Monday, November 30, 2009

Dragon King Cave (龙王洞) @ Zhangjiajie (张家界), Hunan, China



A huge, deep cave full of stalagtites and stalagmites, the beauty of this cavern is further enhanced by the spot lighting of various colors.


With the additional splash of coloring, the otherwise boring structures are shown in an entirely different light. 


The 4 big halls have huge columns that support the cave and contain various compartments of the dragon king's palace; hence the name Dragon King Cave.

Mythical of course lah!!
Dragon Kings live in water lor!!



Intitially capitivated by the dazzling limestone formations, my interest slowly diminished with each additional step deeper into the cavity!

Beads of sweat started appearing on my forehead and the journey seemed endless even though it was merely a 3.6 kilometers walk!



Two words to sum it all; celestially tiring.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Review - Ninja Assassin

The eyes that can shoot daggers, the almost impossible dexterity and the cool weaponry, to be a ninja has always been my preferred profession! But here am i, stuck in front of the computer (i am not complaining). Having butterfingers won't help much in realizing any potential anyway.

Back to this new movie, it did not disappoint in providing much bloody and gory scenes! Hello, assassins constituted the main plot, so don't expect big-eyed kittens or puppies with droppy ears! Personally, Rain's English has improved a lot since he entered the US market. And though the storyline was a bit loose, the action scenes were intensely toes-squirming!! 
For ladies, be prepared to ohh and ahh at Rain's almost perfect body. For gentlemen, be prepared to hit the gym after this show.
Rating: 3.50/5.00



Restaurant City - Finale

Now what???????

Without any levelling, there's no longer any purpose or challenge in playing!

Being a late bloomer to this facebook flash game (started only some time this year) and no thanks to Hannah, break times/sleeping times/free times had been extensively used to
  • Plant seeds for extra ingredients other than buying them at exorbitant prices or getting them free daily or from a simple quiz. 
  • Feed/Rest my service staff in case they collapsed from exhaustion (usually every 4 hours! Damn weak right??),
  • Increase levels for my menu items so that i can earn more points,
  • Decorate my restaurant (exterior and interior) for personal satisfaction etc.

Not to say i am really sad, i am not. It's more devastating for me when FBOFW ended. In fact, i am pretty grateful that restaurant city is finally ending. More quality time can be spent on more important matters (like increasing the acclaim of MyZoo etc).

Until i click on the Mafia Wars link....

Come join MY MAFIA, brothers and sisters!!!!!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Yuan Fa Claypot Rice (源发瓦煲饭) @ Chinatown Complex

Some of us would have eaten at this stall, not knowing its name but most of you should have heard of this very famous claypot rice in Chinatown that is rumoured to be so good, it is reasonable to wait at least 30 minutes.

God (or Gods) bless us, we waited only about 20 minutes for the nice auntie to serve us the piping hot claypot. From the size, we count our blessings again that we ordered for two-pax instead of three as the three of us were actually not very hungry!!

The very nice glass noodles

We already had a big slab of korean cuttlefish, a bowl of lamb stew and a surprisingly delicious serving of sourish, chilli numbing glass noodles. Plus some duck internal organs that I didn't take. Oh, and drinks.

Coming back to the main star of this post, Ms Chui did a great job as the designated sauces pourer and with that in mind, the claypot rice did not disappoint (at least to me); the grains were fragrant, bitey and not too burnt, the vegetables were fresh, the sausages were appetizing, the chicken meat was fleshy, smooth and so soft!!


My only grouch? The salted fish.

Why is salted fish so well-liked by so many people!!?!?!?! Even though it enhanced the aroma of the claypot rice, it tasted downright horrible (just like salted egg)!!!! Can't someone just come out with sweetened fish?!?! I bet i will like it more than salted fish!!!

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Price:
Quite reasonable and although the price is based on person denomination, you are free to order a two-person claypot for just one human, or a five-person one for 10 humans.
Two Person @ S$8
Three Person @ S$12
Four Person@ S$16
Five Person @ S$20

Location:
Chinatown Complex, #02-222 (should be quite easy to remember since the Chinese pronounciation for 2 could also be read as hungry). Oh, please click HERE for the streetdirectory and key in Chinatown Complex.

Additional Information:
You have to pay at the point of ordering and the food will be delivered to you in due course (could be beyond an hour). Ask for the waiting time if you are rushing for time.
It never hurts to ask.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wife's Biscuit (老婆饼)

After a bowl of home-cooked yong tau foo that did not do much to satisfy my hunger, i was rummaging the kitchen for surprise snacks (these frequently happen in my house) when i saw the box shown above. 

