Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bollywood Veggies @ Kranji Countryside (Heritage Trail No 11), Neo Tiew Road

Don't be deceived by the name.

Bollywood Veggies neither screens any movies from India nor does it import its vegetables from India! Despite the veggies tag, it does not even grow many vegetables to speak of in the first place! 

But, is it still worth a visit? Definitely! 
And we shall let the following pictures explain why.

This was obviously the main entrance yet it put people off by placing the big "No Entry" sign across the gate. I seriously thought the place was out of bounds when i first arrived!

However, there was another sign at the side indicating an entry fees of S$2 [no one seemed to be collecting them though and i strolled in without paying a single cent. Yoohoo]! Free entry is given to children below twelve years old, senior citizens above sixty years old and visitors who were transported by Kranji Express

Central walkway that cuts across the farm with interconnecting paths allowing you to have a perimeter tour of the entire place! 

A normal walk will take roughly thirty minutes even though for kampong boys like myself, i took 47 minutes and left with the impression that i should have stayed a tad longer.

Original custard apple! The bigger, greenish ones we see in the market nowadays are hybrids and they come with lesser seeds. 

The wooden signs labeling the trees and plants are very beneficial for visitors who are ignorant yet interested to know the source for some of their favourite fruits and vegetables.

To take an example, could you guess the purpose for this structure?

It's a metal support net for pumpkins! And all the while, i have assumed that pumpkins grow on the ground like watermelons! 

One of the many dirt paths in the farm. When i was living in the kampong, a keen eye was required whenever i came to a dirt path. You never know what kind of shit you would step on; literally.

Iguana enjoying the sun tanning! The peacefulness of a quiet Saturday made it really conducive to spot little reptiles, insects and mammals. I was lucky i didn't encounter any snake!

Papaya tree! My father's family was involved in the fruit business and papaya was fondly remembered as one fruit commonly found in the huge garage that also served as a holding warehouse for fruits. 

Modern technology that made watering a breeze! Another advantage to installing these water sprinklers was to provide visitors a temporary cooling relief from the scorching hot sun!

Clusters of banana trees! Bollywood Veggies is the largest banana grower in Singapore and it's not hard to see why with two large plots of land reserved specifically to grow bananas.

Banana flowers - there is an old saying that spirits love to reside in the banana flowers and you could force them to do your bidding by tying one end of a red string to your big toe. The other end must be threaded to a needle and has to be stuck in the heart of the flower. 

I was dumbfounded to see the above transformation.

Stupid me have no idea that bananas come from the flowers! It was embarrassing as we used to have banana trees in the compound of our kampong house!   

One of Bollywood Veggies owners, a gungho lady by the name of Ivy Singh Lim, is one quirky person and her sense of humour can be seen, often in very subtle forms, around the farm.

Custard apple trees that were still in their infancy stage! Honestly, it has been a long time since i last ate any original custard apple! It could easily be more than ten years ago. 

For a moment, i thought these were just gigantic green lime but was proven wrong; they were young lemons. By the way, this is not a fruit picking farm and you should not attempt to pluck the fruits yourselves!

More banana trees.

A rustic shack to shield you from the sunlight and occasional rain! Don't bother sheltering yourself in the shack during heavy thunderstorms as the roof was simply covered with just a black piece of plastic sheet!

I might be alone but it didn't stop me from having a go at the swing; it felt so good to relive my childhood memories! Maybe i should bring the kids here when they are slightly older. 

If you look closer, you would notice that the boundaries of the dirt tracks were in fact planks of natural wood.

Pond that collects rainwater for irrigation uses. Contrary to what the sign says, water is necessary to life! When was this fact ever a secret in the first place?!

I bypassed this area thinking i should not walk beyond the half opened gate at the end. There was absolutely no one in the vicinity and safety should always be the top priority in such situation!

Curiousity abandons all rational decisions; i marched straight into the mysterious Sanctuary. 

The first thing that almost caused by eyeballs to drop was the above declaration that nudity is allowed! And this is Singapore where conservative Asian values are still highly regarded!

Tough luck - i saw only one human and he was fully clothed with a camera in his hands.  Bet he had the same intention as me when he saw that nudity board. 

