs.
 Breakfast was included daily, with coffee and a plate of fruits. It was rather filling actually.

Here are some of the interesting characters I met and befriend while I was there. They become people in my everyday life while I was there. From left to right: Dewa, the owner of the home stay; Putu the guy who walks around with the laundry everyday and mopping the floor; Ayu who make us breakfast and sweeps the floor like 8am in the morning; the bunch of bebek (ducks) that wonders around the front padi field, and half white face Japanese lady portrait that hangs on the wall of our room, which we later found out was drawn by Dewa -____-

Jati Home Stay

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Ubud Trip 2011

Ever read the book Eat, Pray Love? Hate it. It was such a hype in Oprah's show, but when I read it, I actually skipped quite a bit of it. But the book wasn't the reason I went to Bali for my 2011 trip. Nope. I had two weeks off, and I wanted to go to a place that was quiet, and cheap, where I can do absolutely nothing but stare into the sky all day. And the book introduced me to this place call Ubud.....

And so, that was where I stayed, from 23-October till 5-November, a total of 14 days in Ubud!

Usually I start my trip blogging with an overview of how I plan my trip. But this trip was special. I only bought the ticket, and book my accommodation. And I planned it during their rainy season. I wanted to do nothing. And that was more or less what I did. But don't worry, it wasn't dull one bit! Heck, I even have pictures to share!

The trip was initially planned as a solo trip cause I always wanted to experience traveling alone. I have been traveling on my own since young, to state game trips, commuting between Penang and Singapore while I was studying,  visiting friends solo in Kuala Lumpur, exchange program in Japan, but I've never traveled alone to a place I know no one before, and I was kinda scared, kinda excited about it. But in the end, my husband tagged along, and stayed a week with me. I stayed the remaining last week on my own.

Oh, by the one, for those of you who don't know, Ubud is a village in the island of Bali, Indonesia. I could have said I spend 2 weeks in Bali, but that would be inaccurate, cause the only thing I actually saw about Bali was the airport, and Jimbaran which I was forced to go.

Anyway, here's where I stayed. More in the coming entry.
Eat, Pray Love

Monday, May 28, 2012

Post Card from Paris

Making a detour to Paris was the best thing that happened on my trip to London in 2010. It was easily the most beautiful city to visit (although the smell of urine was almost everywhere!). The people were surprisingly very friendly to us, and except for restaurant food, I found Paris to be rather cheap as compared to London!

To Paris with Love. I would LOVE to go back there again! Hopefully with more cash to spend this time!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Post Card from London

Finally, my blog entry for my trip in 2010 is completed. My last words on London: Not the safest feeling place to visit, with not the best food, but the people are rather good nature, and it is full of history and has all the things I read about when I was a kid. If only I could have visited a forest with a Faraway Tree, my trip would be perfect! Will I go back? Maybe.
Faraway Tree

Saturday, May 26, 2012

London Food Information - Part 2

Although I didn't like the food at London, I did like the food market atmosphere! Here are 3 notable one which I like. First Covent Garden. I think I went there twice. Covent Garden is one of the oldest market in London, and most famous for this scene in My Fair Lady. The Paella there is cheap and good! I also like the Square Pie shop there.

2nd is Borough Market which I think we went twice as well. I fell in love with perry there. Lots of cheese there.Very interesting place to wonder around.

3rd is Portobella Market at Nottinghill. Had my first Falafel and Churros there!

Covent Garden
Borough Market
Borough Market Official Site
Portobello Market
Portobello Road Market Official Site
Square Pie

Friday, May 25, 2012

London Food Information - Part 1

As always, first few days of the trip is an adjustment to the exchange rate. We're talking about twice the price of SGD here since we're surviving on pounds in London. Thankfully the following things are really cheap at their supermarket: ham (1 pound for 10 slice!), cheese (1 pound each for assorted cheese), bread (1 pound), and milk (less than a pound). I love the Mark and Spencer there as well as they have prepacked salad which are just amazing! And soup from Sainsbury! They open till 11pm!
 During our land tour, we also had lunch at a traditional English pub where I ordered my first cow liver in mash. The pub's name was called Queen's Head somewhere at Stow-on-the-Wold.
 One of the place that I would really like to go back to is Sally Lunn's at Bath. We were in such a rush when we were there that we didn't manage to finish our lunch and had to pack it to go. I even left my postcards there :(
 We did try a few eating places in London, but I can't say I like the food in London much. Here's some pix of the kebab we had near where we stayed, and some underground cellar near Chinatown. I'll share more about London market food in Part 2.

Mark and Spencer UK
The Queen's Head
Sally Lunn's

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TOL - Shadows

19-Nov(Friday). Favorite type of photograph? Lights and shadows. Here are some taken inside the Tower of London that gives you a feel of the medieval times :) Kinda reminds me of all the haunting documentary that I love so much. Unfortunately, nothing supernatural turned up in my photos even though it was shot in one of the hunting place in London.To start off, a clip on the ghost stories of the place... I'm kinda glad I did no research before visiting this place! Now I'm tempted to google ghost of Le Catacomb.....

Haunted London - Tower of London
The Tower of London Ghosts and Legends