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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meat & Greed 1 & 2

Ever since I managed to catch the Meat & Greed program on Channel 5, I was captivated by the mouth watering pictures of the food - mainly food and I have been looking for opportunities to visit the outlets featured.

Rabiah Muslim Food at the Whampoa Food Centre is one of the stall features for its many variety of meat dishes. After the show was telecast, I went there four times and all four times I was unable to savor the food as it was either not open or not yet ready. Finally I managed to eat on the fifth attempt!

There was a short queue when I reached there around 12 noon and ordered the fried chicken, assam fish and mixed vegetables. The whole lot with rice and a mean sambal chilli on the side cost $7.20 not exactly cheap but the fish was a pretty big piece. 

From what I could see, the food were more Chinese style cooking than Muslim food which probably explained why there were more Chinese queuing up for the food than Malays. But it was a very satisfying meal worth the $7.20 and the extra calories.

Another place featured was this stall in a coffee shop at Crawford Lane with a very unimaginative name "Happy Chef". I don't know whether the Chef is happy but I certainly was when I located the place one evening and found it opened. 

This is a traditional Hainese western food setup which seems to be going the way of the dodo bird. A lot of people were having the fish and chips. The fish looks fried to a golden perfection but we decided to have the steak instead. 

Was it good? Well, the price certainly was with most item costing an average of $8. The portion were pretty decent with a sizeable piece of meat, a small slice of garlic bread and some coleslaw and fries. Judging from the number of people who turned up at this time forgotten place just to eat this, I think they all agree that this is certainly a value for money and worth the trip there.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk

The government has been capitalising on the beauty of the Punggol Waterway and selling big chunks of land along any patch of water that they can find. As a results, developers are rushing to build condominiums with water related names like Waterbay, River Isles, Heron Bay, Twin Waterfalls, Watertown etc.

Here is just a small section of the water way that residents staying along the Pungool Promenade Riverside Walk can see from their windows everyday.

The bridge over the Serangoon River linking Punggol to Lorong Halus and by extension, Pasir Ris.

The Serangoon River with the PUB dam at the end of the river

Sunrise. Pity it was cloudy that day and this was the best shot I could get

The start of the4km long Punggol Waterway

A park connector bringing residents nearer to the sea

A mangrove running parallel to the Punggol Waterway. Good that they left it intact

Unfortunately, the people making use of this nice places still don't know how to keep the place clean. Remnants of a meal from MacDonald dump left behind on the pavement.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Singtel Project Silverline

I almost choked on my coffee when I read about Singtel Project Silverline. According to the press release, Singtel is asking for used Iphones and they will distribute it to senior citizens for their use. Singtel has also came up with some related apps for these seniors.

It is a great idea except for one very big problem. If even people like me can find an Iphone a teeny weeny bit complicated to use, how do they expect the really needy senior citizens to know how to use them. My mother already find it so complicated to use a normal handphone. Can she and others like her manage one?

The other thing is, if this senior citizens need to rely on donated phones, it will mean that they are from the lower income group. Can they afford the monthly charges after the 1st year? I am sure for these people, they have other priorities than paying for a smartphone.

If Singtel is really sincere in helping these people, then it should give each needy household that these senior citizen come from a free fixed line. It can also help the various aid agencies to install gps based tracking systems and other more useful devices for them rather than go for such fanciful but ultimately white elephant project.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

JE Crab Specialist

This has got to be one of the most interesting place I ever ate at. I have never heard of this place before until one evening while on the way home from dinner, we passed by this place. It was fairly crowded even at about 9pm then. Decided to check it out one day.

So one weekday evening, hoping to avoid the weekend crowd, we came back to see this scene. 

It was about 7.30pm dinner time and the place was totally empty! Did we went to the wrong place? Nope. It was the right place. Where was the diners? At this time, practically every coffeeshop and HDB heartland food places were be filled with people but here there was none. This got me worried. Was the food that bad? Not if judging from the newspaper reviews on display.

It can't be the price either. What was shown on this wall menu seems pretty reasonable? Or was it a scam menu to draw in people?

Anyway, since we had came all the way here, we decide to just risk it and go ahead. The restaurant is in a HDB block of flat in Bedok North. Decorated like a kelong, it has the usual tanks and tanks of live seafood. 
They even hung up the crab shell as a "wall" feature.

