October 29, 2011

Of Angry Birds and Prawn Mee

Went to Sunny Spring this evening, it has been ages! The Sees are planning a trip to Seoul and Jeju next month and I've been helping a little here and there with hotels and maps.

My lovely uncle and aunt helped to satisfy a craving for the Whitley prawn noodles from Old Airport Road, plus a bunch of other yummy food...one day must go there and feast!


Uncle Thomas, Aunty Sharon and Aunty Joyce were also around. Sasha took a while to warm up, she had to be bribed with the Angry Birds game on Uncle Thomas's laptop before she would go near him. Likewise with Nya-nya, out came the i-Phone and all the distractions available on it.




The prawn mee wasn't as good as I remember it though...I need to have the MacPherson one soon for comparison! But I have lined up another prawn mee as the W date, can't wait!

S is for...

...Supper in Serangoon Gardens.


We were supposed to have dinner at Samy's, but because I was still full from lunch and had already been to Dempsey earlier in the day, we decided to do supper instead.

Left right after Nat slept, this is only the second time he's leaving them alone at home with Wendy and we were gone just over 90 mins.

It was a cool rainy evening and Chomp Chomp was packed. Managed to find a table in the back and I ordered Hokkien Mee, sambal stingray and chicken wings to share.




He was busy on his Blackberry practically the whole time responding to work issues, hardly any conversation!


I busied myself with the food. The Hokkien mee was not too bad, but nothing beats my Hong Heng. The stingray had no oomph, the taste did not linger. Very happy about the chicken wings though, very rare to find $1 chicken wings these days!



October 28, 2011

Happy birthday Phyllis!

It was Phyllis’ birthday today and she wasn’t on leave so a few of us brought her out to House @ Dempsey for lunch. Got to sit in a Saab cabriolet to and fro, Swana eat your heart out!


I had my usual risotto and we shared a ginger butter chicken pizza. It being a rainy Friday, we lingered over lunch and though it was supposed to be a shared treat to Phyllis, one of her bosses Wai Leng paid for lunch in the end because our companions Aaron and Phil also had recent birthdays. So I volunteered to pay for Phyllis’ cake instead.




There was a little celebration in the office when we got back, so that her big boss Boon Huat could join in plus the rest of the management team. They gave her a Coach handbag as a present, how nice!

October 26, 2011

Deepavali 2011

There went a free stay at Marina Bay Sands, the munchkin is sick...again! Baba had received a free 2-night stay and offered it to us and I was all psyched and had applied for 2 days leave only to end up staying at home on Monday and Tuesday.

The bub has a cold and mild fever, which Sasha will get in no time. Meanwhile Swana, Gigi and mummy lived it up at MBS but at least I got to spend quality time with the girls at home.

Today is Deepavali and we went to 110 for dinner. Mildred came over, so did Kevin’s folks and Ann, plus Baba, Aunty Irene and Uncle Andrew with his family. Anjali and Jana also swung by.



Ma made her usual goodies, I have got to learn some of these recipes, especially the nasi minyak and her fried chicken.



It was so hard to get Nat and Sasha together in a photo but Nat and Gigi loved posing in their new pink dresses.




October 22, 2011

Building sandcastles...

Nick had footie today and we hitched a ride to East Coast later in the morning with the Gomezs. Nat and Gigi played on the sand building castles, while I tried and failed to make Sasha nap. Check out Sasha Fierce in her shades.






Once Nick was done, we all had lunch at Long Beach...thank goodness for fish tanks which never fail to entertain restless children!

October 21, 2011

Q is for...

...Quality Hotel.



We are sooo behind schedule on our alphabet dates, something always seems to crop up like Nick's travels or the kids being sick. Didn't have time to do Q before the Retrolicious concert hence the jumbled up sequence!

Met Nick after work and we drove to Balestier on the pretext of having dinner and scouting for new lights for the house.

We had eaten at Quality Hotel long ago when their laksa was just $3.80 if I recall, back when we were living in AMK. It was time to revisit the laksa, only I had one, he opted for congee after suffering a bout of food poisoning the day before.



The laksa was now $6.80, double that if you eat in the restaurant but we opted for the al fresco bar area. It was a disappointment, the noodles were overcooked and 'kembang', the gravy average and on the oily side. I remembered more toppings last time like tau kee and quails eggs, these were missing. Oh well.

After dinner, we went in search of lights, popping in and out of shops. We saw 2 potential ones that we both like for the dining area. One of them was really pretty, I was surprised he liked it too!

Ramen King

Whilst running errands in the Tanjong Pagar vicinity yesterday, Phyllis and I decided to check out Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King, a ramen bar at Orchid Hotel.



I have seen long queues since it opened so we stuck it out and waited about 15 mins for a table to see what the fuss is all about. It was opened by Keisuke Takeda who was crowned TV Tokyo's King of Ramen 2011, so if the Japanese think he is the best, the noodles better be good!

Here they only serve Tonkotsu Ramen, but you can customize your soup and toppings a little bit with the menu sheet they provide plus extra condiments like pickled beansprouts, bonito flakes, hard boiled eggs at the table. I went with a regular tonkotsu ramen and I must say the soup was quite 'power' though a little salty.

