Monday, September 28, 2015

Omakase Burger - Expensive Yet So Good @ The Grandstand [Former Turf City]

Like the positive media reviews plastered on the glass of this fast food burger restaurant, a colleague found the burgers to be so darn good; she promised she would pay for my share if i make time (and effort) to travel to "the grandstand" at Bukit Timah. 

I admit it took me a while and by the time i finally got my ass glued to the seat at Omakase Burger, it has opened a second branch that's more conveniently located at Wisma Atria! 

Simply listing down the differences says a lot about the confidence and being the usual skeptical soul that i really am, i am quite at ease to brush away its confidence - advertising is one thing, to taste and note the disparities for real is another. 

Omakase Cheeseburger
Visually, the above hardly impressed, except for maybe the fact that it cost S$14.90! Yes, you heard me right, a double cheeseburger is maybe about S$2 in McDonald's and this is seven times the price! 

Let us take a while to analyse the burger further so as to identify justifications for the price. Normal bun, fresh looking lettuce, a thicker-than-Macs beef patty and well, a slice of plain looking cheese.

Hold on a second - i have yet to taste it and it's when i took a big chunk that everything changed with one metaphorical phrase coming to mind; never judge a book by its cover. 

It was insanely delicious and i am talking about experiencing the entire package rather than the individual ingredients although i strongly believe the secret weapon was the Omakase signature sauce. The hand-ground 100% USDA choice grade premium cut beef party was grilled perfectly with a middle pink done-ness that exploded with tasty juiciness in every bite! 

By the way, one is insufficient to fill my tummy. 

Sweet Potato Fries
My friend bought this for sharing and boy were they addictive! I would very much prefer this sweet version over the traditional salty French fries! 

Onion Rings 
There were decent; however, i like my onion rings to be dripping of oil, somewhere around the likes of the ones from Buckaroo! 

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Location
200, Turf Club Road 
#01-05, The Grandstand

Website

Menu
As above

Pricing
Omakase Cheeseburger - S$14.90 
Sweet Potato Fries - S$6.20 (Large)
Onion Rings - S$5.20
[Inclusive of GST]

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Last of the September Baby in the Family - My Dad's Birthday!

This shall be the last birthday cake in 2015 for my immediate family! Although it was great to see the kids enjoying themselves, having three in one month is hazardous for the waistline!

Her new designation; candle placer. When i am getting old and frail, i must insist Jerald and Jovyn to be the birthday organisers; payback time for our effort.

It's dad's 63rd birthday! I didn't get him any present this time as i am going to sacrifice myself by accompanying him for a trip to China! Please pray for me; my father's nagging is legendary in the family...

A photo before starting the 4-version birthday song.

Plonking herself right behind the cake, you do wonder who was the one we were celebrating the birthday for! Jerald used to be like Jovyn until he grew out of it.

Sometimes in life, i do crave for the simple pleasures. For example, just give me a normal sponge-based fruit cake instead of the very expensive ice cream cake!

Dad recognised that the kids love birthdays; if the cakes were for us, he would likely grumble afterwards on matters like how fattening cakes are and how they are not worth the money. It's true, once parents turn into grandparent; their philosophy of managing kids tends to change, for better or for worse. 

Candles blowout time - thankfully for the 6 big candles and 3 small candles on the cake, Jovyn didn't have the lung capacity to blow out all of them at one go and left a few for Jerald, and of course, my father.

Cake cutting was pushed to the birthday boy though as they probably were under the assumption it would be another ice cream which is usually hard to slice through!

Nothing, i repeat, nothing beats a traditional cake as far as taste is concerned! Fruits were a bit sour even though i totally loved the texture of the buttery sponge with the yummy cream!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mid Autumn (Lantern / Mooncake) Festival Light Up 2015 @ Chinatown [Singapore]

It is rare to find me out of the house so early on a Saturday but since i was already at the city's downtown (for a medical checkup), i figured i might as well take a look at the decorations for the mid-autumn festival at the nearby Chinatown, especially given the favourable PSI condition. 

The centrepiece this time round is Singapore's beloved merlion; a half fish, half lion creature that was thought out as a marketing tool for tourism when the country was still at the "child's" age.

