Sunday, October 30, 2011

Verve Pizza Bar @ The Marina Bay City Gallery


Not the bruschetta.

Ordered in a mains portion.

Timbre does Peking Duck better
The toppings were meagre and the crust wasn't as thin as one would expect.

To try :)
Even with the sparse smattering of toppings and too much crust.

Fresh prawns. Handmade pasta.
Just a tad too generous with the oil.

Only because we were too lazy to adjourn for desserts.

Verve Pizza Bar @ The Marina Bay City Gallery

Sun till Thurs: 11am till 12 midnight
Fri, Sat & Eve PH: 11am till 2am
T: 6634 3220
11 Marina Boulevard
Ground floor, Marina Bay City Gallery
(next to open air Wilson carpark)
Singapore 018940

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

minced pork, mushroom and scallop porridge for a rainy wednesday

A very welcome mid week break. Or a break anytime in a week is always welcome. :) 
I got out of bed later than I planned to and shelved my jogging plans only to realise that I was put on kitchen duty for lunch. How convenient.

It's been awhile. This used to be a Sunday staple for my family. The only 'dish' that my mother will admit to being able to cook a little better than average. Honestly, she can cook a lot more than just a one pot porridge. It's just something she'd rather not do. In any case, if she can do it, you can do it too! :)

All the measurements of the ingredients are technically nonexistent. It's really up to you as an individual.
But just if you'd like to know, that's 22 small chinese black mushrooms, 150g of dried baby scallops, 10 leaves of lettuce, 3 bunches of parsley, 500g of minced pork. Varies depends on the number of people at home and who's cooking. I love mushrooms so... :p

I couldn't find the rice cup that normally resides in the rice container so I used a jollibean container.
Washed and dried of course. 1.5 containers for 5 of us. I left it to soak for just a half hour. Makes it easier to break later with the stirring process. These rice grains are thirsty hippos that drink up a lot more water than you'd expect. If you dont want an overly thick and dry porridge, please go easy on the amounts of rice or the alternative would be to have a big pot!

With a lot of stirring, additions of water throughout the bubbling process and roughly formed minced pork balls, you get lunch that looks like this. Warm, comforting and nutritious porridge on a rainy day.
From our kitchen to yours. :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Organic Dinner @ The Frangipani Resort and Spa Langkawi

Walking past a frangipani tree reminded me of...

That pretty white flower by any other name would smell as sweet, taste as good.

Signatures of the resort- The Frangipani Flower Tea and Deep Fried Frangipani Flower.
It was a mild tasting tea akin to a camomile. Very soothing. Honey/ Sugar syrup for add-ons if you'd like. And a very good tea to wash away excess oil from...
Snacking on frangipani fritters. Dipped in a honey mayonnaise mustard dip.
Crunchy savoury meets creamy sweet. You just can't stop munching on them. Well, I couldn't and there was no reason to stop really. Appetizers have been taken to a new standard.

There was of course, the traditional Malay Salad- Ulam: Malay word meaning eating vegetables raw and bitter. This salad is characterized by additions of the banana heart and leaves of the Centella asiatica.
This was served with a spicy side dip of pungent sambal cincalok to whet our appetites before the main courses.
The creamed vegetable soup (Asparagus/spinach/ broccoli? My memory fails me) was a savoury light soup even with the addition of cream.
And there was of course a familiar favourite of spicy kangkong.

Organic wasn't just about vegetables.
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.

Fear not, for organics include meat and boy did we have our protein fix.

Dry beef rendang which I've read to be served for ceremonial occasions or to honour guests (Us!) :) It was full of beefy flavour and those who enjoy chewing on those tasty tendons, there was a lot of that in addition to pure unadulterated meat.
Sweet and sour fish. This was not the one big fish that we expected by little fish that resembled baby discus fish. I cannot recall the English name of the fish but the Hokkiens would know it was pek kia. Covered in a savoury sweet sour sauce with brightly coloured vegetables, it lit up the table even in the dim light of candles in our cosy dining environment.
And last but not least, the sesame chicken. Each piece was evenly covered with marinade, fragrant with the smell and taste of toasted white sesame. It was a juicy piece of meat bursting with flavours every single helping.