The words "Season's Greetings" with a picture of Santa Claus and his abused hardworking reindeers caught my attention. The next thing my eyes saw was the  Chinese characters "老婆饼" (wife's biscuit).... 

Disappointment was my initial reaction since i am very particular of this Chinese snack. Till the smaller Chinese characters "榮華" (Wing Wah) FINALLY came to vision. 

I love the wife's biscuits from Wing Wah! 

To put it with even more determination, it is the ONLY brand i take for wife's biscuits.  I still remember the soft, flaky exterior pastry and the internal winter melon filling with just the right amount of sweetness. The taste didn't get overbearing even after i had taken two or three!

Thanks to Jean Tan, who came back from Hong Kong with this box, i should be able to relive those nice memories stated above.

First bite: The pastry was soft and it brought a bitter sensation.

Second bite: The winter melon filling was not as savoury as i thought it to be.
Thinking i may need a new prescription for my short sightedness, i look at the box again. It's Wing Wah what!! 

But why was it so different??????????????????

Maybe it's memory related. 

Sighz.....


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wan Dou Sek (搵到食) Dim Sum @ Geylang, Singapore

Procrasination took the priority every time i want to blog about this!

Translated to something like "found the food", this eatery is THE place to visit when you are very hungry late at night, like 3am! Serving pretty good dim sum, please don't expect sitting in an area with wood crafted furniture, surrounded by Chinese calligraphy, porcelain vases and served by smartly dressed waiters/waitresses.  

The setting is more "coffee shop" with movable tables, chairs and casually dressed servers, albeit air-conditioned. I can even declare with the utmost confidence that Food Republic has better decor like Wan Dou Sek. 
Since dim sum is the mainstay for this eatery, variety should be the norm. With that in mind, i shall let the pictures substitute the words. 

Use your imagination lah!
*the pictures below are not in order of preference*


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Taste wise, my family was not disappointed; ingredients were fresh and sauces used for items like chee cheong fun tasted quite differently from other places. Definitely more refreshing.

Recommended: The Century Egg Porridge (皮蛋粥), the Fried Beancurd Dumplings (腐皮卷), Signature Tofu (招牌豆腐), Chee Cheong Fun and Chrysanthemen Tea (COLD).

Price wise, it's not cheap. For that kind of pricing with such a small portion, i will be better dining at Yum Cha, which by the way, just opened a new branch in Serangoon Garden. Unfortunately, Yum Cha is not a 24 hours eatery and the food in Wan Dou Sek is a notch better than most dim sum places.

Location: 126 Sims Ave. Please visit streetdirectory.com.

Opening Hours: 24 hours daily!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Central Library @ Bugis

For those who hate the library or find it boring,
you don't know what you have missed!

A blissful place ever since i can recognise the alphabets, the library is always my preferred choice whenever i feel like having a quiet, relaxing moment.... Or rushing to do some last minute reading for my examinations the next day....

Or BOTH. 

From the initial neighbourhood library in Ang Mo Kio to the red-brick national library along Stamford Road and finally the futuristic headquarters for the National Library Board (NLB), i have seen for myself the change of libraryscape in Singapore; the use of electronic cards to borrow books, the inclusion of cafes, the rise of regional libraries etc etc etc. 

I took the free time last Saturday to visit the national library in between Bugis Junction and Bras Basah complex. It brought back a lot of memories as it was my favourite library when i started my bachelor studies a few years back.

Why?
  • It was the newest library then.
  • It has a massive collection of reference books (from level 7-13), which helped my research countless times.
  • It is near to Bugis Junction, which has my favorite Tori Q!
  • It is near to Bras Basah complex, famous for its super cheap second hand books!
  • It is the ONLY library where you don't hear the yelling, the talking, the hee hee or the ha ha. Noise is considered as the greatest sin! At least for the reference levels above ground.
  • It is the ONLY NATIONAL LIBRARY! It should have the most books right?! 
Unlike most national libraries which are housed in old, preserved heritage buildings, the Singapore's national library is contemporary built with a design that symbolises the envisioned future.

From the higher levels of the building (up to 16 storeys), you can view the diverse mix of buildings surrounding it. The best thing?

It's free!!

