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Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

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Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

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Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

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Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

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Chocolate Test, Singapore

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M Schulz

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Blue Ginger Restaurant

We finally succeeded on our third try in getting a seat in this restaurant. Moral of the story: If you want to eat here, place a reservation. I have heard so much about this award winning restaurant and wanted to see if it really served good Peranakan food. 

Kueh Pie Tee ($7) is one of my favourite Peranakan dishes. Who doesn't love these bite-sized deep-fried little cups of goodness? It might have been my imagination but it feels smaller than a normal pie tee cup. Nonetheless, a crunchy cup loaded with shredded bamboo shoots and turnips, topped with a piece of fresh prawn. One cup leaves you craving for more. 

Maybe I have cheap tastebuds but I didn't find the Otak Otak ($3.40 for 2 pieces) much better than those decent ones which you get at BBQs. The fishcake recipe is rich in flavour with a hint of spice but it didn't impress. 

I know many people who love their Ayam Buah Keluak ($17). Acquired taste I think.

The Nonya Fish Head Curry ($28.30) was so addictive that my friend was content to just have the curry with the rice. I found the fish slightly overcooked such that it was a little hard. It was fresh nonetheless.

The Sambal Sotong ($16.50) was a little salty but fine when it went with rice.

While I wouldn't say that the food blows me away, I think they serve above average Peranakan food. That said, I think I would visit Ivins soon. I haven't been there for some time and the thing I remember about it is that it served pretty good food at more affordable prices. Service here was disappointing as well.

The Blue Ginger Restaurant 
97 Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel No: 6 681 6666

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Rotisserie

I always try to indulge in some good food on Fridays since it's nice to reward yourself for a week of hard work, instead of having the usual packed food from the nearest food court for dinner. Since tomorrow is a public holiday, my self-imposed rule got shifted to Thursday night instead. I decided to go to The Rotisserie today, after my friends introduced me to this part of CBD which I never knew existed. 

It was initially quite confusing how I should place my order. I ordered a Quarter Roasted Chicken ($11.50) which gave me the choice of Hot Chips/Vegetables/Salad. Vegetables and salad sounded pretty much the same to me. So I had to ask the cashier what they were. She pointed to another counter and helpfully stated that if I changed my mind, I could just tell the lady at the counter that I wanted the other option instead. It would have been so much better if they had just put a board saying what the sides were though!

I'm very picky about roasted chicken. It can't be dry, it can't be bloody. This was neither- it was tender yet cooked well! I chose vegetables. This came with mashed potato, corn and cauliflower. Pretty standard.

I also had the Lemon Drizzle Cake ($4). It reminded me so much of the afternoons I used to sit on the couch watching Ina Garten from Food Network cook or bake using the ingredients from her garden. The homely feel of the food was contained within this cake. So deceptively simple yet so delicious. The thing I really liked about the cake was that it was not too sweet. You were also given the choice of how much to drizzle over the cake- or for that matter, whether to drizzle or not. The syrupy thing was sour and sweet, and it's the kind of combination with the cake that makes you think, "My life is simple, but it sure is good."

Very decent prices considering that it's in the CBD area. Definitely putting it on my list of places to revisit!

The Rotisserie 
China Square Food Centre
51 Telok Ayer Street
Tel No: 6 224 5486 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Fabulous Baker Boy

I was reading a magazine that recommended this place. Tucked safely at Fort Canning Hill opposite Liang Court, it was a place that I would definitely not have chanced upon. 

I ordered a Towkay Ng's Eggs Benedict ($10.50). It is probably one of the cheapest egg benedicts you can find in Singapore. I loved this dish- the two egg benedicts were served on warm toasted brioche with a layer of sauteed spinach. The egg white was firm with runny egg yolk. The roasted potatoes felt a little extra though. The portion was, however, not enough for someone with a huge appetite. I went on to try some pancakes and they were really fluffy.

Desserts are a must-order here. Feeling more adventurous than my usual chocolate-cake-only order, I got a Salted Caramel Chocolate Torte ($7.50). I didn't regret choosing this. Layers of rich and moist chocolate, were complemented perfectly by the salted caramel. So delightful.

Based on the food alone, I would recommend this place. But service from a particular server was ridiculous. To cut the long story short, place your reservations well in advance otherwise the server may not give you a seat even if the tables are empty. One table only indoors, with a very small table. Sitting outside might be a better choice if you don't want to feel so cramped.

The Fabulous Baker Boy
The Foothills
70 River Valley Road
Tel No.: 6 694 8336 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ba Xian 八仙

I have been eating too much dim sum for my own good. But here's one more to add to the list. The first time we went to Ba Xian, it was pretty good. But this time, we felt like the dim sum was nothing special. Furthermore, I wouldn't pay a price premium just to get a view from the 62nd floor. Weekend dim sum is cheaper. 

1) Steamed Siew Mai with Dried Scallop ($3.60 for 3 pieces) 
It was an interesting combination with the dried scallop, as compared to the normal roe. Fresh juicy prawns. 

2) Mini Egg Tartlets ($5 for 3 pieces)
These had lotus seeds embedded within the egg. Not the best combination I would think. Furthermore, the egg was overcooked.

3) Steamed Har Kow with Asparagus ($3.60 for 3 pieces)
The asparagus didn't add any flavour to the har kow. The prawns were good though.

4) Steamed Chee Cheong Fun with Prawns, Scallops and Pork Char Siew ($5 per portion)
The fresh ingredients were wrapped snugly within the smooth skin of the chee cheong fun.

5) Pork Congee with Dried Scallop and Century Egg ($4.50 per portion)
This has to be one of the most boring porridge I have tried. It tasted like nothing was added to the congee. Good for the health conscious. But it was very bland and lacking in ingredients.

6) Stir-Fried Carrot Cake with Prawns in X.O. Sauce ($5 per portion)
It used to be one of our favourite dishes here. While still good, it just didn't strike us as being as wonderful as the previous round. Slightly spicy.

7) Pan-Fried Chee Cheong Fun with Sesame and Seafood Sauce ($5 per portion)
The accompanying sauce was delicious- how can a combination of sesame and seafood sauce not be? Other than that, it was just plain old boring chee cheong fun, where the highlight is really the sauce.

8) Deep fried dumpling 
Pretty standard.

Service was so-so, where we only got a refill of our tea cups one throughout the whole meal. Food took quite some time to come when we ordered a second round. As I said earlier, I probably wouldn't pay this amount for the view. Please note that dress code applies. 

Ba Xian @ Tower Club
Republic Plaza
9 Raffles Place
Tel No: 67373388