Even if you don't stay at the Frangipani Resort and Spa, you really should drop in on their restaurant when in Langkawi. You'd be guaranteed to be well fed just like we were. On organic food, no less. *rubs tummy

This was a Groupon offer for a laksa steamboat at $10 instead of the usual $18.50.
To be honest, I was about to ditch the idea of using the coupon after reading the reviews given on hungrygowhere. About how the PRC staff manhandled their child pulling him outside in tears just to show that the boy was 1.2m and had to pay an adult's price. And how using a groupon voucher just gets you crap service and terrible food.

I don't fancy being manhandled nor treated any less just because I was using a voucher.

Well, we decided to be brave souls anyway.

We took a while to decide on drinks and soup bases. Was I about to be given THE EYE?
Well not any of those actually, we were treated like regular diners. Even with smiles! :) The selection wasn't extensive but it was satisfactory. A small selection of cold dishes to start off as appetizers and a few ready-to-eat snacks that I really appreciated served piping hot. Forget the wantons, just get the marinated chicken wings and chicken nuggets :)

The soup pot was huge and given that I'm huge on soups, I'm impressed that we didn't even have to ask for refills. The laksa base was savoury and got a little salty nearing the end of our meal. The herbal soup base was a little bland but got better with the addition of ingredients. Was a good choice to balance out the laksa broth. There was no seafood selection on the menu and from the reviews, it seems as if this differs from regular full priced diners. That's fine with us though. We weren't big on seafood. Mainstay offerings of thinly sliced meats, assortment of balls, veggies and mushrooms was enough for us that night.

Life's always a gamble as long as there are choices to be made. Glad we took the gamble. :)
Try it yourself. Just to let you know if you're using the voucher, there's a 2 hour limit on your meal time. Not that they are strict on it though.

King's Laksa Steamboat 
Just behind Serangoon Stadium in the row of shophouses with the famous Nam Hwa Chiang Fishhead Steamboat.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Nando's Friday! :)

Guess who dropped in on a cold, rainy Friday afternoon? :)

Meet Barci!

That's Juleana right in the centre, brand manager for Nando's Singapore.
A bubbly, animated girl befitting of her work title. No uppity-muppity show of professionalism that separates her from her team. She leaves me with no doubt of her professionalism when it comes down to serious work but just watching her let her hair down with her colleagues regardless of status was very heartening. A team that laughs at themselves and each other. Hmm. Was well on my way to becoming jaded but this has given me some hope in the working world. :) She came with her team of happy Nandockers (if I heard it right), who are the Patraos of the three different outlets for Nando's Singapore.

Quick lesson in Portugese- Patrao: 'Head of the Family'
which in this case, happens to mean General Manager at Nandos.
What an endearing term!
Loads of people are managers nowadays but how many are patraos?
I don't know about you but I'll definitely be a lot happier working in an environment where everyone's one big happy family. Not a picture painted for others but a life lived up in actuality.

And you're never too young to be a patrao. Bao Shan is the current patrao at the Tanglin Mall outlet and you wouldn't guess from the way she speaks. She's only 24. Young but a year into the service and she's speaking like an old bird! (no offense on the age reference and pun totally intended) Meant for the service line and yes, I can see how she would fare well in the years to come, moving on to the Tampines outlet when it opens! It's nowhere near where she lives but there's not a word of complaint. Positivity in looking forward to a new crew and relishing the challenge of getting to know new Nando's diners from the East! I wish her well and I might just head over to check the new outlet out sometime :)

'Can the Chicks Come In?' is part of their move to create brand awareness, reaching out to varied consumer bases from design offices to schools. Just this year, Nando's was involved in a messy spat with Mediacorp artiste joanne peh and her boyfriend. I can see how a report like that would've turned off lots of people. It was shocking how diners could be treated in such an offensive manner and you wouldn't want to put yourself in the firing range, just because you asked for water. Hmm...
No sense in crying over spilt water.

Let's be objective- Nando's is about peri peri chicken, not bottled water.
And their chicken hasn't failed me.

Everyday should be a Nando's Friday!

