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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

More Makan

With the main bulk of the birthday celebration done over the weekend, the actual day's celebration was rather low key. No fancy restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Started the day with dessert at Dessert Hut at Marine Parade where we had the Ah Baling soup. I had the ginger soup whilst M had the peanut soup. Both are well done = not too sweet and the glutinous ball was superbly done with the right amount of filling.

For lunch, we went to the River South (Hoe Nam) Prawn Noodle stall at Macpherson. From the various clippings all over; practically from all the major publications and tv programs - the noodles must be good. I've always maintained a good prawn noodle is in the stock and indeed this one was thick and solid. There was no fish cake, meat slice or anything extra just beansprout, plenty of shallots and 3 mid size prawns. But this are my favorite type of prawn though - deshelled leaving only the head so no messy hand here. Yum Yum.

Supposed to adjourn to Tong Shui for desert but M developed a mild gastric so the rest of the day was canned.

For dinner, went back to G7 Sinma live seafood at Geylang. The highlight of the food was of course their signature big head prawn. This comes at a price though - $49/- for 5 prawns. But it was deliciously shiok. We also had 2 crabs - one cooked buttered with salted egg and another usual chilli crab.
The buttered crab was quite good but the chilli crab was a disappointment.
The other dish worth mentioning was the fried brinjal with long beans and silver fish. The fried brinjal tasted like potatoes wedges and was quite good but overall a bit too salty.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Batam Getaway

Decided to surprise M with a short escape to Batam over the weekend. Booked a room at the Batam View Resort. No kids to tag alone. So nice. The weekend all to ourself.

The last time we came here was like almost 10 years ago I think and there have been major refurbishment at the resort. Still other than the renovated rooms, nothing much seem to have changed. Spent the afternoon strolling through the grounds before dinner at the Kelong Seafood restaurant. We liked the black pepper flower crab so much we went back the next day for lunch!

After dinner, the highlight of the trip - the 3 hours pampering at the 5th Dimension spa. Wah, I never felt so clean after the scrub. And I got a facial too. First one in my 45 years! M said my nose now so clean it practically shine. The massage was shiok too but after that my calves hurt but in a kinda nice way.

So nice and so relaxing don't mind going back again but maybe with the kids. At least got some companion to do the sea sport rather than just keh keh sit on the jet ski:)

More photos here

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prawn Mee

Was at the Old Airport Hawker Center and had the prawn noodle. For comparison, I ordered from the Albert Street Prawn Mee while M and Alicia ordered from the Whitley Rd Prawn Mee. Both had newspaper cuttings of review pasted all over the stall front.

We agreed the Whitley Rd version was better although I still prefer the Beach Rd prawn noodle at East Coast Rd. So far, has tried almost all the famous version include People's; Hong Lim; Adam Rd; Far East Square; Too bad so far have no chance to try the Cambridge Hawker Centre's prawn mee.

Which one is the best?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Foo's House

Somewhere in an ulu part of the East, there is this little joint serving western food. The outlet at Upp Changi Road/Jalan Pari Burong is so small it can only takes 7 tables indoor and 3 outdoor. Business was good whilst we were there judging from the string of people coming in and being turned away as they accept reservation.We had no reservation but as we were early, the waitress was kind enough to accept us provided we finish by 8. I think it quite silly of them to accept reservation and turn away walk in considering their small size. Better for them to go on a queue system! At least they don't have to keep table empty while waiting for the reservations to turn up.

The menu listed the usual western food with the house specialty being the Pork Chop, Pork Knuckle(must order in advance). We ordered the fish and chip; tenderloin steak; Hainanese pork chop and Irish stew.

Irish Stew

Tenderloin Steak

Fish and Chip

Hainanese Pork Chop

The Chef (Chef Foo) according to the blurb on the menu is a retired chef from the Grand Hyatt and a Hainanese to boot so the food was excellent. They were also reasonably priced. The tenderloin steak was only $18.90 while the rest was mainly around $10.00. Pretty good value for money compared to Botak Jones!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Party Ploopers

A principal of a girl school made some comments to her new batch of O levels students (newly promoted from N level) and it has created a ruckus. What she said or was trying to say was that if the student can't do well in the O level end of the year - better not to waste one whole year now but to go straight to ITE. I guess her point was the weak students should not waste time (whose time I wonder?) but go straight to ITE now! Such faith this Principal has in her students. Surprisingly, the MOE has came out openly to back her position which is a big disappointment!

Whether the child can eventually do well enough to go JC or Poly depends not just on the children themselves but also the teachers and in this case it is quite clear that the school does not want to waste time and resources on this borderline cases. Instead of discouraging the students, the schools should be encouraging them to work late. These kids deserve a shot at it since they have taken the long hard route to reach Sec 5.

