Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Anagram is FUN!

For most, if not all, Dan Brown's fans, one of the amazing factors is the use of anagrams in the novel, Da Vinci Code.

Still remember the famous artist featured extensively in it, Leonardo da Vinci? Which can be re-arranged as "O, Draconian devil"! How evil can tat be?!  

I was really drawn by the use of such intelligent methods, not to mention the awesome plot, which was full of mystism, symbolism, religions and deep conspiracy.

Unfortunately, i was really lazy to re-arrange my name (or that of my friends and family) and see what i can get. I seriously thought it could be The Great One! Okay, my name does not have the letter H, G or even R! Tat explained how bad im!

BUT, luckily, i managed to surf upon this website called Anagram Genius.

Although quite limited for the basic online search, which is good by the way, it does provide some interesting but at times meaningless anagrams.

My name anagrams to On Active. Sounds sexual right? Hahahahahaha. And im not going to tell. Some other anagrams of my good friends;

Alex Chiu = Hi! Ace Lux.
(sounds like e soap!)

Korny Kon = 'n' York 'n' OK.
(ha?)

Vanessa Tan = An ant saves.
(Vanessa is gonna be saved by an ant?)

If you wish to know more anagrams of your name (or any words), download the trial software available in the same website (mine anagrams to 1,421 findings)!

According to the website, Dan Brown used this infamous software to generate the anagrams for Da Vinci Code!

Yes, i AM active! :)


Monday, September 28, 2009

The Soup Spoon @ Bugis Junction

I am a great fan of Western soup due to its intense savory taste. Unfortunately, to find a bowl that is economically priced and yet filled with ingredients is not easy.

A bowl of beautifully presented mushroom soup from Tao's

I can count with my short and fat fingers the number of good Western soups I tried. No, Campbell is not one of them; truthfully far from it. A good soup will be the mushroom soup from Tao’s Modern Cuisine or the lobsters bisque soup from Jack’s Place.

Fast forward to a wet, rainy and obviously cool day (which is an appropriate time to enjoy a bowl of hot, steaming soup!), I decided to finally give Soup Spoon a try after hearing so much from the Great Kon and SSaNeVa.

At around $5.60 to $8.20 for a regular bowl, it is not a cheap economical deal (at least not for me). But a look at what regular means (please look below), I am sold! The regular size, to me, can be a noodle bowl in many food courts! Thinking ignorantly that it will be a small bowl, I topped up the soup  for a half wrap and a shop-brewed ice tea (additional $3.90).

Oh, it was also very heartwarming (and of course, generous) to see a piece of complimentary wholemeal bread right beside the bowl of soup. It was all ready to be dipped into the soup and eaten by us.  

So here goes my reviews!

Mushroom Soup (also known as the mouthful Velvety Mushroom Stroganoff)

Thick, creamy and with tons of mushroom bits! Each scoop of the soup, each bite of the billions millions thousands hundreds bitty nitty mushrooms was just so so heavenly. This should be the basic standard for all mushroom soups!~!

Clam Chowder Soup (from Boston

Likewise with the mushroom soup, it was rich and thickened with vegetables and clams! But personally, I found it a bit too overbearing in ingredients and not soupy enough. But obviously value for money!

Mushroom Chicken Half Wrap

Initial taste test was a “Yuck”! But as you chewed deeper, the earthly taste of fresh mushroom coupled with the simple taste of chicken made a really good, healthy combination. I finished it!

Lemon Tea
My favorite was from Kentucky Fried Chicken!
Here’s another one! :P

With 10 outlets spread all over Singapore, you will not need to travel far to enjoy this gem. Not to mention that Singapore is just a small red dot on the world map.

For more information on The Soup Spoon, its outlets and menu, please visit HERE.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Marina Barrage

 
Picture Taken from Here 

The latest dam in Singapore, it attracted large groups of Singaporeans and foreigners at its initial launch. Touted as a "beauty spot" with the beautiful skyline of Singapore right in front, you have to agree (look at my fierce shihtzu staring at you) by the number of persons proudly professionally holding their DSLRs and diligently clicking away.



