March 29, 2011

Chow down at Carlton

Met JGR for dinner this evening to celebrate Rena's birthday belatedly. Germs is back in town after spending a couple of months away and all morning, me and Jane were trying to decide what to eat. That can be a problem when your friends are easygoing, there's too much choice around and we couldn't make up our minds.



In the end though, we settled for Cafe Mosaic at Carlton Hotel. Since it was a buffet, there was bound to be something for everyone, plus Jane could get 1-for-1 with her ANZ card.

We took turns whacking the spread, which was pretty extensive. But while it all looked promising on the display, taste was a different matter. Dumplings were deemed too 'meaty', laksa gravy was too thick, some desserts overly sweet, vegetable stir fry tasteless.



There were some saving graces though. Fresh sashimi, oysters, chilled prawns, sauteed crayfish, prawn bisque, chicken rice and durian pengat...mmmm.



Jane amused us with her anecdotes of Ethan and it occurred to me during dinner that we had all been friends for 16 years. Where did 16 years go? Seems like only yesterday we were doing group projects and wearing 'Dutch Lady' banquet uniforms! Next thing you know, we'll be menopausing together!

March 27, 2011

Alvin and the Chipmunks

Uncle Alvin is in town and we had dinner with him at Amah's place this evening. He even cooked some!



He came bearing gifts for the girls i.e. director chairs, easter eggs, chocolates and we joked that he also brought the rainbow with him, because there was a lovely double rainbow outside the window as it had rained earlier just before the sun set.

Luckily I had my camera with me! I love rainbows and wondered if there might have been any Care Bears at the end of these ones.


Sasha was little scared of Uncle Alvin, she has stranger anxiety when meeting people for the first time but Nat was fine!


March 26, 2011

Strawberry Sarah is 4!

Sarah had a belated birthday celebration at home this evening, delaying her party by a week because most of the Spicy Girls were away in Malacca last week. Her actual birthday was the 21st.

There was a Strawberry Shortcake theme and the kids mainly entertained themselves while the adults chatted. I made a vegetable and pasta puree for Sasha with beetroot as a main ingredient...she hated it!



The cake was pretty, from Pine Garden, not bad I thought for $89 though Kenny had to provide his own Strawberry Shortcake figurine. Nat was so shy, hardly playing with the others and preferring Gigi's company.




Towards the end, Felina put on a DVD for the kids and us adults could talk relatively peacefully. For some reason, we started talking about having more kids and that led to testing the ring pendulum on each others palms to see if the prediction on number of children and their sex would hold true. If it goes round in a circle, it's a girl, if it swings from side to side, then a boy. If it stops, then no more children.

Jeanette did it for the women as well as our men and everyone's tallied in terms of husband and wife, except mine. Ha ha.

Kenny and Felina had girl-boy-girl, Jean and Kaelash had girl-girl, Swana and Kevin had girl-girl (hah, I expect another niece, better get cracking!), I had girl-girl, but Nick had girl-girl-boy so don't know what the future holds!


Of slugs and snails...

The boy was playing footie at East Coast this morning, so we decided to make an outing out of it with the Gomezs, Nathans and Melissa.



Had a bite at Burger King before the rest cycled off, leaving me with a sleepy Sasha. Tried to take a stroll to lull her to sleep but she was too distracted with everything around her so I gave up.

The rest didn't cycle long and soon enough I was back at Burger King feeding Sasha her lunch while the others chilled on the beach.


We decided to head to Telok Kurau for lunch, at a cafe called The Garden Slug which Rachel suggested. Food was alright, portions big, some interesting concoctions but taste so-so.



The girls were entertained by the pet shop owner next door who got his parrots Jackie and Bobo to say a few words, thrilling Nat and Gigi. Luckily they didn't ask us for pet parrots after that!

March 25, 2011

Madame Butterfly recce

The rec club in the office is scouting around for a D&D venue and even though I'm not in the committee, I went to kaypoh over lunch today as they checked out Forbidden City/Madame Butterfly at Clarke Quay.





Place was nice but looked quite worn out during the day. We might be using my cousin Alfred as the emcee which is why I went to recce the sound system.

Since we were in the area, we had one of the $15 nett set lunches available at participating restaurants. Sat by the river and I had a potato leek soup and grilled sea bass. For $15, couldn't really complain.



The soup was nice and the food was presented ok. Wouldn't go back to this restaurant again though, it was just very normal and I can't even remember what it's called now, except it's next to the TCC!

March 23, 2011

G is for...

...Gourmet Pleasures, and a gorgeous sunset!

Another impromptu date and so I had to find a G word that suited. This week is Restaurant Week, where top restaurants in Singapore offer set menus from $35++ for dinner and I paid no heed when Rachel mentioned it weeks ago. Only got down to checking out restaurants and menus on Monday and by then all the good stuff was gone.

My original choice for our G date was Garibaldi aimed to coincide with Nick’s birthday but we are a little ahead of schedule.

Managed to psycho the boy to try one of the Restaurant Week participants but at such short notice, we had limited options. Though Gattopardo was available, their menu did not appeal. In the end I made a reservation at Michaelangelo’s. It’s been open so many years but we’ve never been there, and their menu sounded good.


