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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Juju Hokkaido Hotpot

We had originally wanted to go for Japanese dinner and being the perpetual kiamseap fella, I had decided to bring the family to this Japanese 'foodstreet' at PoMo. However, when we got there, we discovered the Japanese foodstreet was no more and there was instead a Japanese restaurant serving only buffet at $31.00 per head. Deciding that since there was no occasion to splurge, we decided to look for cheaper alternatives.

Unfortunately or fortunately (as it turns out) there wasn't much choices in the building and as we were all rather hungry by then, in the end we decided to settle for another Japanese food outlet at the basement. What enticed us was the name - JuJu Hokkaido Hotpot restaurant. Now we haven't been to Hokkaido so this was as good an opportunity to savor something from that region. It wasn't too cheap though $29.00 per head but what the heck! And it was a decision that we did not regret. There was only 2 pages to the menu. A standard starter for everybody and then a choice of various type of main for the hotpot. For the hotpot itself, there was a choice of 3 different type of soup. Then there was a choice of desert and also a small glass of vinegar plum juice (to wash down the food) or so the waitress said. So there being four of us, we order a main of beef; chicken and pork combo; fish and lastly seafood platter. We had all the 3 type of soup; clear, creamy and mala. And these was the food that was served. I present the JuJu Hokkaido hotpot feast:

First the starter. Just like the Japanese restaurant in Japan, this came presented very beautifully in a black lacquer tray. A soft boiled egg which the waiter showed us how to cut open and pour the sauce onto, a small little piece of Yellowfish, which the waiter reminded us must eat - very expensive and a piece of tofu.

Next was the main course. And we were shocked and awed by the size of them. Just take a look at the cutleries and bowls next to it and you can imagine the gigantic portion
This is the beef. Like all the other main courses, it comes with a glass container of vegetables and assorted mushrooms, some carrots, yam, brinjal and tofu
This is the chicken and pork combo.
This is the fish set. There are 3 different type of fish meat including this big seabass.

And this is the seafood platter which consist of prawns, fish, cuttlefish and scallops. Unfortunately, there was also supposed to be crab but they were out so we had to settle for more fish and 1 more prawn

Put them all together and this was what the 4 of us had:

And then there was dessert. Very pretty looking but very small portion but by then we were really truly filled so it was okay.

All in all, it was a very satisfying meal. Atmosphere wasn't that great but for the price, it was worth every cent. The only blemish was that I noticed the glass container which was used to hold the vegetables and mushroom were badly cracked. And I wondered what happened to the glass pieces.

But overall, for those who want a great hotpot or steamboat as we local call it, this is truly a great fine. And I can't wait to go back and try its sister restaurant serving Hongkong hotpot!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Racing the Sahara

A young friend of mine is going to do something real crazy. She is going to run 250km in 7 days in one of the toughest terrain in the world – the Sahara Desert.! And all this with only 3 years of running experience and without a full marathon to her name!! Oh yeah, she did completed the latest edition of the Sundown marathon finishing in 12 hours 35 mins or thereabout but what 84km compared to 250km?

You can find her almost every weekend morning at MacRitchie Reservoir or East Coast Park with a 7 – 9 kg load on her back doing 20 – 30 km runs. So why is she putting herself all this torture?

She is running to raise funds for a very worthy cause – the World Vision ‘s Vision Fund. The Vision Fund is built on the premise of "teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime". Its purpose is to:
        · provide micro loans of $50 to $500 to families
        · help develop necessary business skills
        · provide material resources to help families develop their own business within their communities and become self-reliant.
The key is to help shift families and communities out of the poverty cycle by providing loans at reasonable interest rates to families who would otherwise have found it difficult or near impossible to obtain financing.

Jane aims to raise US$40,000.00 and as of todate, she is still rather far from the target. She will be holding a fund raising drinking session on 5 September 2010 at LOOF. So do turn up to lend your support or pledge your support here. Every cents count!