Okay, we all know the government is not stupid enough to create one area purely to see the buildings downtown. According to the government website (PUB), the barrage serves 3 significant purposes:
  1. Water Supply (as Singapore's 15th reservoir)
  2. Flood Control (flooding amongst areas like Chinatown during the rainy season etc)
  3. Lifestyle Attraction (yes!)


Good to go gahmen!! You managed to make a boring dam so damn interesting that it has become a tourist attraction.


With the lightly salted sea breeze and the great scenary surrounding you, i am not surprised if someone set up a table with a checkered tablecloth and started having a glass of Domaine Romanée-Conti with his/her loved ones. 


Even when night falls and the sky turns into shades of red and blue, the area still exudes a certain relaxed and romantic streak. Awwwww...... 

Anyway, besides the impressive view of the skyline (so long the haze stays away), the barrage has a gallery educating the public on Singapore’s efforts towards environmental sustainability.



Personally, i found it be very informative, very interesting; almost like  Singapore Discovery Centre (albeit a smaller one). It is also a great area to hide from the hot weather (aircon - the greatest invention)!! 



There are also water structures you can cool yourself with! Be prepared to jostle with the screaming, innocent and happy kids. 


 
 This little girl so cute! She even posed for me.

On a final note, the marina barrage is a favourite with
  • families (the amount of kids power in the gallery can be rather disturbing),
  • friends (picnicking at the grass patch at the top floor) and
  • couples (yes, Elijah. I saw how you almost sucked out the breath from Caly). 
At times, you can even see people flying kites! During the Singapore's Grand Prix (some time around September every year), you can also hear the tyres screeching plus seeing the signifcantly air pollution emerging across the pool of water. 

Opps sorry, you can hear but you can never see the race track. 

Us goofing around (yes, the youngest is quarter a century old)

For more information on Marina Barrage, its opening hours and how to get there, please visit PUB.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dream - A Malay Boy

I don't always remember my dreams; I dreamt, i woke up, i remembered for a few minutes, i forgot.. somewhere around this sequence. Hahahaha.

Although i have tried to forget this particular dream, which happened on Friday night (or should i say Saturday morning), i have not been successful at all! The face is now a bit hazy but i can still remember the dream pretty well.

I was just walking along the streets and every now and then, i will see a Malay boy staring at me from e corner. He was about 7 years old and i can feel his piercing eyes. Every now and then, i can hear him screaming!



Not any scream. It was high pitched... very high pitched!

Shocked everytime i heard it, i was also equally confused. Why am i seeing him? What is his purpose? The dream continued aimlessly and before long, i saw what happened....

SILENT

It was like i am the third party looking at a previously happened event. I was driving my car and reasons unknown, i reversed the car.... without knowing that the Malay boy was right behind it...



I knocked him down.

It was in slow motion. He gave the exact same scream i heard; piercing, and full of anguish, pain and suffering. I was inside e car and din hear a single thing, not a single thing. I saw what happened. It was horrifying!

With beads of sweat on my back, i woke up abruptly without knowing if its true or not. It was so bloody real! I needed to pee badly but the night was still early (4am). I was frightened; not knowing if the boy was lurking at the dark corners of the kitchen or balcony.

BUAY TAHAN!!

Anyway, i shall check with my mom on her dream almanac for any 4D numbers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Color Checking - What Colour Animals Are You?


I love personality tests! Besides the fact that they are usually quite interesting, most of them (facebook sucks in those tests) allow you to measure yourself against the results, regardless how true it really uis.

The above mentioned link (click the heading.... =_=!!!) was sent to me by one of my colleagues and it was the first time animals were being used! Not just any animal but one with different colors. Heard of pink panther, black panther? what about blue one? green one?

My analysis as follows:


