Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes (from Kasie)

"You can do it also meh?" It was merely an innocent comment that eventually resulted in igniting the competitive streak of a friend.

This question was posed after i saw these delicious looking rainbow cupcakes at a blogger's page (Click Nadnut for the pictures).

As a kid, i have always believed rainbow signifies simple happiness in times of gloom but i have never seen them in any stress relieving pastries, save for a customary sugary/plasticky imagery.

Nuff said; what matters most is that i was given a complementary tray of cupcakes the following week!

Granted the vibrant colour doughs were not as perfectly layered as the ones i saw in the blog, Kasie did a marvellous job (even my colleagues gave them the thumbs up) given that she had very little time to play with (religious activities, work etc) in baking them specially.

Specially to plug my big mouth that is.

Thanks anyway Kasie!

I am waiting to be the taster of more pastries from you in the future. *frantically googling to see if there are other cakes/pastries/biscuits he can challenge Kasie with*

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Durians Feast @ Block 83, Marine Parade Central

It's once again the durians season and according to the papers, we are facing a bumper harvest this year! As any economist will tell you; a higher supply means a lower price for perishable products!

*happy*

Joyce, who was under tight surveillance to control her diet during the confinement period, was craving for the king of fruits recently. Since her hubby has a high aversion to this smelly fruit, i volunteered to bring her, so long i can have my fix too, for free.

Having heard from her colleague on a particular durian stall at marine parade that sells good quality durians at reasonable price, we made our way down today.

Many of them were bundled at 3 for S$10 or 4 for S$10 and some really tiny ones were sold at S$1 each!

This temporary stall must be really popular with the masses! People were queuing up to pay for crates of durians! For the benefit of my brother in law, we decided to have the durians at one of the two makeshift tables there.

Since price usually correlates with quality, mom decided on a S$5 durian and a bundled 3 for S$10. The Cat Mountain King durian was sold at S$10 per kilogram and our plan was to slowly work up the appetite for the best of the best.

The quality was really not bad for the price; each seed was fully covered with a thick layer of firm, yellowish pulp. I am not too bothered with the outlook though.

Eventually, it is still the taste that matters.

Some people like it sweet whereas some, like my mom and sis, prefer it to be bitter. I can satisfy my craving with either one but the best has to be the one with a right balance of sweetness and bitterness! The flesh of these was in general of a sweeter nature.

We were so bloody full after these four durians that we have to scrap our initial plan to have Mao Shan Wang! It was damn satisfying and this could only be displayed by the unstoppable burps on our journey home.

Durian breath can be so potent.
For those around you.

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Location
Corner of OCBC Bank or corner of KOI Cafe at Block 83, Marine Parade Central.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lower Peirce Reservoir Park (贝雅士蓄水池下段) - A Leisure Walk

You should not be surprised to find another post from me on Singapore's reservoirs!

Besides providing the all-important blue gold (aka water) for us, reservoirs are great places for me to unwind, especially during stressful work periods like now.

Not all reservoirs are the same though; the older ones have a natural, comforting feel to it while the newer ones look more like any typical town parks.

Surrounded by trees that could be older than any of us, Lower Peirce Reservoir is naturally the right choice for me to relax.

Due to the launch of the Ang Mo Kio Heritage Trail, these bright red structures were installed to give a better insight to the history of this mature reservoir.

The stretch featured many times by Mediacorp; especially in scenes where lovers met for their rendezvous.

Another view that shows you the length of this popular track.

From far, this looks like some kind of pavilion where you can either find a stone table to play chess or a small stage for school band concerts.

This stone plaque explained it all; waterworks. Not like i know what the heck it really encompasses except for water purification machinery with terms that totally have no standing in my brain.

Before i advance any further (Cavin has always had a curious mind), let me give you a piece of information. Lower peirce reservoir used to be called kallang river reservoir! Okay, not exactly useful information but at least it can help you for trivial competitions with your friends.

Anyway, it's a pavilion alright. Just that metal parts are protruding out of the base of this beautiful structure.

Humans are barred from entering and there's a CCTV in use. This picture is taken through the metal grilles. Cavin is never known to be a rebel when it comes to law and order. A true blue obedient Singaporean aka as the type who doesn't need to repent (with reference to the recent election).

A classical weather vane on top of the pavilion with the East missing! I have not seen many of these in Singapore for a long time.

View of the park from the pavilion.

A speedboat for the use of Nparks employees i guess. If i remember correctly, such jetty used to hold cycling boats that visitors can pay for half an hour or so. Those boats were usually disguised as swans and were the rage back in the 70s and 80s!

Shelters that dotted the park. Doesn't it look like a corset-shaped umbrella? It definitely has some Victorian-era feel to it.

Coupled the Victorian design to this elderly gentleman who was playing the accordion! The music was so soothing and the atmosphere was so relaxing! For that moment, i felt that i can just sit opposite him and hear him play till he packs up.

I bet this tired out jogger was feeling the same way.

This area is still popular with loving couples although it has been designated as the fishing ground with frightening fish hooks flying around!