For more information on the World Vision’s Vision Fund, click here
For more information on the Loof ‘s Desert Party, click here
For more information on Jane’s click herehere and here

Monday, August 23, 2010

Exam is coming

Exam time is round the corner. It is a time of great stress as parents take leaves to make sure their children study and get into that 'top' school. Some parents are pleading with the gahmen to subsidy tuitions, some ask for a total ban on tuition to 'level the playing field'.

But is getting all A and getting into that top school really that important? Does job interviewers really care what T-score a prospect gets for his PSLE or what his L1R4/5 is? Do they really care which school or JC they went to? Surely, the goal should not be to get perfect scores or top schools but just to advance to that next level smoothly. Why ply on so much pressure on the kids? Are parents really thinking of their kids' future or living their own dream through their kids?

For me, I am contended if my kids can be happy with their own progress and not be too stressed with getting results. Nevermind if it is a B or C. After all, what we do with our life does not depend entirely on how well we did in school but what we want to do in life. At a recent class gathering 30 years after we left school,  while most of us are still slogging in the world force, 1 guy had sort of 'semi-retired'. In his own words, he is 'just taking it easy'. Actually, he is the most successful of us - having started doing insurance when he was in JC and thereafter running several businesses before he called it quits to spend more time with his family two years ago. And his academic qualifications? He funked his 'A' levels big time! Again in his own words, he just 'went to JC to pass the 2 years before doing NS'. So the point is, its not how many distinctions or which schools but what you want to make of your own life that counts!

And back to the parents. This video may be good for a laugh and a bit extreme.  Laugh but do stop to ponder. Are you on the verge of becoming like the father in the video?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AdstraGold MicroBrewery

I seriously cannot remember when was the last time I drank beer but this was a special occasion. A friend had opened a micobrewery and invited us over to sample the German beer that they made. Unfortunately, I have to drive later and had to restrict myself to 2 small sampling glass. But it was good!

Photo courtesy of Susan

If anyone in the Bras Basah vicinity and feel like having a nice cold home brewed beer, why not drop over to AdstraGold Microbrewery Bistro-Cafe at Chijmes for a tipple. Beats those factory bottled beer anytime!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Real Bread!

The Princess finally had her first success! After numerous attempts to make a proper looking and more importantly, decent tasting bread, she finally succeeded. Don’t it look good? 

Topped with cornflakes on top, we polished it off for breakfast this morning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fishy Business

1 more month to go before the move and it’s time to start packing up. The first one to go are the poor fish since there is no immediate plan for a fish tank at the new place. But despite my best efforts, I can’t find anybody to flog off the tilapia or Tila as it is known.

So what to do? No choice but to take up the suggestions of some evil friends from FB and [insert music – deng deng deng deng]. But how to kill something that I seen grow from a mere 3 cm to almost close to 8 inches? Must do it the most humane way.

First catch it first. The poor thing could sense its fate and put up a big struggle splashing water all over the floor. Seriously got no heart to put a knife through it so put it in a bag and stuff in into the freezer. At least cannot see or hear the struggling sound as it flaps its life away. 2 hours later, remove it and dunk it into a pot of boiling water! Yes we gonna have steam tilapia the Teochew style. After steaming, add some ginger, salted vegetables, cut chilli and voila. Dinner is served!

Er apart from me, nobody else knew the steam tilapia on the table was poor former Tila. I picked up the chop stick and then….it opened its eye and mouth and jumped off the table. There was absolute mayhem in the house. Everybody was shocked and stunned and the kids started jumping around. In the confusion nobody knew where Tila landed and finally when things had calmed down a bit, we started looking for it. But it was nowhere to be found!

And then we heard a purr from Toby, our cat. There was a wicked grin in its face! Can it be? Oh no………

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Singapore Song By Rony Tan

I like Corrine May but somehow her National Day song doesn't stuck a chord or gives that lump in the throat feeling. This is so much better but still not that rousing or have that catchy beat that makes one sing along. Give me those good old songs like Stand Up for Singapore or Count On Me Singapore anytime.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Singapore Garden Festival

This is like the 4th ? straight year that I attended this show. The first year the excitement was there but somehow the interest seems to have waned a lot. After all, see one flower, 2 flowers, after some time see until blur blur. But this year the Princess came along and she took all the photos.

More photos on my Facebook.