Friday, September 30, 2011

Childhood Memory - The Tribal Dance

While rummaging the family albums for pictures of my elder sister when she was a toddler, i chanced upon quite a number of photographs taken when i was in kindergarten.

That's over twenty years ago; not that i need the reminder!!! I was then very much a quiet child; a vast difference from the chatterbox i am renowned to be.

Using photo film is expensive and unlike the convenience of digital camera, you could not snap ANYTHING you want and then delete those unflattering, blurred pictures before you print them out. Hence, dad will only take out his precious camera during special occasions.

In this case, it was used to capture the lasting memory of my very first public performance! At a basketball court if i may add.

Frankly, my memory is pretty fuzzy on this performance. I could not recall anything on the training and rehearsals although i do remember it was a kind of tribal dance from Taiwan.

No prize for guessing which one is me; definitely not the ones in red! As reward for our contribution, the attire was eventually given to us as a keepsake.

Surprisingly, it's still in my possession! Maybe i should frame it up properly, together with tubes of my blood and collection of booger.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loving the Chilli Crab & Fried Buns @ Forture Seafood Steamboat (得运海鲜火锅), Bukit Timah, Singapore

I need to change my glasses.

The signal my eyes sent to my brain had the signboard reading fortune instead of forture! It could be a play of words by the owner although in urban dictionary, forture means to venture forth to a distant destination.

Enough of English lesson.

Forture Seafood is apparently quite famous in the filthy rich area of Bukit Timah; kind of surprising since it gives the impression of a normal tze char stall in a coffeeshop. *note, they do have an air-conditioned section in the shop next door*

For Singapore's very own food guru to give ratings of divine and die-die-must-try, i guess we would not be too disappointed with what we were going to partake in, in a few moments.

Sambal Kang Kong
(马来风光)
A fresh plate of plain stir-fried vegetables would be the best way to describe this dish. The sambal flavour was not really there and for a sambal kang kong dish, this was a major letdown.

Tofu on Metal Plate
(铁板豆腐)
Nothing much to comment on this. To put it in more optimistic term, i don't remember ever having a bad tofu on metal plate. There are good ones but after a while, they almost have the same taste everywhere.

Sichuan Soup
(四川汤)
Residents of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, will not be happy to drink this. It was more sweet than sourish-hot although it appealed to my saccharine inclined taste buds.

Steamed Crab
(清蒸螃蟹)
When it comes to any seafood that is steamed, i am seldom impressed. My mom is an accomplished cook and steaming seafood is like the easiest task for her!

This crab was overcooked, resulting in a drier texture that should have been overflowing with juiciness.

Salted Egg Crab
(咸蛋螃蟹)
Given this was the second time i had salted egg crabs, i am not sure how accurate i am in my review. Basically, if you are a lover of salted eggs, i guess you will like this since the intensity of that weird saltiness was much higher than Uncle Leong.

Personally, i prefer the version from Uncle Leong; i have never enjoyed salted egg on its own and could not fathom why people like it.

Well, at least it was really meaty! See how compacted the meat was!

Chilli Crab
(辣椒螃蟹)
After going through a few sessions of chilli crabbing, i had always commented that nothing beats my mom's version. She can whip up a damn mean chilli crab with sauce that was heavenly enough to be the main dressing for plain white rice.

This was comparable to mom's. If i wasn't recovering from diarrhea that day, i could have jolly well ordered a few bowls of rice to go with the delicious chilli sauce!

Will definitely be back for this!

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Location
887, Bukit Timah Road

Map
Bukit Timah road is a long stretch and if you are travelling towards Beauty World from Dover, it's actually one and a half bus stop after the sixth avenue centre.

Opening Hours
Open daily from 11.00am to 2.30pm and from 5.00pm to 11.30pm.

Reservation
Call 6469-5957 or 6463-0479.

Price
Sambal Kang Kong - S$6.00
Tofu on Metal Plate - S$10.00
Sichuan Soup - S$4.00
Crabs - S$189.00 for 3 Crabs

No GST and no Service Charge!

Additional Information
One item die-die must order is their unique fried buns (S$5 for five pieces). Their flaky crust was delightful without being overly oily.