Against the backdrop of the imposing people's park complex (which should seriously be accorded national heritage status), the twelve-meter tall Merlion lantern stood on the star location usually reserved for the Chinese zodiac animal in the annual lunar new year celebration.

Its usual white attire was forsaken for a visually appealing look and this included having red eyeliner and yellow eye shadow. Frankly, i believe this is a gay member in the small Merlion family. 

There were other lanterns designed in the shape of Singapore's landmarks and the traditional one, aside from the merlion, was of course the control tower of Changi's Airport! 

Recent landmarks like the supertrees of Gardens by the Bay and the lotus shaped ArtScience Museum of Marina Bay Sands were also featured. On the latter, it felt more like the claw from the claw machine

How many of you Singaporeans can recognise the two mascots popular in the 80s!?! Singa the Courtesy Lion and Sharity Elephant! 

Besides the icons that were etched in many of our memories, part of the 2,300 lanterns comprised of lantern designs common in the past; that of chickens, rabbits, butterflies and fishes! 

It's a pity that most of the bigger lanterns were placed on the stretch of green space in between two major roads (New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street) and both roads would only be closed for a short period of time on the actual day of the festival, which is tomorrow on 27 September 2015. 

Anyway, i assumed there would be some kind of a bazaar going on but temple street didn't have any temporary structures! Disappointed, i decided to walk through the pedestrian-only Pagoda Street.

Nothing that deviated from the normal operations too! Maybe i should make my way to the Gardens by the Bay instead; where there was an elaborate lantern display.

To be fair, there were some elements of the mid autumn festival; the sale of lanterns! In addition to eating mooncakes and showing off the lanterns, it's also a must to play sparklers! 

The equally 'boring' Trengganu Street - in the lunar new year bazaar, it's a definite to see stalls selling a variety of melon seeds and i was hoping i can find one as our family loves the phoenix eye guazi! 

Rest of the Pagoda Street didn't turn up much surprises although i was keen to have a serving of Singapore's traditional ice cream from the ice cream cart at the end of the street. To read more, click here

Lantern display at South Bridge Road - guess this was where the bulk of the 2,300 lanterns were. 

Smith Street had more "action" with a superbly short bazaar that offered items related to the mid autumn festival celebrated by the Chinese.

More often than not, it would be lanterns. Sale of mooncakes is now concentrated in air-conditioned facilities and i could easily find at least twenty different sellers at a suburban shopping mall like Yishun! 

Oh, another item synonymous with the festival; the pomelos!  

A familiar sight along the narrow Sago Street - since i don't visit Chinatown on a regular basis, i can only compare the sights during Chinese new year and this stall is always here, selling fruits and mainly pomelos.

Another common sighting was the old grandma at this stall with her fresh vegetables! I don't even know how she managed to profit as the street was patronised by mainly tourists and right behind her was the Chinatown Complex with a basement market section for fresh vegetables! 

I am unsure how good the mooncakes were although their pricing was really low; easily 50% over the so-called reputable ones sold at air-conditioned premise.

The piglet shaped mooncakes - anyone is aware of the history behind this style? From what i know, pigs in baskets were the norm for transportation even though there was a more sinister terminology; individuals who committed adultery were also put into the basket and then drowned. 

Whatever the case, this kind of mooncakes has never been my cup of tea. 

My favourite kind of lantern - lighted by only candles! One of the main highlights for the festival, at least for me when i was very much younger, was when the lantern started burning! 

Tai Chong Kok Confectionery - a household name in Singapore since 1935 and was renowned for its traditional mooncakes. The shop may look empty in the above photograph but it maintained a presence in many of the mooncake bazaars currently taking place all over Singapore. 

Wall mural at Chinatown Complex - think it was official artwork. 

After the long awaited meal (chicken teriyaki set) at Kazan Japanese Cuisine at Chinatown Complex Food Centre, i crossed the overhead bridge cutting across New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street. Anyone can recognise the three mascots in the above photo? Captain Green, Teamy the Bee and Water Wally! 

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Location
Chinatown of Singapore

Until When?
Street light up is until 12 October 2015! 

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