Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chin Swee Caves Temple @ Genting Highland, Malaysia


I have been planning to blog this for ages but i have been busy with my work. Though busy, its satisfying. Hahaha. Anyway, talking about chin swee temple, how many of you actually know the existence of this marvelous place? A note; it does not refer to one of our founders, Mr Goh Chin Swee hor.


Maybe i should just ask another question, how many of you actually know genting highlands? *can imagine a lot of hands being raised up* And how many of you have ever gone to genting highlands for their scenary, weather, theme park and most importantly their casinos? *can also imagine a lot of hands being raised up*

This Chin Swee Temple is at the half hill of Genting Highland and i bet alot of you will have notice the all surrouding majestic pagoda when you are in the midst of travelling up to curb your gambling vices. AHhhhhhhhhhh, i can hear the agreement from most of you. Hahaha.


I was up in Genting during the National Day holidays with two old people, my mum and dad. And with one being a devout buddhist and potential nagger, my mum and i decided to roam around Genting for its scenary. Plainly scenary due to the facts that i cannot expect my parents to have the guts to take the roller coaster with me and also becoz a few friends told me the weather had changed and they were then sweating in the highlands. ITS FREEEEZING BLOODY COLD@!!! I was amazed my mum managed to escape unscathed.

Due the above mentioned with particular mention to my highlands-loving dad, i decided to bring them to the Chin Swee Temple. And boy was i glad i made the trip, it was like the highlight of the whole trip!

A little history about the temple. It was built by the founder of genting highlands and it is supposedly to honour a Reverend Chin Swee from China. Rumours abound however that he needed to appease the Mountain God (yes, in Malaysia too) and also to ensure that devotees who pray there will not win at casinos (i won though, RM20 hahaha).

From afar at the Skyway Cable terminal, i noticed the pagoda and the temples. I mean yes, the pagoda is tall but how different can the different style of temples be? I can vividly visualise a typical temple. But once you reached the real place, you will be amazed by the amount of scenary spots offered.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

42 Reasons Why We Love Singapore!!

I find the below listed reasons to be so funny and yet so true to the heart. They were taken from the I.S Magazine!

1. The Education System - It may seem unforgiving, but it is so competitive that by the time kids here complete tertiary education, they can face anything; nightmarish jobs, hellish bosses, crazy deadlines and everything else.

2. The Safety - When you see a group of kids walking towards you late at night, you don't have to cross e road.

3. The Perennial State of Good News - With the local media reporting only the good stuff, it is as if nothing bad ever happens. And after a while, you find yourself believing it!

4. Our Location, Location, Location - Get on a plane and in a few short hours or less, you are at some of the world's best holiday destinations.

5. The Fact That Our Island Is Small - That way, we can go to 10 parties in one night. And i have to add that you can never get LOST in Singapore.

6. The Tropical Climate - We can go outside anytime of the day or year. Winter season, we can still see the beaches full of scantitly dressed babes. Oh, we dun have winter.

7. Our Penchant for Acronyms - Its funny to keep foreigners guessing what MRT, PAP, AWAL, MC, BS, NS, MPH, CCB and LPPL means. Even our expressways are confusing, PIE, CTE, TPE, AYE, KJE and ECP.

8. Driving On The Roads Here - With blind as a bat, can't see a signal drivers, all you need is a brief stint on our roads to become one heck of a good driver! For faster results, drive to Kuala Lumpur.

9. The Thriving State of Singaporean Cinema - Yes, we realised Jack Neo and Eric Khoo ain't the only movie maestros around, and talents like Royston Tan, Tan Pin Pin, Kelvin Tong and Daniel Yun are also forging a name for themselves with flicks inspired by a myriad of Singaporean issues, concerns, phobias and worries. Catch 881, the getai inspired movie by Royston Tan!

10. Our Local Literature Scene - Although the government has panned literature as a somewhat pointless subject, our local authors haven't given up and are still penning their thoughts, experiences and specific brand of Singaporean angst on paper. Think Yong Shu Hoong, Alfian Sa'a, Cyril Wong, Paul Tan, Damien Sin and loads more. I have to add Russell Lee to my list! hahaha


11. The Food Man, the FOOOOOOOOOD - You guys and gals should know judging by my blog. Where the hell can we get such a good variety of food from most of the races! One day Chinese, tomorrow Malay, day after Indian, sometimes Peranakan, at times Western.