I'm glad I invited them down to where I was and I'm pleasantly surprised they made special arrangements to work around my timings, along with Barci. A sight for my sore eyes and ruffled feathers. :)
On their last stop for October in a series of 5 office attacks, I hope they enjoyed themselves being back in school. 

Thank you guys! :)

P.S. Just to share the love, if you'd like to have one of those witty cute badges featured above, leave a comment with your email address stating which design you'd like to receive. :)

Go! Go! Curry!

It's been perfect curry weather this whole week! :)

What's the deal about a cheer on for gorillas and curry?

I stood around watching their promotional video (entirely in Japanese) and I will not pretend to have understood more than "Oiishi!" :p I did however, recognize Hideki Matsui who plays for the New York Yankees and his jersey number, 55 which was the reason for Go! Go! (the number 5 in Japanese) clearing my entirely reasonable idea of it being a cheer for the curry. And well, his Godzilla nickname influenced their eventual choice of a gorilla for a mascot. 

But just like an entirely serendipitious sort of phenomenon, that's probably brilliant though. The idea of a Go! Go! in your restaurant's name psychologically propels your body to respond to your subconscious mind. Go! Go! to the Curry! now! That was me anyway.

So next time you walk past, tell me if you feel a sudden compulsion to act on it! :)

Why go for less, when you can challenge the Grand Slam!
Actually, I just couldn't decide what I wanted with my curry. :D

This wasn't what I expected from a Japanese curry. It was a distinctive dark brown colour and a more pronounced peppery taste. Think: A thicker version of beef stew. I liked it! Whether curry or called by any other name because this was comfort-type soul food on a rainy day. They weren't generous enough with the curry sauce though, unlike cocoichi and no, I did not know that I could add on extra portions of curry until I read one of the reviews that suggested extra curry and extra cheese! Mmm.

So if you were going at it alone, remember that these curry rice sets have a larger than normal portion of rice even on the healthy version. Diners pick from a choice of Shrimp, Sausage, Pork or Chicken cutlet, accompanied by shredded cabbage. And unless you're with someone else, I don't know how one person's stomach can manage 650g of rice with curry and 4 sides.

It was a good post zumba dinner. I workout hard for my curry rewards. :)

As with all good meals, they should end with a dessert. 

Essentially a Snickers bar deconstructed and reconstructed into a stack with dense chocolate cake layers.
Rich. Peanut buttery. Dense. Caramelish. Definitely. Sweet. All too much for a post-curry late night dessert but I see it as most certainly an energy bar for that extra boost of sugar rush energy if taken at lunch time.

Girlfriend timeout in the midst of a mad week at Ion. :) 

Friday, October 21, 2011

cheesecake challenge

We had a blind taste test of 12 different cheesecakes at church. Granted they were variations of
cheesecakes (i.e. marbled, oreo, sourcream) but they were evident enough for the fact that ...
Hilton's cheesecake came out tops. But I still think that it tastes just like a block of Philedelphia Cream Cheese but that's just my opinion.

Coming in a close second was CBTL's Chicago Cheesecake, a tie with Olio Dome's Oreo Cheesecake.

Between 4 girls and a whole load of life stories to speak of, we had these two cakes.
Praline is the featured cake of the month and it was better than we though. Think hazelnut cream in cheesecake. :)

Meals for another time. Desserts'll have to suffice for now.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

through the years

Starting out with the pretty daybreak that greeted me while walking out to take my bus this morning. :)

It's Day 2 of marking and I decided that today shall be the day I buy home some...

Loong Fatt Eating House & Confectionery
No. 639 Balestier Road

Tel: 62534584

 I'm just right next to this place so how could I go home without any? Technically I did as was the case on Day 1 since I was going off to zumba classes. My love affair with this was way back in secondary school days. Not so long ago of course. Double digit long.

Hmm. We used to take a cab rushing down from school at Upper Bukit Timah Road just to get here in time for tea and takeaways. How's that for love?


The shop front and it's baking premises have remained unchanged over the years but their packaging has seen an innovative update. But all that's just about the looks. What about the taste? That's the most important part of any food item isn't it?

So what do you think? :)

When they say a picture speaks a thousand words, I think I've achieved that and more with this photo right there!

