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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Recipes Restaurant by Shatec

Been passing  by this place for some time on my way to Running Lab for the night run. Most time it looks deserted. But my curiosity was piqued. And I wanted to try the food they served but the place looks a bit atas and I didn't think it was appropriate to dine there in tees and shorts after our run. The odour of the lingering sweat will surely drive whatever customers they have away!
But the chance came recently when I was at Funan to get something. For dinner, we decided to pop over and try out the food. Finally!
The menu was so simple. There was only 1 item – a set dinner at $25++ which comes with a choice of starters (out of 2 items); a choice of mains (out of 3), a drink and a dessert (choice of whatever pastries or cakes that is available). We opted for 1 of each so that we could savor the different versions.
For the starters, we had the Vegetable Chowder soup and the Salmon salad. We switched dish halfway through so that we could have the best of both worlds. Serving portion was reasonable and quality acceptable. Credit must be given for the tastefully displayed salad.

For the mains, M opted for the roast chicken which came with baked potatoes and some vegetables. I went for the Alfredo pasta with roast chicken.

Generally, the roast chicken was of decent standard. Actually I don’t think they can go wrong with that considering that even the supermarkets can produce decent roast chickens nowadays. Unfortunately, the pasta was rather bland and I had to add salt to add flavor to it.
Dessert for us was a mango cake and chocolate cake. This was baked by students who are on the verge of moving over to hotels for their next stage of training. While the cake didn't look as nice and nifty as those in the more high class cake shop and bakery, they were reasonably good and I had no complaints with them.

Overall, the service was immaculate. From the minute we stepped in till we left, we were waited upon by a pair of very attentive and friendly staff. Plates were cleared promptly, water was refilled at regular interval and the food was served at a decent pace.
Shatec’s  Recipes  restaurant was set up for its hospitality and culinary students to get real life experience and I must say they have trained the students well. Service was excellent overall, at S$25.00 per person, it is worth a visit with a date for some nice quiet time and dinner.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Trouble with Ang Mio in Singapore

First let me declare that I am not a racist or one of those anti-foreigners. But something when I encountered some of these ang mio, I really feel like telling them to go fuck off and get the hell back to where they come from!

Like yesterday when I was at the East Coast Park covering the Tri-Factor Tri. On my way home, I was running along the almost deserted cycling path when I heard a ring and a clearly ang mio lady voice asking me to give way. As every one who have been to East Coast Park will know, the cycling path is pretty wide and did I mentioned it was almost deserted since it was the tail end of the race? And I wasn't walking in the centre of the path but slightly to the left. But still I moved slowly to the side. The ang mo lady with 2 kids and a husband in tow rode pass. And the fucking ang mio man remarked loudly, I think, for my benefit and I quote: "That's the trouble with Singaporean. They can hear you but they ignore you". 

That got me boiling mad. Did they expect me to jump out of the way just because they are riding past? Or do they expect me to stop, stand at attention and salute them? The freaking path is so wide they could easily have rode pass me without any issue. And it was not like I was not giving way but do they seriously expect me to jump aside for them?

And that is the trouble with many ang mio in Singapore. They behave like they own the freaking country and somebody has given them this right to lord it over the locals. When I go running at the Peirce area, I can always hear the ang mio cyclists coming up behind me. They will be the one shouting loudly to all other creatures to get out of their way. Come on, we don't have eyes at the back of our heads. Since they are behind us, shouldn't it be them avoiding us rather than the other way round?

And again back at the tri. I noticed that it is always the ang mio who are shouting "keep left" and not the local. Seriously, its not like they are so good that they are faster than we locals. And when they don't get their way, they do this "jeez" sound in exasperation but is it such a big deal!

I think the ang mio here think too highly of themselves. Just because a few idiotic locals fawn over them and think they are Greek Gods, doesn't mean they are. Don't get me wrong. I know a few ang mio who are pretty nice guy and humble but generally those that I do not know, I can only say that they are a shame and a disgrace to the country  they came from.  

In my work, I get phone calls from all sort of people including ang mio. And I can said for sure the ang mio are the most obnoxious. One of the first question they will ask is "Are you the decision maker" and if not, they refuses to speak to you and demand to speak to someone who can. Who the hell do they think they are? If they have to do cold calls, they are no better than all the other telemarketers out there. And the fact is, they are the one doing the selling whilst I am the one holding the trump card which means they are a lower life form than me!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Singapore Zoo

The Singapore Zoo used to be one of those place that I goes to very often when the children were younger. That was when we qualify for the Zoo Family membership plan which makes it super cheap to go to the zoo. But since the kids passed the age of 12, the visits there has sort of dried up since it now cost an arm and a leg to go there.

