July 31, 2012

Let the feasting begin!

It’s birthday week and the celebrations kicked off with lunch today at Zafferano with Jane, Germaine and Rena.

The original plan was Absinthe but they only had outdoor seating available. The weather has been so warm lately so I suggested Zafferano after reading about them recently. The in-thing here has been rooftop restaurants with a view and this is located on the 43rd floor of Ocean Financial Centre.

As they are newly opened, they have a lunch special going at $33++ in July and August, which is a pretty good deal considering it consists of an Italian antipasti and dessert buffet with a choice of main, much like Level 33.

The spread of appetisers was quite extensive with an assortment of salads, cold cut meats and cheeses. I helped myself to generous servings of squid and prawn salad, crab meat, chicken and walnut salad, roast beef carpaccio etc.

For my main, I decided to try the veal scallopini, while Rena and Jane opted for cod. Germaine had the salmon. When the mains arrived, the cod was overdone, I think they had left it too long on the warmers while waiting for us to finish our appetizers that they got very rubbery and dry and hence we sent back to the kitchen.

While waiting for new servings, the waiter provided Jane and Rena with salmon cones, cute.

My scallopini was alright, I’ve never ordered it before anywhere so I can’t really compare but I did find the sauce a little salty.

There was enough variety in the dessert spread, portions are small but at least there are options. Had a fruit salad, cream brulee, jelly, banana cake, cheesecake and chocolate cake.

A pity about the restaurant’s view though, the tables don’t come right up to the glass windows hence you can’t admire much whilst eating. They have a deck area suitable for events but it only takes up to 80 pax.

Germaine came back from Seoul recently and handed out some face masks. She also brought kueh she’s been keeping for over a week. She had taken them from a wedding but did not refrigerate the buggers and mould had started growing…she still had the cheek to offer, haha!

Thanks for the lovely lunch ladies, and the pressie and card!

July 28, 2012

Riley is 5!

The girls and I spent a quiet morning at home while Nick played footie. We cut our hair yesterday, Nat’s locks have been chopped off to her shoulder. Sasha refused to get anything done, and in the end I trimmed her fringe myself.

Nick brought Gigi and Nat back after Chinese class and then we all went together to Simei.

Riley turns 5 tomorrow and the Jays celebrated with a small party at Savannah CondoPark. The location was by one of the BBQ pits so I was anticipating a cookout but it turned out they were only using the space and food was a combination of ordered, delivered and homemade.

It was just us few people, those with kids and immediate family. Nat was too excited to see her cousins after a long time and I had to chase after her to feed her, while Wendy fed Sasha who preferred to sit on the sidelines.

Nat was also all over Reagan, holding her hand and hugging her, she loves babies!

The Danams were a bit late but kudos to Sarah, she sat and ate her dinner like a good little girl before she joined the playing.

There was a moment of panic when one minute Nat was playing behind me and I turned around to scoop her food while chatting to some of the folks at the table, and the next minute she had disappeared from under my nose! Nick gave me an accusing look, I think he was about to get a coronary!

I found her soon enough, walked one round towards the pool and there she was lounging with Riley on a deck chair, supervised by Jeanette who thought we had seen her leading Nat away. Nat received a lecture anyway about not telling us when she wandered off and I hope she remembers that for next time!

Cake was a lovely pink and white concoction courtesy of Kavi, there was a handbag and butterflies, totally girly which the kids all loved.

July 26, 2012

Detective me

Had dinner with Serene and Phyllis this evening at Suntec, the place is undergoing major renovation, I think some of the shops are bleeding from the lack of traffic.

We ate at MOF Izakaya, I was feeling under the weather and opted for a tempura udon. There’s a lot of variety on the menu though, wouldn’t mind going back.

Anyway, I was complaining to them about the spate of thefts in the office, of which yours truly is a victim. For me, it started last month, my Vera Bradley lunch wristlet disappeared from my drawer at work and I treated it as a one-off, thinking perhaps I left it in the loo or brought it home but no, I remember the drawer being the last place I saw it.

I didn’t report anything then but I did inform a couple of friends and my boss.

Then yesterday, I noticed a red Zara sweater that’s been lying on my chair for a few weeks missing and that made me see red! I decided to inform HR and check if anybody else had been victimised but apparently not. But later in the afternoon, word got around of my case and other victims came forth with accounts of what they had lost, i.e. cosmetic bags, wristlets, jackets and cash.