**Just one thing I'd add: Ladies especially, I've heard that they do not use lard in their pastries so eat up and enjoy!
Note: As with all things, in -moderation- of course.

Nothing better than a flaky crisp salty TSP on an indecisively rainy day.


zumba & an ichiban monday

Happy shiny me! With my fave sweatpants and after brisk walking over from Balestier Hill Primary School to Orchard Central for a zumba class at zestykickz @ OC #05-31. :) it's a WNS (womennsports) trial class that was some awesome fun. I've been to zumba twice already. Once at true fitness that had a really fun instructor- xiaowei. She tells you what to do and tries her best to make sure you can do it while having loads of fun letting loose, singing, dancing, screaming. The other time was a mass zumba party that ended up to be a mess. Literally. People stepping all over you, punching you. It was fun but. Too much body contact could kill someone. Terribly organization. Anyhow, this time, it was non-stop action with our argentinian instructor. Very little talk, different types of zumba actions, at least 10 different tracks and an awesome nonstop one hour workout with proper warm ups and proper cool downs. She doesn't rush you one bit. Just makes sure you enjoy it. All zumba peeps are fun loving. It's a passion that shines through them.

And then there was dinner. Ichiban Boshi @ Centrepoint with my dive girlfriends. Updating me on work and their love lives. Aww. How nice it is to be young. :p And yup, there's an oily treat for a post-zumba workout dinner indeed. Pumpkin croquette. Complete with my spicy thousand island-ish dip and tonkatsu sauce. It's a 50-50 reason why I ordered this many a time. It's the pumpkin and it's the sauce :) and my aburi maguro and spring fever. That's dinner for me.

Still feeling good from the leftover adrenaline pump today chasing away those Monday blues. Looking forward to zumba on wednesday! :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scene 1 Take #1:
Lao San Kway Chap
Blk 232 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3
12.30 p.m.

 Three Hungry People

Dad (patiently waiting for his turn) : *thinks* Hmm. What should I order?
Lady with bike helmet (swings plastic bag around) : My tupperware is leaky. My soup is dripping all over me. Can I get it changed? (in dialect)

The boss (reaches for some braised fatty meat) : *thinks* I will continue to prepare the order. Just change the plastic bag or something already...

Everyone in the scene: *burps*

And... it's a wrap!

Handmade(Pulled) Ban Mian. Seletar #01-05 @ Toa Payoh Lorong 8 Hawker Centre.

I think dad's probably the real foodie in the family. He decided that he -had- to go to Toa Payoh to check out the newly renovated Lorong 8 Market and Hawker Centre. I wasn't planning on eating since I just had my dental visit. But then, I got away unscathed. :p That's stories for another day. I decided to reward my bravery for making it through yet another dental visit. Not really. 

It's just that I saw a queue at this particular stall- Seletar Sheng Mian and Mee Hoon Kueh. So when I got here so I knew I had to queue too. -deadpans- So the real reason is...
I was just hungry. Not really that too. And this has gone far enough.

I spied this! This tray of dough that is gathered up, stretched it, slapped back down and a pair of scissors is used to cut up a small corner of it before it's torn into varying sizes and thrown into a pot of bubbling liquid. :) Oh and THAT has to be the real reason why I gave into this bowl of old school mee hoon kueh.

Let me offer you more reasons. Case in point -points at prawns- For $2.50, you get two prawns, not just minced pork but lean pork too, egg and the works of fried shallots and fried anchovies. And the best part? Spinach. And of course, the name itself is a misnomer. You order ban mian but you get mee hoon kueh anyway. :) These dough pieces come in characteristically torn pieces of varying sizes with a lot of bite! All that stretching, pulling and slapping translated it to a good jaw workout. The ones that came before me made orders for the sheng mian which looked good too. And of course there was a dried version. I saw the mix. It's dried chilli flakes in deep red oil and LARD oil. Topped off with a generous squeeze of thick dark soy sauce. I'm not sure if it's the sweet or savoury variety. It was an inviting mess when mixed up though. Hmm. Indulge a little. Sometimes.