12. Fresh Fruit On The Street - We take this for granted but if you have ever had to pay $15 for a mango in a supermarket in Europe, you'll know what we mean.

13. Flip Flops and Shorts - Hey, they are the national dress, man! See them everywhere from the markets in suburban areas to Orchard road!

14. Shortened Sentences - How Singaporeans pack everything in just two or less words; like " how", "so", Ffffff.

15. Our Uber-advanced Medical Facilities - What will we come up with next? A cloned dodo bird or a cancer cure?

16. Our Chewing Gum Ban - We never have to worry about sticky situations on our shoes or our fingers when we pressed for the lifts.

17. Changi Aiport - With a swimming pool movie theatre, spa, designer shops, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, its a city by itself!

18. Singapore Airlines - There's no better way to fly but i never fly one before.

19. Our Colorful Local Celebrities - think Dick Lee, Kumar, Ivan Heng, Najip Ali, Jack Neo. They are fun, hilarious and to top it all, Singaporean.

20. The Ever-faithful Generousity of Singaporeans - We are still donating money to charities like there is no tomorrow - gold taps or not, peanuts or not.

21. The Pragmatic Nature of Singaporeans - We maybe a tad too grounded at times, but at least we get things done instead of just talking up a storm,

22. The Esplanade aka The Durian - It represented the fruit of our (artistic) labour and the fact we LOVED it!

23. Our Shopping Centres - They are everywhere - and some of them even help you to exercise and shop at the same time, like the million sqquare feet mall of Vivocity.

24.Our MRT Stations - They are squeaky clean (there ain't evey rubbish bins!). shiny and efficient.

25. Our SMS Culture - How it can even win us world records and how a one-minute phone conversation (that cost 20 cents) can be used to send 20 SMS (at 1 dollar).

26. The Speed At Which Things Get Done Here - The government makes it really easy to pay for things like taxes, ERP, fines..... so we have no excuse not to.

27. Our Ambition - We always aspire to outdo ourselves - everytime.

28. The Cleanliness of Our Drinking Water - Heck! We even have NEWater to call our own.

29. Our Fickleness - Trends come and go really fast but that way, we simply get to experience more. Think bubble teas, nail parlors and the current donuts.

30. The Ever-Thriving International Dining Scene Here - You can find great food in the restaurants here; Mexican, spanish, Western, Japanese, Vietnamese - You name, we have it!

31. Our Resourcefulness - Just look at how we "chope" seats in crowded hawker centres by using packs of tissue paper.

32. Our Long Suffering Patience - We queue for hours if we think its worth our time. I queue 3.5 hours for 24 donuts.


33. The Multitude of Concerts and Festivals Here - think Singapore Arts Festival, Singfest, Singapore Food Festival, WOMAD.

34. Our Ah Lians and Ah Bengs - They are completely Singaporean and you have got to love them for their stylist togs, tinted hair, white slippers and short shorts.

35. Our Sturdy Resilience - The haze, Asian Currency Crisis, SARS, dengue fever and even the increase of GST, can't get us down.

36. Our Multi-Linguistic Abilities - Singlish is our first language, English is the language we use for work , while dialects are for swearing.

37. How There's Air-Conditioning Everywhere - If there wasn't, no one would bother working or moving.

38. Latecomers - If we arrive late for an arts performance, we get a little stool to sit on outside the theatre to watch the performance on a video screen on the wall. In addition, we got ample ridiculous reasons where we are late; from the family, to the pets, colleagues and even the people on the roads! But never ourselves.

39. The Infinite Knowledge of Taxi Drivers - We love how they manage to unearth the latest ad more scandalous insider gossip about celebs and politicians, their conspiracy theories, for everything and their tips on the best coffee shop, betting shops, durian stalls and late night hangouts! There are even a show on the most popular food haunts of taxi drivers!

40. Our Currency - The fact that when we cross the bridge to the other side, we are twice as rich! And it can be used in another country as a legal tender!

41. How We Beat The System - Like smokers at a club smoking with one foot in the smoking zone.

42. Our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew - It is thanks to him that we are what we are today and you will never know what he is going to say next. 