Crystal fruits - i am not sure if they are edible although they appear to look like a mini version of those rambutan like fruits with hard spiky casing.

Another pond fully covered with wilting lotus leaves and flowers! 

As my visit was during the hot summer season, i am guessing that the wilting was just a natural cycle of renewal for a dazzling display in the near future!

Pointy thorns on a tree trunk. Dislike someone? You may 'playfully' push that person towards the trunk and feign ignorance after that! 

Out of the Sanctuary since the dead quietness of the place unnerved me. At this section known as Truly Fruitti, you can find information sheets explaining the fruits, their nutritional benefits and alternate uses. 

The one and only scarecrow in the farm; clearly placed for aesthetic purpose in the context of a rural village and as an additional spot for photo taking opportunities.  

Is there any difference between a Bali tapioca and a normal tapioca? Whatever since i have never fancied tapioca in my whole life! 

Cotton plants! 

Other common crops. Wait, there was a pumpkin plant as well! Does that mean that pumpkins grow on ground as well, similar to watermelons?

A wishing well; yet another installment for aesthetic purpose. 

Failed version though as it is certainly not a well! Cannot imagine that there were actually people willing to toss coins into the shallow water for a wish!

Located right outside the Poison Ivy Bistro was this aromatic garden that did a fantastic job in creating a "strong smelling" environment. *p.s. i chanced upon this garden as i needed to use the restroom*

Another visit would be planned to dine at the bistro! Kindly note that dinner is not available as it closes at 6.30pm! 

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Location
100 Neo Tiew Road

Opening Hours
9am - 6.30pm
[closed on Mondays and Tuesdays except Public Holidays]

Website

Guiding Map for the Farm
As above.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Best Selling Nasi Ayam Penyet? @ Nur Indah Kitchen [Bedok Corner Food Centre]

Bedok Corner Hawker Centre - my primary aim whenever i visit this farfetched food centre is to have a bowl of that delicious cheng tng and therefore, the choice of main meal is always secondary.

That's when words on signboard play a very important role in my decision making process. It's not so much an affirmation that the food is good; just that it would be justifiable to condemn the place if the food turns out worse than expected.

"The Best Selling Nasi Ayam Penyet" looked pathetically insufficient. I am at fault here as i neglected to inform the stall owner that i would prefer to have "thigh", which always turn out to be juicier and slightly bigger in portion.

As expected from breast meat, it was too dry for my liking although i would love to add that it managed to exude the flavourfulness that any good quality ayam penyet [by the way, ayam penyet means smashed chicken in Malay] should have.

Chilli, ever a major determinant when it comes to the abused chicken, was sweet while hot; leaving that irritating tingling after-sensation on my tongue and lips that could only be remedied by a cooling bowl of Ye Lai Xiang Cheng Tng!

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Do i think that it is the best selling ayam penyet? Maybe in the context of within the hawker center.

Location
1 Bedok Road, Stall #07,
Bedok Food Centre

Price
S$4.50 per portion

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bowling with the Kids @ Orchid Bowl [Orchid Country Club]

Jerald, my nephew, is obsessed with the bowling games on his mom's iphone and it was decided that his birthday present for 2012 (sponsored by Auntie Pig) would be a trip to knock down real pins using real bowling balls!

For those who are unaware, there is a bumper function for the bowling lane that you can activate for kids (adults can do it too, at the risk of being mocked by others); with this 'unfair' advantage, it would be super hard to get zero point.

From his apprehension before throwing the ball, his excitement while waiting for the ball to reach the pins and his happiness (note the victory pose) in knocking down some pins, i am glad to see Jerald totally enjoying the bowling session! 

Jovyn, our bulldog cheeks baby, had a go a well! The one wearing the leopard-print mini-shorts is our family maid who only knows how to mess up the house.

An up-to-date front view of Jovyn; she managed to retain some of the chubby cheeks although i fear it would be a matter of time before they are gone! Time for pinching exercise.

The maid guiding Jovyn. Okay lah, the so called maid is my younger sister who is still single and available!

The following four pictures are solely for your entertainment. 





Venue: Orchid Bowl, Orchid Country Club
Rates: Please click HERE.

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