Recently, to celebrate its anniversary, there was a discount for Singaporean, so we took the opportunity to go for a revisit. Nothing much has changed though. The polar bear now got a bigger enclosure. Rather ironic since there is only 1 now compared to previously when there were 2. The Treetop Trail was close which was quite a pity since I enjoy looking for the small free ranging creatures.

In my many visits there previously, I seldom see the tortoises up close so I was surprised that there was actually quite a lot of giant tortoises of different species at the zoo. 

The Komodo Dragon. There is even a baby dragon. And the enclosure has moved and part of it is opened meaning no glass! Great for picture shooting but unfortunately the pit is a bit too deep. So I still ended up with a picture of the dragon behind a piece of glass.

The crocodile. This used to be one of my favourite - the crocodile exhibit Sungei Buaya. But there seems to be very much lesser crocs now though.

The Proboscis monkey. There are now 2 exhibits of these monkeys. Guess they are breeding too fast and 1 enclosure is no longer big enough for them.

The Hamadryas baboon. My favourite place, Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia, home to the Hamadryas and the Ibex. The sight of the baboon humping each other is always .....well sorry no pictures here!

The mini horse or Shetland pony. Not exactly my favourite cause the horses seem so sad always inside the stable.

But overall still a great place to visit. Simply the best zoo in the region!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Grass is Greener over the Fence?

These days I stopped going online to those social media sites especially those who blog about Singapore. Even on Facebook, there are always people complaining, saying something nasty and bad about Singapore. I mean, if Singapore is really so bad, why then are these people still hanging around? Why don't they migrate and if they migrate, why don't they shut up and stop criticising Singapore when they don't know the true state of affairs here! And if these people think that they want to make a difference, then they should really go and make a difference like join an opposition party, join some non political social group etc and do something to influence change!

Anyway, I too have certain things that I don't like but on balance I think we have a much better deal than the rest of the world and that include the US, Japan etc

1) Housing - Housing prices too high. Too long wait for flats etc etc. Everyday there are people complaining about being price out of owning a flat. These people wants a 5 room flat, condominium right from day 1 instead of upgrading slowly. And many more want to own more than 1 to get investment income. And they compare prices here with properties in say the new Iskandar project in Johor and use that to justify their grouse. Yes I do admit property prices here is ridiculously high but that is to be expected in a land where we have limited space. For those who think prices here are to high, instead of comparing prices here with Malaysia or the outskirt of say Australia, why not compare apples with apples - New York, London or closer home - Hongkong and Japan?

2) Transport - I know the brunching of buses can be frustrating. Waiting for 6 minutes for the next train is a pain in the ass. But hey, we don't need people pushers on the platform to push us in. And unlike property, we compare our transport fare to that of Malaysia and Thailand and claim our fare are expensive. Funny isn't it, how we select countries to suit our needs? But give me our nice clean air con buses and trains any time. Frankly, you couldn't catch me in any of the public bus in our neighbouring countries.

3) Employment - I think the complain here is not so much about lack of jobs but too many foreigners. But then the government heard everybody loud and clear, step in with some measures and now we have a different set of complaints - from employers! Damned if you do, Damned if you don't. The government can't win. I admit I am uncomfortable with the 6.9million projection but I think I take that over the unemployment that is going on in Geece, Spain and many other countres. How many people do we see sleeping on the streets here? I sure there are a few but just go to Japan and walk around Tokyo after dark!

4) Transparency - The government is not transparent. The government does  not consult the people blah blah blah. I agree totally. Sometime, the way the government implement policies leaves me gnashing my teeth in frustration. But honestly, I take our government, high pay and all, over say the UMNO government or the fight loving parliament of Taiwan.

5) Freedom - The government control the press, the government dictates what we can see, what we cannot see, the LGBT has no rights ............. and the list goes on. So much so that people overseas seem to think we live in a police state. But is that really the truth? Do we want to have so liberal gun laws that people are massacred for no reasons other than that some mad people have easy access to guns. Do we want to see man getting married to another and bringing up children in a non-traditional household? Do we want our children to walk into "legalised" porn or marijuana shops? Even in the land of the free, is there true freedom? Phone calls, emails are tapped. Government spies on their own citizens. Newspaper tapped the phone calls of celebrities! Do we really want this type of freedom?

I think the majority of us will agree that despite all its fault, Singapore is still probably the best place in the world to live in. Sure we have no lush lands to hike, and you cannot buy guns and drugs freely but you can walk alone in the streets at night and feel safe. Just for this, I say give me Singapore anytime!

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

National Day Songs 2013

Another year, another new National Day song  and another round of criticism and some parody of it plus some other Singapore proud composer and singers who decide to write their own.

This is the original for this year.

This is Mr Brown's version:

Another response to it:

Even Stephen Chow made an appearance

Lorraine Tan came out with her own version again

And another really local version

Any many more out there. Enjoy and happy National Day Singapore!