I just wanted to try the original soup version that day. The soup was flavourful. Much too flavourful, it might've been seasoning though. Well, we'll be back for the other versions for sure.

And I love this. Not that I love to eat things that fail in the looks/ presentations department. But only at the heartland bakeries do you find these packets of cake ends. <3 There's durian, pandan, original and chocolate swiss roll ends in there.
It's always an assortment and always a yummy mess. Just eat up! A perfect ending for an old school day. 

No one said terrible looking food must taste terrible. It's not all about looks. Let's not be that shallow eh? I'm sure I can find someone who enjoys eating cake ends like I do? :) 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gelish at Pretty 360 Singapore Shopping Centre #05-25 (*Non-food related post)

It's been a while. like. well, a long while since I can't even remember when the last time was for a manicure. The idea of sitting in a salon getting my nails primped and preened over by a manicurist is just too far removed from my school-home reality that I rarely venture into these uncharted waters. Then comes a call from my cousin with a voucher that allows me to choose between a classic mani pedi + foot and hand mask/ scrub or a gelish mani with hand mask. It was a welcome treat! Just right in time for a good break from the madness of school this week, a wedding dinner this weekend and the others coming up. 

The problem was, like it wasn't hard enough to find a day to fix the appointment, I had to choose my treatment. So of course I seeked the advice of the professionals. Three of them in fact. Love my total-opposite of me girlfriends. Gelish was the unanimous reply. It helped that they totally knew I was a nightmare at keeping my manicure intact. 

What then, is Gelish? If you are like me, far left behind with the fashion forward crowd then read on and let me share my newfound knowledge. :)

 Gelish works like acrylic gels but they apply like polish (hence the namesake) and are cured in an LED/ UV lamp. They come in an equally dazzling array of colors as the traditional nail polishes. What then, makes gelish -the- choice of manicures these days? The simple fact that it stays on nails for three weeks with no chipping or peeling! But they do however, require a proper soak off for removals which can be completed in 15 minutes.

On a Friday, I skipped out of school (actually I dashed out of school and across the road, really) to hop onto the train for my appointment at Pretty 360.

Say hello to my pretty manicurist! Now then, let's talk nails.
1. Sanitize, prep, and push back cuticles.
2. Filing them down to my requested square tips.
3. Buffing them with a sponge block and after a quick wipe with the cleanser
4. Applying a Gelish Foundation Gel in a thin layer including sealing the nail edges
Then comes the first coat of colour, the second coat and finally a Gelish Top Coat Gel Sealer from cuticle to free edge.
For all these applications, I had to leave my hand in a UV lamp for 2 minutes. I felt like microwavable taco pockets. Pop them in for 2 minutes a piece, take one out and put the other in again.

In any case, I loved the fact that I was all good to go after the final curing process. It's DRIED! Plus it's amazingly shiny and smooth. I've been warned that the only problem would be to see where the nail had grown out given the long lasting nature of Gelish hence the friendly advice to choose a lighter shade of nail colour.

And the package includes a hand mask. So amidst my microwave popping exercises, I got a good rubdown on my arm and hands including a short but rejuvenating massage on my palms. She's small but hey, she packs a punch when doing the rubdown and massage. And I really appreciated that she was sweet enough to grab my bag and shoes for me after the manicure although I was entirely functional to grab these things on my own with my fast dried Gelish. :)

So if you have long nails and don’t need extensions, Gelish polish is a great alternative to gel nails! Let's see how long we ride out this Gelish manicure. I'm counting on the minimum of 3 weeks as promised.

And I'm thinking I could get used to this. At least once in. Well. A -while- ;)

prawns. stripes&shoes. chasing away the blues

So with an aunt who works at Chinatown and a grandma who is a culinary wonder in the kitchen, there's always good food on the table. Now that she drives to work, we're getting this on a weekly Tuesday basis. Prawns, that is. These fresh prawns at $8/ kg depending on catch season, time at the market and more often than not, what mood the seller's in. The latter being the most volatile and least amount of influence on the price, really.