I remembered in my secondary school days, at Sec 3, we were split into A class, B class and so on with the A class being the cream of the school and allowed to take additional subjects like A maths - something like the streaming but not so extreme. Well guess what, when the O levels result came out (those days got no N levels), the top student in the school was from the last class of the cohort. Why did he achieve such sterling results - I believe he was a late bloomer and also he had a damn good form teacher who never gave up and was constantly pushing them to work hard whereas we in the so called 'better' classes were left most time to ourselves to study on our own!

So it just prove that if the schools really want to and are willing to commit time and resources to the average students, like pearl in an oyster shell, they will eventually come out shining.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Commercial Break - A Safety Message

Have a break. Time for a commercial.
A safety message for those who drive and chat or text.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lok Lok Steamboat

The last time we had Lok Lok steamboat was at a shortlived outlet at East Coast Road. It probably closed down cos it was too pricey. Before that we used to go to the now demolished Gay World City. That was a fun experience eating alfresco. Back then, they charged by per stick and whatever sticks not consumed will be taken back.

The Lok Lok steamboat at the Old Airport Rd Hawker Centre moved from there. Now I guess for hygiene reason, they no longer charge by per stick but at $20/- for 4 person, it was still cheap. It also come with optional satay beehoon - a small plate for $1 each.

Such food really bring back nice memories of days when police man wear shorts and my hairs are black.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Fad?

Singaporean loves to copy. One person queue, all the kayoh follow nevermind that they don't even know what the queue is for. Open one bubble tea shop - one zillion others follow. Someone jump onto the MRT, everybody start jumping.

So will we be seeing a new fad now that someone has attempted to jump off Sheares Bridge? Read the full story here

Gee what a way to go if she had suceeded!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

NTUC Income "Express" Service

Got a phone call from an NTUC Income rep last week offering to renew my car insurance. Told her I need to go down personally as the road tax was expiring and I cannot wait for the policy to be sent to me. She than very graciously me informed that she can renew it straightaway and also put me on the express queue. All I need to do was just go down to the branch, pay for the insurance and road tax. No need to queue.

What wonderful service or so I thought.

Promptly reached the Bedok branch on the appointed date. Didn't see any counter with the word 'Express' so asked the receptionist who smiled nicely, confirmed my appointment and gave me a queue number? What the shit! And in the end I ended waiting for 40 minutes! So much for express queue!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Shrinking Char Siew Bao

Char Siew bao are shrinking. Traditionally, char siew bao is always slightly smaller than the bak bao. The first mini size char siew bao I think was started by Tanjong Rhu bao. But it was still of a decent size. Then there was D'bun. Theirs was pretty small and then I discovered the bao at Toa Payoh.

This must be the absolutely the miniest of all char siew bao. They are so small that I can pop 2 into my mouth easy enough and swallow them without choking. At this rate, each bao will shrink to the size of a M&M!

Friday, January 4, 2008

You got mail

Got another one of those email promising big sum of monies if one transfer a small sum of money to them so that they can siphon out monies from some god forsaken places. Previously, the mails purportedly came from deposed royalty, disgruntled businessman etc and all claim to have come into million of dollars which they want to give away. The tales are so incredible yet according to reports, countless people have been suckered with some even bothering to fly up to whichever country to take the money.

So nothing new - but what was new about this email is that it came with a header "Remain blessed in the Lord" which naturally made me curious enough to open the mail even though the sender was unknown. Don't do this at home - the email might have virus and kill the system. My company's system - that is a different matter ... ha ha...

Anyway, back to the email. Quoting liberally from the Bible, the sender claims to be a Christian with USD5.5m money which she wants to donate to a Christian charity and does not want the money to fall into the hand of her unbeliever relatives. So if the recipient is interested to write to her. Now this is the a low blow - to use the name of the Lord to cheat! As if anybody will fall for such a dumb scam.

Now excuse me while I go write an email for my USD5.5m inheritance.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Goodbye 2007 Hello 2008

It's back to work after a 1 day holiday and for every one who wished me with a Happy New Year - my response was - "what so happy about the New Year?".

Yes what's so happy about the New Year?

Hopefully by the end of this year, all of us will be able to look back to this day and truthfully count our blessings over the year and said that it has been a Happy Happy Year.

So my wish for all my friends:

For those who are single and unattached - I wish you happiness in love
For those who are single and attached - I wish you happiness in a long loving relationship
For those who are married and still childless - I wish you happiness in your own little bundle of joy
For those who are married and with children - I wish you happiness in your family
And finally for everybody and those who don't fit into any of the above - I wish you happiness in everything you do.