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Famous Donut

I have been thinking of uploading this for a few weeks but didn't have the motivation to do so. Hahaha. Anyway, i bet most of you remembered my blog entry about Donut Factory, the one i queued for a bloody few hours! The donuts im gonna talked about have attracted quite a lot of discussion on whether Donut Factory is better or "the one im gonna talk about soon" is better.

Yes, its KRISPY KREME!!

I read quite a few reviews on Donut Factory and people were comparing it extensively to Krispy Kreme! Unfortunately, it is not available in Singapore but it was my fortune that my bro-in-law's brother happened to be in Australia and he bought a few boxes back!!!

Thank you Jordan, my deepest, utmost thanks!

My sister had no knowledge the storm this brand has stirred in US and when i told her, her reaction was nonchalant (Her reaction: Oorrrr)!! Sighz......

Anyway, from the pictures, the donuts were already been in my sister's fridge for 2 days but the lustre, brightness of the donuts remained (see above). I cannot resist sharing one with my friend Weeyuan. First impression, it was hard from the cold condition synthesized by my sister's fridge. Second impression, it was sweet! VERY VERY SWEET!
 
I tried a few in the next few days (my younger sis, as usual, had her fair share). Overall, impression was that Americans love their stuff sweet. For a sweet tooth beholden guy like me, i found the sweetness too overbearing on my taste buds. Almost every donut had a sugary freeze to it (see above).

Now i know why i gained so much weight recently.


Friday, July 27, 2007

White Rabbit Creamy Candies (大白兔奶糖)

How many of the kids from 80's and before remember this widely popular sweets? I remembered how i loved to pop piece after piece of this delicious creamy candy into my mouth. Hahhaa.

I remembered it used to come in a large bag and kids like me then will snatch with cousins and even aunties and uncles! We will quickly unwrap the candy and eat it, chewing on it, awaiting for the sweet taste and the aroma to spread and dissolve in our oral cavity!!

But as we grow older and older, the popularity of this candy is overtaken by the so many choices that we have now! My memory got rekindled when it was involved in a food recall! My gosh, beside dog and cat food, even an animal-branded candy is not excused!

It was claimed by the Philippine Food and Drugs authority that it contains formalin, an ingredient used to embalm corpses! Luckily it has been cleared by our dear Singapore AVA, which HAS to be highly credible right?

And luck will have it that i saw the candy again in National Museum Shop! They are currently selling things from the past and i really feel old looking at those toys and games that we used to play. They even have a book on it!!

Sighz...... Back to the candy, beside the plain creamy, milky taste flavour that Big Rabbit brand used to have, they have introduced flavours like Chocolate, Red Bean, Yogurt and Strawberry!

I am very very TEMPTED and even though it was selling at 6 bags for $4.80, and each bag has around 6 sweets, i grabbed it! Yes, i paid for it as well. The sales assistant even kindly informed me it was cleared by AVA even before i asked about it! I guess sales must be badly affected. Hahaha. But like wat my colleagues say, formalin SHOULD be able to help preserve youth!

I tasted all the new flavours except for chocolate but i heard it was not bad. I especially liked the strawberry and yogurt flavour! The strawberry becoz contrary to most strawberry candies nowadays, the Big Rabbit brand was not too sweet and the taste was really mixed well!

My only reservation was the Red Bean Flavour (give me Red Bean ice cream anytime) and the Big Rabbit Brand candies seem to be harder than before!! I used to be able to chew thru it, now i had to wait for a while for dissolution to occurs before i can sink my old teeth into it~!

I just surfed the website and realised that beside the 5 flavours available in Singapore, there are flavours like coffee, toffee, peanut, coconut, lychee, mango, butter plum and fruit have been introduced!!!

Gosh!!! When will they be coming in!?!?!?!?!?!?!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dulukala Peranakan Restaurant @ Beauty World Centre (Upper Bukit Timah Road)

It was  a normal Saturday and the usual 4 of us were pondering where to eat. Weeyuan suggested a place that was always packed and somemore, its makansutra-endorsed!! I will like to mention that anything endorsed by tv shows lah, famous people lah, are always worth going to. Why? Becoz sometimes e food is really so bad that you can always gossip about it. Of course, reasons are plentiful as to why the food does not taste good;

1) Tastes differ from individuals (tat i agree, Van taste buds are weird, Alex's taste is anything sweet and full of MSG or just junk food).