The noodles were al dente, the char shu a thin sliver of meat. Instead of seaweed, the noodles come with black fungus and you can add your own sesame seeds too. There were bits of white jelly bits floating in the soup which we realised was actually lard...no wonder the soup so shiok!



How nice to have something this good close to home, I'll definitely go back for more and now I have to check out their other ramen outlet at Millenia which has more variety.

The binging continued today when I met Hong Wei for lunch. We were supposed to have roast chicken nearby but it started pouring so he picked me up and we went to Marina Square instead. Dined at Pu Tien, they've been around a few years and had good reviews but I'd never been.


I let him do the ordering, we shared fried bee hoon, deep fried eggplant with pork floss, sweet and sour pork with lychee, a tofu dish and some corn pancake. Everything was good, except the pancake was a miss. But next time we're at Marina Square, will try and convince the boy to try them.



When I got back to the office, my neighbour Aaron was surprised with a birthday cake by his boss. Because he sits in a corner, everyone snuck up on him singing the birthday song! Mmm, cake was banana chocolate from Awfully Chocolate...yum.

October 18, 2011

Munchkin playdate

I worked from home today and Joanne came over with Ray so the kids could play.




Sasha is practically the same height as Ray though they are about 6 months apart, everyone keeps telling me she is tall. She's just a greedy pumpkin, will go to anyone for food!

Nat went back to school after a long hiatus, Nick wanted to let her body rest completely after being sick so frequent but I won't be surprised if she brings a new bug home in a few days.

While Nat was at school, Ray and Sasha interacted, the pumpkin was glad to have a new playmate. Soon enough Nat was home and the 3 of them ran riot around the house, it was like being hit by a tornado...toys everywhere.




I made us a Shepherd's Pie for lunch, and Joanne and Ray ended up staying for dinner too. Now that Joanne is back, there will be more such playdates!

October 16, 2011

Martini mania

Oh what a night it was last night! My head is still buzzing!

We had gathered at No.5 for a martini night in honour of John’s birthday and there was a big turnout, I think close to 20 of us.



There was me, Swana, Kevin, John, Ajen, Thanesh, his friend Karuna, Caryn, her new boyfriend Edgar, Sajini & Mac, Kenny & Felina, Kaelash & Jeanette, Vinoth & Sophie and Bernard & Rachel.


We had sooooo many martinis, the bar counter ran out of space! At $16 nett for 2, they’re cheap and good!



Kaelash and Jeanette had celebrated their anniversary before joining us, and had a new Canon camera which I helped show them how to operate. Can’t remember what else we all talked about but I know a good time was had by all, Kevin was wasted and Kaelash apparently puked on the way home!

I had only about 6 martinis and 2 shots of Bacardi Ice but it was enough to make me high, especially the 2 shots in quick succession.


This evening we ate out with the in-laws for a change. Ben and I had agreed to check out Enoteca L’Operetta at Boat Quay and I had high hopes for them based on some reviews I had read and the photos of their interior, and so decided to check them out on the last day of Restaurant Week.

This was their dinner menu:

Appetizers
GARDEN FRESH TOMATOES, BUFFALO MOZZARELLA CHEESE AND LUSCIOUS PROSCIUTTO HAM

or

ROMANA STYLE BEEF TRIPE SERVED WITH TOMATO MEAT SAUCE AND PARMESAN
or

OVEN BAKED HOKKAIDO SCALLOPS FLAVOURED WITH AROMATIZED BUTTER

Mains

FETTUCCINE SERVED WITH STEWED TENDER KURO-BUTA PORK WITH PORCINI
or

RIGATONI SMOKED DUCK WITH CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE
or

"CATCH OF THE DAY" GRILLED AND GARNISHED WITH VEGETABLE STEW
or

BREADED LAMB SERVED WITH TOMATO SALAD AND BALSAMIC REDUCTION

or

PAN-ROASTED VEAL WRAPPED WITH PROSCIUTTO SERVED WITH MARSALA WINE SAUCE

DESSERT OF CHEF'S SELECTION


However the experience was marred by the apparent lack of coordination amongst the staff based on their Restaurant Week menu commitments and their Sunday operating policy, plus the lack of manpower to manage what was probably a busy night for them.

When we arrived, they explained that actually on Sundays they only served pizzas and said we could order any pizza from the menu, even the most expensive ones.

We questioned why we were not informed when the reservation was confirmed, they went on to say that they were hosting an event on the inside and their kitchen was busy and that the mains would take a long time, possibly up to an hour or 90 mins.

When we explained that we had booked them based on the promised menu, they eventually relented and said they would try to expedite. In the meantime we were fed bread and some complimentary appetizers, the minestrone was different - in a good way.

Our food actually didn't end up taking that long. The scallop was the biggest one I've ever had – the size of my fist, though a bit too raw for my liking. I was happy with my grilled fish as a main though it was petite but the pastas the rest ordered was so-so.



Dessert was just sorbet that melted too fast. I would give them the benefit of the doubt and try them again but perhaps not anytime soon. The interior was lovely though! Rating 3/5.

The kids would not sit still throughout the dinner so we couldn’t really eat in peace, hence the lack of photos. Every 2 minutes had to bring them for a walk to see lobsters or fish tanks etc...aaargh!