As I was commiserating with Phyllis on Skype (she had a bag of clothes taken before she quit), she described one of the items she lost and then it occurred to me that I had seen someone wearing the exact top last week and that person became my prime suspect.

I could be wrong, it could be coincidence but what are the odds? This person is known to love clothes and shoes and would be able to fit into our stuff, so maybe we have a kleptomaniac on our hands.

She claims to be a victim too, losing money her bosses had handed her to keep for their takeaway lunches but my question is, if one had $100 stolen at work, one would inform HR no? But I was the first one to report anything missing so while I don’t want to wrongly accuse anyone of theft, I am not convinced this person is entirely innocent but I need proof.

Time to start playing detective!

July 24, 2012

Sick kids

The girls have been sick the past couple of days with a cold and cough, Nat started with a fever on Sunday which immediately had Nick on guard but I made him listen to me and not give her any fever meds before he left for India yesterday morning and by the afternoon, the fever had gone and she was left with a blocked nose and slight cough.

Sasha had similar symptoms and we’ve been self-medicating at home with a mixture of Prospan, Sinupret and Flumicil. Was on leave today to bring Aunty Sarda for her appointments, she’s due to start radiation next week and today we agreed with the doctor to hold off chemo and see how she takes to the radiation treatment.

I managed to put the kids to bed by 9.15 pm and was about to leave the house for a quick drink with the gang at Timbre for Kenny’s birthday when Sasha puked on me while coughing, not such a bad thing since it got rid of her phlegm.

I made it to Timbre Arts House by 10 and was home by 11.45 having only 1 drink, so kwai! Kenny had a lot of drinks to down, remind me not to celebrate my birthday in a place where people can tekan you with lots of booze!

July 22, 2012

N is for...

…Nolan and Nachos.

The Dark Knight Rises opened on Thursday and this was the much-anticipated last instalment of the trilogy from Christopher Nolan. We caught a 10.30pm at Vivo last night with Swana, Kevin, Flea and Kenny.

I couldn’t remember what happened in the last movie, I know that was the one with Heath Ledger as The Joker…but that’s about it. Couldn’t remember anything of the plot…that’s me and movies, I forget what I watched a couple of weeks after.

Anyway, this current movie is set 8 years after the last one and Batman has more or less retired and Bruce Wayne has turned into a recluse. Suffice it to say, he comes out of retirement to save Gotham yet again, this time from the evil Bane.

Though it was a tad long, about 2hr 45 mins, I enjoyed the movie, especially Anne Hathaway’s depiction of Catwoman and I wasn’t expecting the plot twist in the end so overall, good movie! 4 popcorns out of 5!

The experience was somewhat marred by Nick receiving a call from Wendy just as the credits rolled. Nat had woken up to find us missing and panicked, asking for us for an hour before Wendy caved and called to check where we were. Need to toughen that one up!

July 21, 2012

SES Reunion 2012

Held a mini SES reunion at home today after finding out Joyce was in town with her family. It was a cosy gathering, just me, Adri and Camellia, Susan, Joanne and Joyce with Cassandre.

Joyce is looking good, and Cassandre is sooooo pretty. Joanne was meeting Cammy for the first time and terrorised her by insisting on taking lots of pictures!

I had provided chicken rice and we were supposed to split the cost of pizzas, while Susan contributed dessert but that woman bought more than just desserts from Obolo, stopping by Gastronomia to pick up a prawn and asparagus salad, cous cous and chilli con carne. She must have spent a bomb...thanks Susan!

As host, I found that I didn’t really get to chat much with them because I also had to check on Nat and Sasha. Though the time was short, it was still good to see everyone and may we meet again soon!

We had quite a bit of leftovers so I cancelled plans to eat at Verve Pizza in Marina and just stayed home for dinner and we could see the helicopter flypast. We did proceed with our plans to catch NDP rehearsal fireworks and Nick kindly dropped us near the promontory and waited nearby as parking was a bitch.

Nat and Sasha were freaked by the sound, they didn’t cry but they didn’t enjoy it much, covering their ears most of the time. I had forgotten how loud they are up close! My shots were all blur because Nat was clinging to me and not sitting still, but I managed to record a short video.

Nat fell asleep in the car on the way back and Sasha puked from the long car ride…Daddy had driven almost to Changi to try and lull Nat to sleep!

July 20, 2012

Surprise Ben!

It was Ben’s birthday today and Wendy planned a small surprise for him at Amah’s house. We brought the kids and Ma tagged along with Gigi.