Starter
Baked Portobello Mushroom with Basil Pesto, Tomato and Bufala Mozzarella
OR
Cappuccino of Mushroom Soup

Main Course
Braised boneless beef short ribs with baby carrot and turnip sided with our hand mashed Truffled potatoes
OR
Baked fillet of Macadamia nut crusted Cod served atop a pillow of puree of Japanese Edamame Peas and spring vegetables
OR
Angel Hair pasta with prawns, cherry tomato, pine nuts, Thai basil, chili and garlic served “Aglio Olio” style top with Arugula and Gran Padano Parmesan shavings

Dessert
Your choice of Tiramisu / Marble Cheesecake / Flourless Chocolate cake

I met him at his office and we took the ECP to Buona Vista. On the way, we were both taken in by the setting sun, casting a golden glow on the skyscrapers in the CBD and painting the clouds vermillion.


We got a table outdoors and service was friendly and prompt. He went with the soup, beef and chocolate cake and I had the mushroom, cod and tiramisu. For an additional $13, we shared a calamari.


While waiting for our 1st course, I skimmed the a la carte menu. The braised beef is apparently a signature dish and costs $40 on its own, so paying $35 for a set meal was definitely worth it.

A waitress from China served us some bread and trio of dips, had to control my giggle when she introduced the "oli oil, basame and chi pea" dips.

Our appetizers came soon enough, I was quite happy with my choice but I found the soup a tad bitter.


The cod was yummy, liked the crunch the macadamias added but he was disappointed by his beef, finding it too soupy as it was served in a broth. Guess he was expecting something dryer and different. I had to finish it up for him!


I detected a hint of rose essence in the tiramisu and the chocolate cake was good. So overall, I was quite pleased with the meal, but Nick’s enjoyment was marred by the beef not being up to his expectations. And I thought I was fussy about food!

March 22, 2011

I'm alive!

It's been almost a week since Wendy's been gone and I'm still alive and the house is still in one piece! Only complaint is a little sleep deprivation but so far, so good.

Was on leave from Friday till today while everyone else gallivanted in Malacca. Started out well on Friday, waking up real early to prepare breakfast for the girls, doing laundry, lots of dish-washing and generally tidying up before they mess up all over again and it was fun to be domesticated for a while, though there were harrowing moments because I was all alone before Lita turned up in the afternoon.

At one point, Sasha peed on me just as I was about to put her in her tub and not long after that, she puked a little bit in her playpen. Had to shower after that and locked them in my room with instructions to Nat to look after her sister (whom I put in the playpen) and not move from the bed. She obeyed, phew!

Nat has been Mommy's Little Helper, carrying her step stool around the kitchen to see what I do. She likes to join in bathing Sasha, but more often than not, creates extra work because she splashes water all over the floor.



And she's obsessed with washing things, bringing every little toy or accessory to the sink and generally just wasting water! Once during lunch, she stopped eating to start wiping under our dining chairs with tissue (uninstructed!) and didn't stop till all 6 were done.


Sasha on the other hand I had fun bonding with in the mornings before Nick and Nat wake up. She would refuse to get into her bouncer, playpen or highchair though, that's when my mobile phone becomes a distraction tool. But she gets up so early and indicates she's ready to play, that by afternoon I am zombified from the lack of sleep.


Lita came over on Friday afternoon and stayed with us till Monday evening and that was a real godsend because she's quietly efficient. We even managed to watch a movie on Friday night, by getting Mildred to stay over. Another week to go, but at least Mummy and Lita are around so it's not so dire. We are so spoiled!

March 15, 2011

Snailhunters!

Nat and Gigi went hunting for snails this morning as we made our way to 110., spotting a grasshopper along the way. At least I think this is a grasshopper!



Nat is always looking for snails when we walk to and from the carpark, it's how I trained her to walk to the car from our block instead of being carried. And now Gigi is in on it.

We spotted quite a few, though the giant snail Nick once saw remained elusive. He claims it was as big as his hand!




Wendy's birthday is next week but seeing as to how she will be on home leave on the day, we held an early celebration this evening on the eve of her departure to Manila.

Swana helped to buy an Awfully Chocolate cake and once again Nat and Gigi hijacked the candle-blowing.




Don't know whether the house will still be standing at the end of these 2 weeks while Wendy's away...I have to do the housework, yikes! And Sasha wakes up at 7 am most days, am gonna need a lot of coffee!

On top of Wendy's absence, everyone will be in Malacca this weekend except us so I will be flying solo for 4 days. Thank goodness Lita is bunking with us while her bosses are away!

March 13, 2011

F is for...

...Friends, Family and Fermented Grape Juice.


Went on an impromptu alphabet date after the kids fell asleep last night, leaving them alone with Wendy for the first time. Nick was a little uneasy but got over it soon enough.


The Nathans and Gomezs were having drinks at The Wine Company at Sentosa Boardwalk so we headed over to join them. For a Saturday night, it was pretty quiet, there was hardly anyone walking around.

I had a Moscato d'Asti, yum. I think it's my new favourite drink, sweet and sparkly, much preferred over champagne. Ordered some fried chicken (another F!) and we shared another bottle of wine.




It was nice just to chill by the water, and the fact that it was quiet was a bonus. Think we shall be coming here more often since it's so close to home and the drinks are inexpensive.

Rachel had a 10% discount through her membership and with my OCBC, we got an additional 15%, for this month only so the bill was just about $130 for 2 bottles of wine, a few other drinks and the chicken wings. Not bad eh?