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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Beautiful Bali - Uluwatu

On our first day in Bali, we went to Uluwatu.

This is a cliff over looking the sea. Coming from where we were where the only wave we know is the Kallang Wave, seeing the waves smashing against the cliff was awesome.

Add the sunset and what a spectacle!

Definitely worth the trip up the hill.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Makan Bali - Malioboro

Before I went over to Bali, I checked the trusted Lonely Planet guidebook and the number 1 recommended food to try is Babi Guling. So naturally the first thing we did when we reached there was to ask our driver cum guide to bring us there. But of course, he didn't and instead brought us to this place.

This seems like a  tourist trap. The place was crowded wist th Chinese speaking people very obviously from Malaysia, Singapore and a splattering from China. No local! 

Anyway, we ordered the house speciality, the "soft boned" chicken or Ayam Presto Teluk. This is supposed to be so pressured cooked until it is so tender and soft that even the bones can be eaten. 

We also ordered a rather weird looking dish which looks like some sort of toufu and jelly but is actually known as tempeh or fermented soy.

We also goodnu goodnu ordered the kangkong with sambal chilli and which we discovered later is almost like what kimchi is to Korean. It is an almost must have at every meal!

And finally, I had my first of countless Avocado juice.The avocado juice here is blended differently from those back in Singapore. A whole lot of gula melaka is added to it to sweeten it and forming beautiful pattern in the process.

Was the food good? Did the driver cum guide took us for a ride?

No, the chicken was great. With a layer of egg on top and it being so so tender, I could really have eaten the bone except that there was always this fear of getting chicken bone stuck in my throat which stopped us from devouring the whole chicken.

And for those who loves spicy food, M rated the sambal kangkong as first class. The kangkong was just blanched and not overly cooked like our local version and there is a nice crunchiness to it although I must admit the sambal was a tad too spicy for it.

Our first meal and really one of the most satisfying of the whole trip.

Friday, April 20, 2012

16th Storey Queensway

I used to stay in Margaret Close just a stone throw away from what was popularly known as 16th Storey. From my place, it was a short walk to there but first there was this distraction, a little garden.

This was the 1st Japanese Garden in Singapore. Way before the one in Jurong opened. Back then, it was supposed to be a shopping mall of sort. I have fond memories of the place. My brother and I, we bought our first expensive toy from there - a battery operated Matchbox Loop a Loop playset. Those days, we were so poor and the money came from our hard earned ang pow money but it was worth it. We spent many hours  playing with it. 

The other memories I have of this place apart from the countless hours spent there catching spiders and staring at the fish was that when I grew up, it was the place where I hung out the most with one of my ex. And nope its not M.

Today, the whole place is occupy by MacDonald. Sad but at least it is still around.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sungei Tampines

Just a stone throw from Sungei Api Api, okay maybe 1.5km from Sungei Api Api is Sungei Tampines.

So we lucky people in Pasir Ris gets to enjoy 2 lovely rivers running right through it. Just like Sungei Api Api, the Sungei Tampines empties into the sea through a lush mangrove swamp. The shore line here is full of wildlifes including herons, egret and monitor lizard and of course fishes.

Right on the other side behind Pasir Ris Drive 1 is the river that runs through the heart of Pasir Ris. Unlike  Sungei Api Api, the banks are relatively clear of plants and 2 walking path run alongside the river.

This is the river that runs between Drive 1 and Drive 3. The plants along the side are planted neatly next to the flats.

Interestingly, after Drive 3, the river flow trickles into a small little drain.

Apparently, this is because there is some sort of tide control mechanism install by Nparks to keep the Pasir Ris Mangrove swamp alive. So the water level here is regulated by a series of dams such as this.

While the Sungei Tampines looks nice, unfortunately, the stark concrete bank is an eyesore.They should plant some creepers along it to cover it up just like the next photo.

A canal with hanging creepers along its wall. Can anybody guess where is this place?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sungei Api Api

This is the Sungei Api Api which runs through Pasir Ris. Looks really wild.

It flows out to the sea.

Recently, tons of dead fish were found floating in the river. Sungei is Malay for river. A few years back there were even claims that a crocodile was sighted.

For the lucky residents of Pasir Ris living by the river bank, they literally have a river and not a canal by their doorstep. Isn't it beautiful? Though I couldn't be surprise if there are complaints of creeping crawlies getting into their apartments. But seriously,where else in the world can there be high rise apartment next to a river like this?