It was a challenge for us to reach AMK by 6.45pm, Nick got stuck in traffic and by the time we actually reached it was past 7pm. Wendy managed to buy time by tapauing food and had given him all sorts of excuses on why they had to go to Amah’s house after mass.

We had to remember not to leave our shoes outside the door and Nick even went to the trouble of parking away from Amah’s house.

The kids couldn’t contain their excitement as Ben’s arrival approached, I feared he would hear their giggling and footsteps from outside but he was genuinely surprised when he walked through the door!

Wendy had ordered pizza and Popeye’s and while killing time, had tapaud rojak, popiah and fried rice. For the cake, she had baked madeleines and formed them into the letter B.

The kids were of course excited to blow out candles, and Wendy had a new toy for them to play with – wax capsules containing sponge animals that they had to dissolve in water.

Gigi really knows how to suck up, she commented “I’m so happy to come and see Uncle Ben!” before leaving.

July 19, 2012

Almost Famous

Had my 15 seconds of fame today when Nick called in the morning from KL to say that my face was in the New Straits Times. There was a review by Zalina, the journalist he hosted on our Holland tour and she had used a shot of me looking out of a window as one of her featured photos.

Luckily it wasn’t too bad a photo, although I don’t like my right profile!

July 17, 2012

M is for ...

...Mee Pok!

Ever since finding out Uncle Andrew opened his own stall selling bak chor mee and fish ball noodles, it’s been on my list of things to do.

And finally the boy could spare sometime over lunch to drive to Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5, since the stall closes by 4pm daily.

Located at Blk 505, just opposite Nanyang Poly, the coffeeshop enjoys brisk business and we found Uncle Andrew slaving over the hot stove. We placed our orders and it came with extra noodles. I ordered the fishball version with tomato sauce, Nick asked for extra chilli not knowing the chilli was potent!

I found it to be a decent bowl of noodles, can’t really complain. There were bits of lard, the fishballs were homemade and therefore not perfect rounds and I especially liked his homemade meatball which was a cross-breed of a fishball and meatball. I liked the taste of my noodles, just the way I like my dry mee pok but I think it could be better if the noodle texture was thicker, I found the mee pok very flimsy.

The verdict from the mee pok man? He needs to try the other variations to judge fully but he liked the chilli and would eat it again. Good bowl of noodles in his opinion but room for improvement!

If you would like to try them for yourself, head down to Aik Leong Coffeeshop at Blk 505 Ang Mo Kio Street 53. The stall is called Swee Heng and the owner is my mum’s youngest brother. Let me know if you have any feedback!

Coincidentally, Uncle Andrew came over with his family this evening to visit Aunty Sarda with Baba and Aunty Irene and also celebrate his birthday belatedly. He turned 50 on the 12th.

July 16, 2012


Alicia has been in town with Zena for almost a week and can you believe today (yesterday!) is the first time we met during this trip? Didn’t help that Sasha had her viral fever and Zena sleeps at 7!

Made it a point to catch them today and brought Nat to Vivo after Gigi and Zena had fun at SingKids. Ate lunch at the Food Republic, Zena is a pie! She was napping at first but once she woke up for lunch, she was feeding herself, albeit messily…but still we were hinting at Gigi and Nat about how they ought to start.

I gave her a small pressie of a puzzle and sunglasses, she looked good in them!

Took a walk on the rooftop, the sky was really dark with rain threatening but we snapped some pictures first, Zena was taken with the sculpture of a man doing pull-ups while Gigi and Nat cam-whored.

Zena was also very taken with Kevin, seeking him out and holding his hand and reluctant to part when it was time to go home. So sweet!

Bought a present for Raiden, then headed to his party in Aloha Changi after a pit stop at Membina. Nat who has been pretending to be ‘Aunty Melissa the bride’ came face to face with the real thing, and Mel was really amused to hear of Nat and Gigi’s exploits pretending to be her and Derong.

Walked on the boardwalk for a bit, showing the kids the aeroplanes landing and then it was time for party games, but Nat and Gigi sat them out because the other kids were older. The games were fun to watch though, they did a very fast round of musical chairs, balloon stomping and some mother hen/chick thing.

Cake was a Transformers one from Bengawan, but lychee flavoured, yum!

After settling the kids home, Swana and I still had energy to meet with Alicia at her folks’ place before heading out for some supper. Ended up at the 24-hr Coffee Club in Orchard where we had some potato skins, cottage pie, crayfish laksa and bolognaise tortillas.

Finally we could catch up properly!