Apparently the use of chinese rice wine (绍兴酒) a la drunken prawns as opposed to just boiling these fellas in hot water, makes a whole load of difference to the texture of the meat. Firmer and more Q- chewier. I'm not a seafood fan but for these fresh prawns, I'll take my rashes if they come. And no, they didn't this time. Thankfully so. 

And just because I met the crew in a stripes theme today on shoe shopping mission, I just wanted to share the loot.

The Mitju Warehouse Sale is now on till Saturday, 15/10/11 at *Scape and they've got some pretty shoes. Size dependent, high crowd tolerance required. It took a lot of willpower and a lot of girlfriend discussion and advice to walk out of there feeling like i had made -entirely- necessary and sensible expenditures on the millionth pair of shoes I now own. Only three are mine, the other two are for mummy. And now I can set my heart at ease, batting n'er an eyelid to throw away a pair of used heels. Just. One. Easy does it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beard Papa- Pipin' Hot Cream Puffs

Almost ten years on for Beard Papa in Singapore and their flagship outlet at the basement level of Takashimaya used to be a routine for us on weekends during my cousin's national service stint. We ran like clockwork. Sundays at church, lunch somewhere, a book run at Kinokuniya and finally a stop for desserts at Beard Papa. It used to be one for each of us and takeaways for half a dozen till the takeaways didn't even last the car ride home. We had to double it to a dozen so that there'd be at least some left for the ride back to Hendon.

Their tagline was a leaf out of Carlsberg's own- Probably the Best Cream Puff, when they were first brought into Singapore. At $2.20 for a cream puff, it wasn't expensive but neither was it the most affordable snack around but I was lucky I got to eat it on most weekends for almost a year long.

Prices have since increased to $2.80 for a cream puff. When my colleague brought one for me today, it was an immediate perk-me-up. A little leftover cold from the overnight refrigeration but that just made the filling ever more so (ful)filling. It's the first time i've actually noticed the vanilla seeds in its fillings. Not too sweet, creamy rich and made with actual vanilla pods. Mmm. Was this a recent addition? Perhaps last time I just gobbled it all up fresh and never noticed the filling. Even cold, the puff was light and airy. It wasn't oily and it was a nice accompaniment to the cold creamy filling encased within.

I think I've just found a long lost love. :)

Have you tried their other product offerings? They have a chocolate and strawberry filling, tiramisu, a lava-ish chocolate fondant that requires a heat-up before consumption... (There's more, I haven't kept up with their latest product offerings except for what I've seen on a walkpast and in their advertorials) and their Tio Glutton Stick. A cream cheese cake on a biscuit base in an entirely non-guilt inducing stick form, the only item which costs less than $2 at their outlets. That's the only item I've tried besides their vanilla cream puff.

Well, time for more of Beard Papa sweets! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

a weekend in batam

Coming home before I knew it... But while I was there,

Kueh Lapis from Batam Layer Cake. Their factory is just located across from the Golden Prawn 933 Restaurant that many tour groups frequent. The food at that restaurant, when inclusive in the tour package leaves much to be desired. Just to fill the stomach. Where you eat to basically live. But I recall a time not so long ago- three years back? When we went there on our own accord and placed our own ala carte orders. It was good. I suppose there's a difference between the food cooked for the masses and those cooked upon order. But that's enough for my so-called lunch. No memories of the food. 

Lapis was a lot better. They have a wide range of flavours listed on their store's order form ranging from cheese to pandan. However, perhaps owing to the fact that it was a weekend with high influx of tourists, they only had four choices of prune, chocolate (both $29 each) original and rempah (spiced) (both $25 each). I was hardpressed to decide between original and rempah. If you like the taste of cinnamon spice as in most kueh lapis, you probably would want to go for rempah. I picked original just to be on the safe side for family. It's sweet without being too cloyingly so and has a distinct buttery/ eggy taste. I liked it but of course i like those made at home even more. :) Watching my aunt sit by the oven, layering the cake for hours taught me well about the amount of effort that goes into making a homebaked lapis. She used to sell them during Chinese New Year, together with butter/ marble cakes and pineapple tarts. Now she's usually away on tours during that peak period and age is catching up. We just make enough for our own consumption. And consume it well, we do! :) 