Kite-flying seems to be everywhere nowadays at places with some open space. Strangely, i don't have the urge to do so even though i used to enjoy it in my pre-teens.

Ah-ha! Who should we blame whenever we see litter strewn around the dustbin? Foreigners? Hell no! Never assume unless you have seen it with your own eyes! The culprits are those pesky monkeys!!

Want to know what these two kids were preoccupied with? The answer shall be revealed in my next few posts!

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Location
Map is taken from streetdirectory.com. If you need some food or drinks, lower peirce reservoir is quite near to casuarina road that has biscuit king and casuarina curry (roti prata).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Delicious Pork Porridge (猪肉粥) @ Soon Lee Porridge (顺利), Clementi 448 Market and Food Centre

When it comes to Chinese congee, there are two distinct styles - the grainy, fluid gruel that is usually standalone with side dishes and the mushy, more solidified type that has all the ingredients included within.

Today, let me introduce to you this particular porridge stall at Clementi Central hawker centre; Soon Lee. It was purely a spontaneous visit as i have been gaining weight recently (bane of ageing) and thought i should have a lighter meal for dinner.

What i didn't expect was an over 20 minutes wait!

It's okay. Kind of satisfying to see a bowl of porridge on almost every table surrounding me. At least i am assured that the taste should not be THAT bad. 

For this kind of 'thicker' porridge, it's common for me to ask for inclusion of a raw egg. This 100% protein food has an obvious effect on the overall texture and makes the porridge extremely comforting to eat.

Mixing is essential of course! Have i neglected to mention that i ordered minced pork porridge? Though fish is healthier, the lure of fattening pork was just too hard to resist.

I may not be a porridge guru but i have eaten enough to know that no other stall in Singapore uses deep fried pork lard in their porridge!

It might have some nuance effect on the overall taste although on its own, the four or five pieces of pork lard weren't exceptionally good.

These balls of minced pork were another story - they were full of savoury goodness, helped no less by the strings of fatty tissues well-liked by many Chinese! I had to leave them for the last and finish them all at one go for that final orgasmic fulfillment!

In conclusion, this is a damn flavourful congee! I believe i might be a frequent patron now that mum is permanently stationed at my sister's place.

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Location
Block 448, Clementi Food Centre,
(金文泰448熟食中心) Clementi Ave 3,
Stall No # 01 -50

Price
S$2.50 for one bowl without egg
S$2.80 for a bowl with egg

Additional Information
Closed on Sundays!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Viewing Tower (aka Seletar or Rocket Tower) @ Upper Seletar Reservoir

This is going to be a damn short post as i did mention this iconic tower before (you may refer to my post here).

And my reason for posting it again as a subject is because of some old, ancient photographs i dragged out from my family photo albums recently!



The tower in its heyday was popular with my extended family due its close proximity to our village (kampong) at Old Nee Soon.



Here, you can see a picture taken over 30 years ago of my handsome dad in front of the grayish-red tower. Gosh, he was wearing bell bottoms (it was in vogue then)! Note that the terrain surrounding the tower has changed drastically since then.



I do not recognise the toddlers in the pictures although it's much easier with the adults. From left to right - my third aunt (san gu), my late grandma, my second aunt (er gu), my mom and the wife of my dad's eldest brother (ah mm).



With so many pictures taken by my father in his youth (apparently, i inherited his love for photography), these yellowish, fading pictures are getting to be really precious in my opinion as they serve as memorable childhood moments.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mary Had A Little Lamb (Lamb Chops) @ Buckaroo B.B.Q And Grill

I love it when people thought of creative titles to name a dish. In this case, a simple lamb chop was renamed to 'Mary Had A Little Lamb'.

There's a problem though; Mary loves her lamb (at least as a pet in the nursery rhyme) whereas i am more interested in its chops.

Anyway, i am at Buckaroo BBQ and Grill once again to partake on this dish that i unfortunately missed out on my last visit.

Buckaroo never seems to change in my years of patronage - which is not a bad thing as i like that nostalgia feeling.

Compared to the small, pathetic lamb chops sold in many places, these Buckaroo babies were chunky thick. At roughly 350 grams, this may look like a really, really good deal if you are paying at hawker prices.

Prepared with garlic and lemon grass, the tender meat of baby sheep was juicy with a lighter gamey flavour more acceptable for some of us. Although the mint sauce did a great job in enhancing the taste, i could not help but notice that it was not as pleasurable as i remember.

Well, nothing's lost! The baked potato might look normal at first glance - just like those offered in Jack's Place. What's different and yet caught me by surprise was the use of high quality pungent cheese hidden deep within!

It was as smelly as goat cheese but like smelly tofu, i found this superbly irresistible!

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Location
12B, Andrews Avenue
(Map taken from the namecard)

Additional Information
Special items not on the menu are prominently displayed on this huge placard. Mr Kon might be tempted to give the Porky Journey To The West a try - pork knuckle with a complementary glass of white wine!

For my first post on Buckaroo, please click here
For my second post on Buckaroo, please click here
For my third post on Buckaroo, please click here
For my fourth post on Buckaroo, please click here
For my fifth post on Buckaroo, please click here

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