Of course, it's another must to have this with chilli crabs. Either that or butter crabs. Damn, i am so craving for a bite right now!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Madagascar: A Crate Adventure @ Universal Studios Singapore (USS) - Resort World Sentosa

I visited Universal Studios Singapore again and this time, i took even more pictures than my virgin visit!

Before i bombard you with even more pictures in this blog (with hopefully more details), let's start with a new attraction that started operation on May 16 this year; a boat ride in the Madagascar zone called Madagascar; A Crate Adventure!

So that's the purpose of this towering cargo ship! Thought it was only for display and i was lamenting it was such a bloody big waste of precious space!

People have always complained that Disneyland Hong Kong is small but do you know for USS, it is even smaller! However, a colleague from America has ever told me that it's amazing how USS managed to squeeze in so many attractions given the space constraint!

Though it is the newest attraction in USS, we did not have to queue for too long (i think it was a comfortable 15 minutes). Maybe because it was late afternoon and kids are usually sleepy at that time.

In addition, each mechanical boat can fit in around 20 pax and the frequency is pretty high!

Based on the first installment of the popular Madagascar animated film, your adventure begins right when you enter this gaping hole of the hijacked cargo ship.

Basically, it is just a typical river ride with narration and moving statues along the way. It might be more suitable for children, especially those who do not meet the height limit for most of the other attractions.

Remember, it is not YOUR adventure but that of the four mismatched animals. 

Flash photography is not allowed and we got to know about it halfway through the ride when a staff warned us over the public address system. Oh well, the foreigners didn't seem too bothered about it and continue shooting.

In all, this 10 minutes boat ride was more relaxing (can rest my legs) than thrilling.

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Additional Information
For a list of my historical posts on USS, please visit
http://cavinteo.blogspot.com/2011/07/universal-studios-singapore-uss_09.html

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wafu Shoyu Ramen (和风酱油拉面) & Mustard Chicken Platter (鸡肉照烧拼盘) @ RamenPlay 拉面玩家 (Nex)

Since my last visit, i have been having cravings to try the other ramen dishes at RamenPlay!

My mum and i were actually very satisfied even though it initially gave the impression that we should not expect too much from a breadtalk spinoff - whose main specialty is on pork floss bun and not noodles.

Wafu Shoyu Ramen
Not wanting to try the same old dish all over again, i decided on wafu shoyu ramen. The two pieces of circular meat appealed to the carnivore in me while the shoyu style of ramen cooking was appropriate as i was still suffering from cough and sore throat then.

This time, the egg had a more gooey yolk although it still needs to work harder towards perfection. No complaint on the thin slices of cha shu which were as delicious as they should be.

The noodles had a smooth lightness to them and complemented very well with the shoyu flavoured broth - supposedly a blend of fish stock and Japanese soy sauce simmered for over eight hours! Mom will definitely like this, guarantee chop!

Mustard Chicken Platter
If not for the picture on the menu, i will assume the title of this dish implies pure chicken in mustard cooked in various ways. Out of the three items, only one is mustard chicken. The other two are chicken takopachi balls and vegetable prawn rolls.

I was expecting mustard chicken similar to the somewhat similar yet epic one i had at Blue Mountain Cafe. It was okay but i could not help feeling disappointed. Surprisingly, the balls and rolls turned out to be really good with the insides filled with meat instead of flour for the former.

Looking like a variance from a typical Vietnamese roll, this RamenPlay version had sweet chilli dip that easily managed to turn a really healthy (and tasteless) dish into one i savoured with delight.

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Location
23, Serangoon Central,
#B2-58, Nex Shopping Centre

Price
Wafu Shoyu Ramen - S$10.80
Mustard Chicken Platter - S$7.80

Subject to GST and Service Charge

Additional Information
For my first post on RamenPlay, please visit

Monday, September 26, 2011

Voyage De La Vie @ Resort World Sentosa (圣淘沙名胜世界)

I was pondering whether i should post this entry since photography for this performance is strictly disallowed and i was reminded no less than three times by the ushers. Given my poor grasp of the English language, pictures are essential for my blog; seeing is more believable.

To heck with the lack of pictures.

Tickets to Singapore's longest running show were given free of charge by an ex-colleague (thank you, thank you, thank you). All the while, i thought this was a musical as it was previously helmed by one of the finalists in Singapore's Idol.