Upon the recommendation of the manager, we ordered one of the set menu which came with:

Drunken prawn

Bamboo Clams

Two type of vegetables: Kai lan and seaweed covered with pork floss

Fried chicken also covered with pork floss

And the dish for the evening - Canadian Crab!

Last but not least, ramen cooked in zhizhar style.

The set for 6 cost $228.00 and includes a fruit dish for dessert. Was it worth the money? I didn't like the ramen but to me everything else was good. Especially the crab. This is the first time I am eating the Canadian crab and I never tasted one with meat as sweet and tender as this. Its beat the Sri Lankan crab handsdown! And its shell is so much softer and easier to crack. 

But what really got me all excited is that they have a special crab menu. For $88.00 per head, minimum of 6 diners, one can get 8 types of crabs cooked in 8 different ways. These are the Cheese baked local crab; Canadian crab, Alaskan Red King crab in cream sauce, Spicy Blue Swimmer Crab, Australian Rose crab in black pepper; Scottish Stone crab in chilli sauce; Soft shell crab in Portuguese sauce; stewed Sri Lankan crab bee hoon and Thai Style fresh crab meat. Unfortunately, so far I haven't been able to round up enough kakis for this. Anybody want to join me?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pizza Capers

I always love to visit new food outlets especially pizza outlet. There this place at East Coast Road called Pizzacapers which claimed to originate from an Australian chain. Me? I have never heard of the place prior to this and the quite empty place didn't inspire any confidence. But what was great were the many witty slogans and quirky scribbles on the wall and place mat.

So we decided to try them out. We started off with the Parmesan crust which comes with a choice of dips. Taste great especially with the Guacamole dip. 

We also ordered the Capers wings which are chicken wings in a spicy sauce and deep fried. This is just like the many hot wings that are available everywhere and not that great or spicy but they do use fairly large chicken wings though.

Of course, we saved the best for last. The pizza. They had a promotion ongoing, there were 6 of us and so we ended up with 4 regular pizzas to share. Their pizza is the traditional type which is just what I like best. Not for me the thick dough type of pizza. We wolfed down the pizza in double quick time!

The nice looking interior of the restaurant.

And they served Australian beer too!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mooncake Index 2012

Somehow I missed compiling last year's mooncake index. What happened? I can't seem to remember why.

Anyway, this year economy is supposed to be better which usually means that come this time of the year I will get a lot of moon cakes from vendors but interestingly, this year the number actually drop.  Maybe it is really a sign of the good time since I didn't get a single box from any of the auction house cos I haven't given them any properties to auction for the past years.

So what I got are from the media owners and vendors hoping to get a slice of the advertisement pie of the company. Hmmmm is that bribery? Anyway, to play safe, everybody get to eat the mooncakes. I think it is good that the Mooncake festival last only 15 days otherwise everybody in the office will have increased cholesterol after stuffing themselves silly with all the mooncakes being passed around.

Shangri la Hotel Shang Palace - Kumquat Orange Paste with Grand Marnier in Snowskin. Surprisingly my only box of non-traditional mooncake. Taste like sherbet. A bit fizzy. Very unusual.

Ritz Carlton – Traditional baked white lotus seed paste. My favourite because of the box it came with. Took home the box to use as a watch storage case.

Gim Tim group of restaurant– Something from a “real” chinese restaurant. Taste like the rest which was a bit disappointing as I had high hopes for it.
Sheraton Towers Li Bai – Traditional baked white lotus seed paste. Still one of the best

Raffles Hotel Royal China – No truffles infused mooncake this year from Raffles just the traditional lotus seed paste. So sad. Luckily, another department got many boxes from a law firm and we had a truffle party!

Pine Garden – Finally something different from a HDB bakery but one which is pretty well known for their cakes. This one came with 2 different type of mooncake. The normal lotus seed paste with salted egg yolk and the assorted nuts. The latter hearken back to the good old days of mooncake where mooncakes are either filled with yam paste or red beans or lotus seed with nuts and watermelon seeds. And it comes with the giver's name on it too! Wonder why they do it? I mean put their company's name on to items which can be eaten. Isn't that like asking people to eat up their company?

That's all. A disappointing 6 boxes but good for my cholesterol . By the way, there are limited pictures of the mooncake itself since my hands are too shaky to take close up with the camera phone. And no, it is not because I DIY often until hands become shaky!