A zoomed in translation!
  • Brown panthers personality is very cheerful, and free from care (true).
  • Such character attracts people and helps to build up network of connections (what do you think?).
  • Brown Panthers have very pure heart, and dislike anything crooked (i have always know im pure hearted and angelic).
  • You devote to others full heartedly and faithfully (i agree).
  • You are very independent and at the same time a hard worker (i believe im).
  • Because of this personality, other people naturally see you as a leader (eh... i have my doubts on this).
  • Money wise, and in personal relations, you have good fortunes (relationship i think im, but money.... i need more).
  • You are weak in sales and bargaining (sniff... tats why i quit my previous job..).
  • You tend to lack to see insight, but smartness is Brown Panthers belief, so you can negotiate in your own pace, and can lead the others to come along (eh....).
  • You are strong willed person with pride, and do not like to loose (im. period).
  • You get interested in many things and tend to challenge new things (tats why i get bored so easily!).
  • But you lack the last step forward, and therefore need more modest effort making (i do?).
  • You have a personality of a daydreamer (i love to enjoy life).
  • When this fantasy leads to real project, it can end up in development of extremely unique item that may sell millions (really?).
  • You are suited to idea creating occupations such as in advertisement (well... i enjoy microsoft publisher).
  • However, you are not too good at balancing out the money and the work, so you need to be careful on that (i eat a lot and i know where the money goes to).
I think it is 85% true!! But im gonna have my reservations on the development of an extremely unique product that will bring in millions!

Go and determine for yourself!

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Uncle Sam's Claypots @ CityVibe (Clementi)


When it comes to the word “claypot”, the first thought for most Singaporeans will be claypot rice.

Cooked under intense temperature and usually layered with Chinese sausages, chicken meat, some leafy vegetables and maybe a few cubes of salted fish, this earthen dish has been around for a long long time (supposedly 2000 years). Although a great favourite for the older generation, I was never a great fan of this dish, supposedly because of the salted fish (I really dun see the reason why people like salted fish, salted eggs etc. Give me smelly tofu, century eggs anytime!!).

My affair with this dish started in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia one evening when I (plus a few people of whom my old memory cannot recall) was walking along Petaling Street. A waft of pungent, burnt smell lingered in the air and right in front was a crowded roadside stall with around 20 burners, filled with claypots. I had to have it (a hungry man is a despo one) and the rest was history.

Today, I am not going to compare Malaysia claypots versus Singapore claypots; each has its good and bad.

I am going to review this particular famous claypot specialized restaurant with roots in CBD (next to the only MPH in CBD and near to the SIA building) and branches in Clementi (City Vibe). It was quite nostalgic since I always passed by the shop in CBD whenever I needed a free meal from my sister, who coincidentally used to work in the building opposite the shop. But no, I never did try it because I was never a big fan, remember? Read paragraph 2!

A few dishes were ordered:

Boneless Chicken Claypot Rice

If you are looking for separate sesame oil and dark soya sauce to go with your claypot, you will be disappointed . Not only was it added for you before serving, the taste was also not as "tasty" as what most have been accustomed to. By "tasty", i mean sweet and oily. Hence, the claypot you get here is not too sweet and neither too oily, which should definitely make a few people happy.

BUT, the burnt rice (known also as guo ba) layering the bottom of the pot was so marveliciously crispy!! Older people should be mindful of that (the teeth and the dentures, if any)! And you can see from the first picture (above), every rice

*post note* i spoke to a few friends who had patronised the shop and most of them commented that the claypot was not so flavourful compared to others. However, i maintained that it was still the healthier choice without the immense sweetness and oiliness usually found.

Price: $8.00

Crab Bee Hoon Claypot

How bad can crab bee hoon be? So long a fresh crab was used, the sweet taste of seafood will definitely thrive in any normal broth. This dish was no different from those served in Mellben, Uncle Leong. Oh, it contained clams by the way! A nice addition and was definitely a booster to the broth.

Price: $15.80

Thai Otah

Although it might have looked meaty, it was really nothing great, nothing fanciful, nothing notable... without charcoal. Give me the otah from yishun block 700+ (opp yishun mrt station) or jalan kayu anytime!

Price: $4.00 for small (4 pieces)

Stir Fried Kai Lan

Crunchy and the no-expense-spared fried garlic complemented the dish so well!

Price: $6.00

Chendol

Laden with rich, sweet, fragrant gula melaka, this dessert was quite expensive at $2.50 per bowl. It is, however, one of the better chendol i had.

Price: $2.50

Note:
  • Citibank cardholders have 15% .
  • Members (of Uncle Sam Claypot) have 10% on weekdays and 15% on weekends.
  • To sign up for the membership, it is free (as of 16 September 2009) so long you spend $40.
Will I Go Back?
Most Likely!

i want to try other types of claypots!

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