Festive Grand is the hosting venue and it can hold up to 1,600 people! We were given really good seating arrangement where we were in the middle and quite near the main stage.

In a nutshell, it was an amazing performance that combined musical and circus with the play of different lighting, pyrotechnics, stage props and smoke to create a real-life effect for each scene. I especially enjoyed the beautiful segment on shimmering stars and a setting crescent moon.

Confetti at the end of the show.
Plot wise, i thought it was pretty meaningful; what matters in life is not the destination but the journey. A simple statement that resonates with my philosophy of life.

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For more information on Voyage De La Vie and to buy tickets, please click http://www.rwsentosa.com/EntertainmentNightlife/VoyagedelaVie.

[Voyage De La Vie ended its run officially on August 2012]

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pork Ribs Prawn Noodle Soup (排骨虾面汤) @ Adam & Zion 大虾面 (Clementi 448 Market and Food Centre 金文泰448巴刹与熟食中心)

The major problem with me when it comes to food is that once i am impressed with a specific stall or restaurant, i will usually be hooked for an extended period of time. Furthermore, whenever i am in that vicinity, i would automatically patronise the same old stall or restaurant.



That's bad as i usually run out of entries to post on this blog and although it is alright to have a second review, a third review within a few months can be really annoying!



I do make an effort to try new eateries and in many cases, accolades from media, established food reviewers and reputable food guides served as a greater motivation to reduce any hesitation i might have.



In this case, Alex made the order while i was anticipating a few mouthfuls due to the above reason. Would it be even comparable to my most favourite prawn noodles at Lavender?



First impression is always important and this bowl of noodles didn't manage to excite my appetite. Stingy Alex should have ordered the BIG PRAWNS NOODLE!



Personally, i never like pork ribs in prawn noodles as they provide an extra taste to what should be the pure and natural delicious prawn stock. I wasn't far off my expectation with regards to this bowl of pork ribs prawn noodle soup; the desirable rich prawn taste was pretty diluted with an additional porky taste.



Of course, i cannot speak for everyone since there are people (like Alex) who love this and might be able to give a more balanced review as compared to me. *there must be some truth in having so many accolades right?*



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Location
Block 448, Clementi Food Centre,
(金文泰448熟食中心) Clementi Ave 3,
Stall No #01-47

Price
S$5 a bowl

Additional Information
For my posts on other stalls within the same hawker centre, please click the following:


Friday, September 23, 2011

Photos Used for a Hong Kong based Travel Guide Book for Singapore (動感觸目精華遊Easy GO!新加坡)!

Three months ago, i received a comment on my post for Nan Hwa Chong (南華昌亚秋); an editor from a publishing house in Hong Kong was requesting to use my pictures for a travel book!

Frankly, I was both honoured and skeptical - honoured since it's the first time a publisher approached me and skeptical mainly because of the question "why me?".

There are loads of photographs on the web, much better than mine, on this fish-head steamboat restaurant.

Anyway, i have nothing to lose as photo-taking is purely a leisure activity for me and i don't sell them for money. Another factor for consideration is that the pictures i took are definitely not professional enough and i should be thankful if anyone wants them!

I sent the editor of Cross Border Book Publishing, Yiki Chan, six high-resolution pictures and it was promised that a copy of the travel guide will be mailed to me upon publication on July 2011.

July came.
Nothing delivered.

August arrived.
Nope, nothing at all.

September showed up.
Well... so be it...

*a bit disappointed and at the same time, thankful that i did not blog about this. Imagine the embarrassment!*

Today, my colleague passed me a thick package - it has finally arrived!!!! I did not open up the package immediately but the Hong Kong stamps said it all.

It was an impressive 190-page travel guide (動感觸目精華遊Easy GO!新加坡) with an eye-catching cover after unwrapping. Due to a lack of reading Chinese books for a long time, i had difficulty in finding the page on Nan-Hwa-Chong.

Oh, here it is on page 119! Wah, i didn't know my pictures actually turned out pretty well! *proud*

Credits to me and my blog were also given on this page and on the back cover of the travel guidebook. Happy happy happy! It is definitely another great motivation for me to continue taking pictures and blogging.

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