There is another river that runs through Pasir Ris - the Sungei Tampines. But that is another story.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Botanic Garden

The ladies went shopping and I got a small window to do nothing. It was raining so no swimming, the gym was too far away and I am too lazy to run though I got a new pair of shoes I was dying to try out. But no can do, not gonna dirty my new shoes in the rain so opted to go to nearby Botanic Garden.

The target was the mist house but it is inside the orchid enclosure and cost $5.00 for entry and since I didn't have much time decided not to go in and just walked around.

Took some photos of some more unusual looking blooms. Don't ask me what they are, I have absolutely no idea.

Friday, April 6, 2012

WaWaWa Bistro By The Bedok Reservoir

Earth Hour. So we went out for a candle light dinner at this bistro at Bedok Reservoir. The place has opened for some time and we haven't found the occasion to try out the food until now. 

First impression- we like the ambience. It was mainly blue lighting just perfect for some romantic time together. Unfortunately, the experience was spoilt by the Gold 90.5 FM radio music blasting too loudly. It wouldn't have been too bad if the sound system was okay but the FM reception was bad and there were a lot of static which jars the ear too much. Hopefully they will fix that soon.

The restaurant was divided into an indoor and outdoor area. We sat outside. It was rather breezy that night and very cooling. Thankfully, the famous midge of Bedok Reservoir did not make an appearance. Or maybe it was too dark for us to notice?

The prices wasn't that cheap so we just ordered drinks and the main course. The fruit "juice" was more like those from drink carton and not freshly squeezed juice and cost $6.00 each. But that was still  cheap compared to paying $2.00 for a bottle of water. They don't serve free water here. So we ended up with 2 "juice".

For the meal, I had the Prawn and Mushroom Aglio Olio. Portion was rather small considering that it cost $18.90. But taste wise, it wasn't too bad and I enjoyed it.

M had one of their specialties the Cajun Chicken which came with a big juicy tomato and whipped potato. Again the portion wasn't too big. But it more than made up for the quantity by its quality. I of course managed to sneak in a few bites and I think the whipped potato got whipped pretty well:( and the Cajun chicken was done to perfection. 

There was a facebook promotion and we had to like the place on FB to get a free scoop of ice cream, which we did. So that kinda make up for the rather pricey food. 

Recommended for those who wants a nice romantic night out, dinner by the water. This is about the closest one can get without having salt and sand flying into your face and food. Not recommended for runners who just want a drink after their run. Cheaper to get it from the vending machine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Clear my Own Tray?

Was at the Toast@work outlet at United Square. Bought some stuff and took it over to the atrium where my contractor were doing some setting up work for a road show the next day. After finishing the drinks and bread, took them back to the counter.

To my surprise, the staff told me in Chinese not to put it there and to bring them to the dining area. I told her I already brought them over from the atrium so why should I now put them on the dining table? The staff just repeated not to put the used cups and plates there and when I refused to bring it somewhere else, she told me to take them back to where I took them from! So pissed off, I did that and I hope the other contractors doing the other work there will break them!

Clear my own trays and people expect me to clear it all the way? Might just as well ask me to wash them!

Wanted to complain but a check on the Food Junction's website (the holding company for Toast@work) - no email! What sort of company is that where there is no feedback, no email contact? Obviously a company with plenty of skeletons to hide.  

I eat lunch frequently at Maxwell Food Centre. Sometimes the table is full of uncleared stuff and so to have a cleaner eating environment, I will bring the dirty plates to the nearest cleaning trolley. And there is this particular cleaning lady who will rant at me for doing this! Seems like each cleaner covers certain area and if I pass plates from the area not supposed to be covered by her, she will scold and scold. 

Clear my own trays and get scolding? No thanks. So now if I need to clear a space for myself to eat at Maxwell, I just move everything to the floor.

At another food centre, the cleaners are so efficient. Even before I sit down, they are there asking for the tray. Normally for my lunch, I eat porridge. This will normally be 2 bowls of porridge and another 3 dishes of food. So how am I suppose to return all these dirty bowls and plates if there is no tray? Carry them one by one? 

And has anybody look at the state of the food return areas in most food court and hawker centre? They are so small that each can barely fit 5 trays and if the cleaners don't clear the area fast enough, the dirty trays and  dishes simply pile up like those at the Marine Parade Food Centre and even Changi Airport Terminal 3 Food Court!

Clear my own tray? How?