There are lots of these kiosks around. I spotted one at Nagoya Hill, one at Batam City Square and another at the Batam Centre Shopping Mall just across from the ferry terminal. I wasn't in the mood for anything oily but it was my last few minutes on the island after my meal so I figured this would do well for a dessert after a dessert. ;) It was made to order. These small soft mounds that the lady picks up and gently coaxes a hole in the middle using the pair of chopsticks and shallow fried them. The oil is drained and the donut is tossed into icing sugar for a quick coat. It's a good way to keep the oil from seeping through the paperbag. I only ate it after the one hour feery ride and it wasn't as oily as I feared. Light and airy, it was a right treat! These kiosk also sell other potato related items like potato curry puffs, veggie/ potato stuffed pockets. Little snacks for a quick takeaway.

And then there was... A&W. Reminiscient of my childhood all the way to their last outlet at Clementi during my jc days. The curly fries and the float. Signatures. There was a noticeable absence of the coney dog at this outlet so we had an order of their 2 pc chicken set. Piping hot, freshly fried. The meal set us back about SGD $7 which is pretty decent considering that a side order of curly fries would already cost you about SGD $3. Prices have increased much. Times a-changing.

And of course, how could I leave without this! SGD $3 as well. This was my actual dessert. :)
Choose your poison.
If you had enough for only curly fries or waffles- which would you choose?

Suffice to say, I left Batam with a happy tummy. :)

Where do you frequent when you go to Batam? Places off the beaten track? I've heard tales of the impressive bak chor mee at one of the small streets in the Nagoya Hill area but didn't have the time to explore this round.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Singapura- the musical

The whole way to Kallang Theatre I wondered if it was just another name for the Indoor Stadium. Yes, not the brightest spark in the universe. But strangely enough, driving into the carpark, I had a sudden resurgence of memories from long ago. Walking in this exact same carpark after watching something, what was it? Right. The Sound of Music. When I was still in primary school with randomly mismatched clothes. So yes, I have been to Kallang Theatre before and no, it isn't the same as Indoor Stadium.

The first batch of patrons at the newly refurbished Kallang Theatre at its reopening preview of Singapura- The musical.

Looking good! Fountains and a spectacular backdrop.
Settling into the seats at the Circle area. There weren't special access paths for the elderly/ disabled. It was stairs from the carpark up and stairs from the entrance up. Thank goodness there wasn't a lot of it but even a little was too much for my grandparents.

Happy people :)
 So where was the refurbishments? We saw cracked ceilings, albeit obviously repainted. Repainted into the cracks. Hmm. And stained seats. I think there should be a more careful use of the word. Perhaps they should just say that it's a reopening. Refurbishment is too far from the truth.

Chinese New Year
Singapore at the peak of its progression as a nation.

The grand finale.
What the Merlion was there for except to be an anti climax ending, I am otherwise clueless.

I felt the male performers to have better stage presence than the females. I really enjoyed the trishaw scene and the policemen acts by the men. Very entertaining, very representative of Singapore in its earlier years. Perhaps also, they had acts of just three to five of them at once whereas the females came in groups of eight to ten with just two solo artiste acts/ duo performances.

What the musical was to me, was the exact same feeling I had at the Singapore Pavilion in the Shanghai Expo. Both meant to be representative of Singapore but they were not able to deliver the essence of Singapore. 

For ticket prices ranging from $48 to $118, I am hardpressed to see how anyone would fork out that kind of prices for such a production. Singapore wasn't the main point of the performance. Yes, admittedly it was a preview so there are bound to be hiccups. The side projection screens were not working. There were to be 5 chapters in the story but there was only an introduction for Chapter 1. There were random acts of Chinese trapeze, silk ribbon acts that peppered the musical with no apparent relation to Singapore. Costumes were gaudy. It did less to attract one's attention to the performer's expertise and more to make them look away from the mismatched and painfully neon colours. They started out well, the story of Sang Nila Utama, the scenes of Singapore from days of old with trishaws, the old Robinson Road. Then came the different ethnic groups and it went downhill from there with the random trapeze acts.

You know, I would pay to watch the National Day Parade instead.
A lot more needs to be done for what has been planned to be a long running performance to actually be a success.