Serving a nation's hunger for information and knowledge, you should not be surprised to find numerous exhibitions and events organised. Yes, it's free too!! At the moment, they have "Vignettes in Time: Singapore Maps and History through the Centuries" and "From Books to Bytes; the Story of the National Library".

There are even certain sections at the higher levels that open to the great outdoors where you can peacefully read your book, have a good nap, take in the nice scenary or even meditate!

A man was doing just that (meditating) on Saturday!

For you Singaporeans (non-Singaporeans too) out there, pay a visit (if you have not already done so) to the national library for a relaxing day out!

If you belong to the type who hates books......... please go in for 10 minutes and then proceed to Bugis Junction for a movie and shopping!! At the very least, you have indeed visited this iconic library.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Auntie Kim's Korean Restaurant @ Upper Thomson

Another craving of Korean's cuisine brought me once again to this authentic Korean restaurant along Thomson road. Not sure if most of the younger generation know, Korean food took root only around 10 years ago, when the Korean wave crashed on Asia.

My first attempt at Korean cuisine was at this crowded food court in Marina Square where i had Bulgogi Beef. I loved it for its fabulous marination that i am afraid only satay is a worthy comparison of.

Since then, my exposure to Korean cuisine revolved around food courts and canteens... until my very first visit to Auntie Kim, a restaurant setting opened by a Korean lady. 

Ignorantly, i always thought that eating Korean food is just like any other meals; you order a main dish, you get a main dish.

It's not.

Astonished by the six different side dishes (the sourish, spicy kim chi, pickled cucumbers & onions, stewed beef, stir fried vegetables, beansprouts and turnips) served, i was already 25% full before getting to my main dish.

I must had been really satisfied with the food for my first visit because when the Korean craving struck early in the morning, Auntie Kim was the first i thought of.

Odeng Tang

My mom loves soupy stuff and this was selected by her. Essentially, it was a soup full of fishcakes. And being a not-so-into-fishcake person, it was just a normal dish with a normal clear broth. I would have prefer fishball or prawn soup anytime.

Bibim-bab

The first time i tried Bibim-bab (translated as mixed rice), i adored the visual appeal of its nicely placed portions of fresh vegetables (carrots, turnips, beansprouts, spinach, seaweed etc), minimal use of meat (one marinated portion of either chicken, beef or pork) plus a sunny side up (or raw egg)!

Food we work for, force us to appreciate the food better.

Using the same reasoning for Bibim-bab; in order to really eat this dish, you have to really mix all the portions together in the really hot stone bowl plus a special sauce. Despite the many ingredients used, the result was a dish so well complemented and tasty

With fresh ingredients, the right type of rice and special sauce, Bibim-bab seldom goes wrong.

This one in Auntie Kim went the right way!

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Additional information:
The first good thing?
No MSG added for all the food!!

The next better thing?
No Goods and Services Tax (GST) charged!

The best thing?  
Free flow of the smooth, cholesterol-buster barley tea! 

Location:
No 265, Upper Thomson Road. It's quite near to Thomson Plaza. Please click HERE and paste the aforementioned address .  


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Albert Street Prawn Noodle (亚巴街大虾面) @ Lavender Food Square

Long, long time ago, soupy stuff was never my cup of tea.

However, with growing age, acquired taste (due to age also) and a healthy fact that soup can fill up the stomach faster, my fondess for soup has never been so strong before.

Serving the public since 1963, this stall at Lavender is THE place whenever i feel like having prawn soup. I tried a few other stalls, including one frequents by President Nathan, but still prefer this one in Lavender.

At first glance, the soup did look chilli-red but i can guarantee you (except Karen Au) it did not have the chilli-hot sensation.

The almost clear soup was the main attraction to this dish; seafood sweet with a slight herbal taste, it's likely that prawns play the key ingredient in the stock compared to most prawn noodle stalls, who use mainly pork.

The prawns were succulent and fresh. Since i am trying to cut down on my cholesterol, i didn't opt for the popular big prawns (shown above). 

The real truth? It's almost double the price i paid for the normal prawns lor.. I am cutting down on my expenses.

Personally, i love the crunchy bean sprouts and pork lard added to the soup! So if you do not like bean sprouts or pork lard, inform the ladies! Please also notify the ladies if you do not wish to have chilli powder or yellow noodle!


Those are the norm!!


I will blog more on food from this food square once i have more time. The good food is not only limited to prawn noodle.


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Location: Click Here and search for Lavender Food Square.

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