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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Queenstown cinemas

Discovered this book at the Library and took it home. There was this picture of the 2 cinemas which were a main part of my childhood year.

Photo from the book 10 Stories Through the Year by  Loh Kah Seng Calvin Low
The cinema on the left is the Venus cinema and the one on the right is Golden City.

I remembered when I was a very young kid, my neighbour brought me to Venus cinema one evening because the famous actress, Chan Poh Chu was making a stage appearance. There was a big crowd gathered there that night to see her and watch her movie, Lady Killer.

Both cinemas screen mainly Chinese movies and whenever we can afford, which was like once in a blue moon, we will go and watch the Shaw Kungfu movies. Both cinemas have now been converted to churches. A pity but at least they are still standing.

Surprisingly, I don't have much recollection of the fountain in the foreground and I don't even recall it sprouting water!

In the background, where I have put in a red arrow, was where I used to stay when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of our old block in the book.  That area was then known as Margaret Close and there is practically no article or write up about this area in the many Queenstown blogs and sites. What a pity! Guess those were demolished much earlier before the people decided to document Queenstown history.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Teochew Porridge

There is this stall in Ang Mo Kio Ave 1 opposite the Bishan Park that I loves to go for my Teochew porridge. The only problem with this stall is that it opens only in the evening and 1 hour before opening, a queue has already formed up and the wait can be up to 1 hour.

So what is so special about this stall? First, it has to be the porridge. There are porridge and there are porridge and this one is cooked the traditional Teochew way. Watery and yet thick enough with the rice grain just "fluffed" out nicely. Just the way I love it.

 Every good Teochew porridge stall will have steam fish and this stall is no exception. It has all sort of steam fish. Not for them the steam and then air dried fish but big freshly steam fish with ginger, cut chilli and kiam chye. Very traditional. And the best thing about this? Compared to my other favourite Teochew porridge stall Teo Heng, this is so much cheaper!

Their other speciality is the braised duck but I prefer my duck from the specialised duck stall so I haven't try those here yet. But they have no the usual Teochew stuff - like steamed sotong, pickled vegetables, steamed minced pork.....

So if you are at Bishan Park in the evening, why not cross the road and try this. But do be prepared to queue up.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Navy Open House

Had been to the Army Open House aeons ago but never the Navy Open House. But since the kid is now a Navy guy, and since he could get us in ahead of the crowd over the weekend, we went to our first Navy Open House.

Not much of a sea guy and don't know my port and stern or what's not. But there were signs to tell us what the different vessels were and also onboard tour and a joy ride out to sea. The Armed Forces and the Air Forces also contributed some equipment for the public to gawk at.

Some of the vessels on display

The foreign ships that were there. Too bad we couldn't get close up.

Some of the other hardware on show

The highlight for me was catching a glimpse of the Navy latest toy - the submarine.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre

I passed by this building everyday on the way to/from work. But soon I will not be able to do that not because I change job but because the building is going to be torn down soon. Which is a big waste as this is one of the very few old type of school left in Singapore.

This building started life in 1893 as the Anglo Chinese Free School before it became Gan Eng Seng Primary School in 1923. I believe somewhere along the way probably  in 1960, the old building was torn down and the current one put up and became Telok Ayer Primary School. Due to dwindling enrolment, the school closed in 1985 and opened a year later as the Telok Ayer Performing Arts Centre.

Back then, schools are generally quite small and this one has only 1 main block in the shape of a U. There is also a low building that was probably the tuckshop and assembly hall. 

What I will miss most is the beautiful (some said gawky) murals on the 2 main walls facing Cecil Street.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bedrock Bar & Grill

The third of the steakhouse (read expensive) adventure following Wooloomooloo, Orche and Salta.

This one only the kid and me went. And we ate up a feast costing $200.00 for the 2 of us.

The open counter
 We walked in and was given the drink menu. Which left us wondering? Was it one of those place without menu and we just order the drinks and we will be served with whatever the Chef dream up? Fortunately no. After we ordered our drinks, the very friendly staff came up with menu proper and we proceeded to place our order.

Then another surprise came. The waiter placed this in front of us,


We went like.. err we didn't order this. The waiter laughed and politely told us it was complimentary much like the soft bread that most other establishment served. This was flat bread and it was good so good that we went for second and it was all free. It comes with a butter spread and a garlic spread (top of picture) but tasted just great by itself.

For our side, we ordered a macaroni and cheese recommended by the waiter and it was another great dish. I think the Princess will love this. For a side, the portion was rather big and I think it can serve as the main course itself.

 The kid ordered the Ribeye, 400 gm.  Can't remember whether it was US or Australian. A tad too big for me. Lucky I didn't order that.

For a change, I had the ribs. Portion wasn't big big like those at those ribs specialities so it was just nice.

Overall, I love the service there. But it isn't cheap and unless there is very special ocasion, I doubt I will return any time soon but for those who want to try nice steak and without bursting the budget like at Wooloomooloo or Morton, this place will be great.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pet Peeves while Moving Around

Not in any particular order:

1) People who text, play games, watch video on their phone or tablet while travelling on the escalator or walking in a crowded area

2) Smokers who smoke in groups along common corridors forcing people to walk through a cloud of smoke

3) Cyclists who ring their bell non-stop while cycling on pedestrian walkway and pavement

4) People who keep blowing their nose while in a train or bus

5) People who talk so loud on their phone that the whole train carriage can hear the conversation

6) Dog owner who do not pick up their dog poo

7) People who go to Nature Reserve and Parks for the fresh air but light up while they are there spoiling the air for everybody

8) Cyclists who treat the East Coast Park bike path as a racing circuit and ride at race speed without any regards for other park users

9) Big strapping men who rush for seat or compete for seat with ladies on the train

10) Commuters who stands in the middle or front of the bus and refuse to move to the rear

Friday, May 3, 2013

Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Whenever I go oversea, I prefer to eat at the local food streets, trying out the local food rather than dine at posh restaurant. Of all the famous food streets, some that come to mind are the food streets of Taiwan, Penang and Bangkok. 

Singapore used to have its own food streets like the Ellenborough Market, Bugis Street and even the Orchard Road car park. But now all these are gone or sanitized into tourist traps like Newton or the Chinatown Food Street.

While in KL recently, we went to one of the more famous food street there the Jalan Alor Food Street. At least famous according to our guide. 

But disappointingly, instead of individual stalls like Penang's Gurney Drive, there were a whole stretch of restaurants. Each one of them is a self contained restaurant serving all the local food from bak kut teh to char kway teow to satay to seafood. Of course, with such a combination, the variety was there but the food wasn't so great.

Nevertheless, since we were already there,we went ahead and ordered a whole lot of food
KL Bak Kut Teh

Local version of Escargots
Special vegetables mix
Egg Oyster or is it Oyster egg?

Char Kway Teow
Price was rather reasonable but food merely so so. But if one was in a rush and just want to savour a bit of everything Malaysian, I suppose this will be the place to go.