2) The stall owners give money to the tv shows producers to feature them (this one im not too sure but hey, money is everything).

3) It is a different person cooking (this i agree; alot of time, once a stall becomes famous, they employ more ppl to cook for them)!

4) The place becomes so crowded after the show premiered that they cannot cope, hence the drop in qualiy and taste~ (same point as point 3)!

5) The person that is taking your orders dun like you (tats why i seldom offend those ppl in the food industry. Only offend them after you have eaten their food and u are at least almost sure they will not add/eliminate stuff from the food).

Anyway, back to the topic, i have only eaten Peranakan cuisine a few times and do not really count them as my favourite food. However, the food from the above mentioned restaurant really did make my taste buds yearning for more of their Rendang. And if its not for the fact that im still slightly sick on the day of the food session, i bet i can savour more and can detailed you with more of the food.

So how's their food, you wonder? Hm....... I will begin with the bad points of this place first. We ordered only the dishes with the star, which obviously mean recommended. Hm.... Just wondering if restaurants have a highly NOT RECOMMENDED dishes list. Hahah.

Keluak Curry

The Lychee Looking Stuff.

Anyway, one of their recommended dish is Keluak, a strange ayam curry dish that has some lychee looking fruit which u can dig black stuff out (sounded like nose digging). The taste was just weird; abit salty and abit like eating charcoal but the curry itself was fortunately sweet and flavourful. Hahaha.

Inside of the Omelette

Another strange dish was their Omelette Chichalok, which looked like those normal Furong Egg we see everywhere on the outside. Dissection of the egg revealed pieces of chilli, small prawns and the ingestion revealed a taste that was quite sour. We din not manage to pinpoint what it was.

Burbur Cha Cha

Their Bubur Chacha looked beautiful with its 4 different color/types of potato/yam but it was too tasteless. Most Bubur Chacha have a sweet, coconut taste that flows smoothly down your throat but this one tastes almost like water. A bit sad though because i have not eaten any Burbur Chacha that has tasted this bad.

Now the good dishes:
 Ayam Rendang

The tender Ayam Rendang with its not too spicy, and yet fragrant and flavourful curry was great for our tastes buds! The portions were disappointing though... Only 3 pieces!!! And there were 4 of us!!! Sighz..... Luckily we did not killed ourselves on how to divide it. Hahaha.

Ngoh Hiang

Their Ngoh Hiang was also worth mentioning. Though the amount of meat in this Ngoh Hiang was minimal, it won with its crispy beancurd skin and the sweet sauce that came with it. Beside that, at least it came in 8 pieces.

Chendol

Furthermore, i love their Chendol!!! Its not too sweet and just right to the taste buds! Their crushed ice was just enough to melt the moment the heated surrounding in your mouth did their work.

Chap Chye

Finally their Chap Chye, which means mixed vegetables. I found it to be quite normal. I guess its becoz im sick bah. Nothing to complain about this dish, just plain normal. Shrug.

FINAL REVIEW

We ordered a total of 5 dishes with rice, drinks and desserts that cost $46.10, which i personally think to be on the high side. The biggest disappointment we had though, was that the portions were not enought for all of us!!

However, though the presentation of most dishes was bad (everything is almost brown or yellow), the tastes were really fabulous~!

The restaurant is situated at the top of Beauty World and at first look, the ambience is really simple. Service is not bad though and i guess i will be back there again!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ranor Ramly Burger - Taste of The Past

Alot of memories were reflected back nowadays and most of them were of food, not suprisingly. I dunno if its becoz im getting older as in physically (tats why i always like to think back) or just that im going retro. Lol.

Anyway, talking about memorable food memories, i still remember whenever i am holidaying in Malaysia, i will always bring back one or two Ramly burgers to Singapore. The smell of it, the taste of it and the slight peppery, curry flavor whenever my teeth bit into that thick beef patty!

But as the time goes by and the popularity of Ramly burgers spiked in the last few years, the quality dropped. The bun is now seldom smeared with butter, the patties now look factory made, low quality/tasteless mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce are used, and a pathetic HALF piece of cheese is added. Thank god I dun adore CHEESE.

After going through the hardships faced by me in trying and buying Ramly burgers, i read up in a blog about this brand called Ranor Ramly Burgers, which is supposed to be the original taste of Ramly!! Since it is now in Yishun Mrt Station Pasar Malam, i have no qualms about risking torturing my taste buds. At the most, i can always blame that blogger!

As seen from the above pictures, the patty (beef) has bits and pieces of meat all minced together. The shine and the total sexual appeal exuded by the patties made me rather impatient! I want to bite into it!!!

The "PRESENT" Make of Ramly Burgers as shown above. I remember though, that the egg last time used to be one fried egg, unlike the thin, burnt at the edges egg that we see nowadays.

But of coz, this is the best quality. Beside that, while waiting for the burgers, be prepared to see the guy performing some bartender's stunts. I am going back again!


Monday, May 28, 2007

Donut Factory - The Factory With A Long Queue

Just mention Donut Factory and i guess everyone will think of two things. One, how delicious it is, especially its double chocolate and two, how long the queue is. And boy, both are equally contraditing, one a pull factor (away from buying), the other a push factor. 

I have eaten it twice and i love it!! Since im happily jobless and full of time, i decided to join this queueing crusade and spend my time reading this newly acquired book called Ugly by Constance Briscoe.

I reached at 11.30 even though the shop opened at 12.30pm. I tot i was smart but apparently, im "outsmart-ed" by the 50+ people queueing in front of me!!! 50+!!! Nevermind, with a maximum of 2 dozens donuts that can be bought by a person, it should not be tat long, i tot.

Sighz..... Im ignorant again. Becoz all the donuts are bloody made on the spot!!! Guess how long i waited? FREAKING 3 and a half hours!!! GOSH!!!! Luckily i finished half of the book and the only complain i had was that i had to stand so long!

The Queue When i Reached

After almost 3 Hours of Wait, The "Light" was FINALLY Clear

The Triumphant Moment

Once i reached home, after going to the nearby library to borrow comic books (For Better or For Worse), i happily placed the two boxes of donuts on the table. The next thing i know, ants were swarming my precious!!! Luckily all saved!

The Rescued Donuts without the Ants!

I tried one donut (since i had diarrhea these few days) called Double Chocolate. ITS FABULOUS!! With the thin layer of white chocolate spread onto a chocolate filled donut, it gave my sensitive teeth a slight jolt when the chocolate smeared itself all over the place.

One Word
Heavenly.....................

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Cleaning - The Terror of My Storeroom

 The Cluttered, Skyscraper Styled Storeroom

I was free that my mum assigned me to the task of her previous job - housewife. Since im not working, i decided to take on this "impossible task"! And one of the undertaken was to clear the storeroom in my house, which was a total mess!! As you can see above. I opened the door, took my things, and closed the door. NO BLOODY FREAKING WAY TO MANOEUVER!!!

A small percentage of the total packages i pulled out

My Baby Potrait!! The Blurred Look. Hahaha

Its a really fun thing to do, especially when i managed to find my long-time-tot-to-be-lost toys. I also managed to find my baby photo, a full set of camping materials, with mat, tent, a bbq pit and even basketball, volleyballs!! Something was ringing in my head! To my unfortunate friends, be prepared to join me in some senseless activities! Hahaha.

A Few Smurf Figures!! My Gosh!!

Beside my mum's endless collection of cooking utensils (i found two sets of juicer, 2 cookers, a lot of bowls, 3 sets of tea set, 1 toaster, 2 pans, alot of rattan baskets, 40 male/female bags and alot of clothes!), i also realised i have those Mcdonalds Collectibles (below), !! *bulb shining!* Can sell off........ Since im jobless, penniless!

Mcdonald's Hong Bao Dragons!

Mcdonald's Hong Bao Puppies!

 Mcdonlds Bears

Mcdonald Disney Beanies!

Mcdonald's Snoopy Internationalities!

My Favourites MCdonalds Hello Kitty Full Set! I still remember the furoe that happens.

After a search at ebay and major auction websites, the bloody Hello Kitty was only worth 5 bucks!! And i bought one of it (male astronaut) at 50!!! ARGH!!!!!!

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