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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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Poison Ivy Bistro

After walking around the farm in Bollywood Veggies, it is only right that you visit Poison Ivy Bistro. The menu (which changes on weekends) is on a chalkboard.

We had the Vegetarian Platter ($15) which was sufficient for 2 people. We initially wanted to order more food but the waiter advised against doing so because he said it might be too much. Good effort for minimising food wastage!

The Moringa Tempura was dangerously addictive. You just keep reaching in for one more because it was not oily and was very crispy. Plus there was this disillusion that it's healthier than other forms of chips.

There was also Papaya Salad, Mixed Vegetables, Samosa, Tofu, Spring Rolls etc in the Vegetarian Platter. They tasted pretty average. After all, these dishes are very common and it would take some effort to do these badly.

We also ordered the famous Kueh Kosui ($2.50). It was smooth, not overly sticky and had a chewy bite to it. This was accompanied by fresh grated coconut.

When we were there, they also had The Chairman's Stall where the owner of this place would be cooking something. On the day we were there, he was grilling some satay. 

If you are looking for a place where food can be served quickly, this isn't the place to be. We had to wait around 25 minutes for our kueh kosui- reason being, "we take around 2 minutes to prepare each dessert. Since there are 10 other dessert orders, just multiply." One waiter was also not sure what was on the menu- he had to check with someone else, who would go to the chalkboard to check.

Besides that, this place serves affordable, reasonably-priced and healthy food. Definitely worth a try if you are in the area.

Poison Ivy Bistro
100 Neo Tiew Road
Tel No: 6 898 5001

Bollywood Veggies

Bollywood Veggies is somewhere I would definitely call ulu. It is not a place I would want to go by public transport because it will take more than 1.5 hour to reach there. 

We were lucky to reach there in the morning because by noon, the haze had started to creep up. 

You will see references to "the Gentle Warrior" littered all around the compound. What exactly does "gentle warrior" refer to? It turns out that it refers to Ivy Singh-Lim, the owner of this place. Ivy's father's ancestry descends from the warrior class. Together with her husband, they run this farm tucked at Kranji.

Bollywood Veggies is an ideal place to spend an idle weekend or to bring your kids for an educational trip.

Besides different kinds of farm produce (where no pesticides are used), there are random objects of interest around. For example, there are two swings hanging from the trees, little tree stumps for you to step on to have a good view of the entire farm premises.

Oregano, papaya, chilli, orchids etc. Get to know how the food we eat looks like in its original form!

After visiting the farm, it will be a crime not to visit their in-house bistro, Poison Ivy!

Bollywood Veggies
100 Neo Tiew Road
Open: Wednesday to Friday (9:30 am to 6:30 pm)
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: (8 am to 6:30 pm) 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dancing Crab

Yet another of those dining experiences this year that make me go "Wow, I need to start telling people how good the food here is." Make your reservations way in advance because this place fills up very quickly. 

Dancing Crab serves country-style Cajun seafood. Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in Louisiana, USA. Based on what limited supposed Cajun cuisine I have tried so far, it seems that a trip to New Orleans is absolutely necessary to the happiness of my stomach.

Instead of the mantous that we are used to in Chinese restaurants, we ordered some Grilled Butter Rolls ($2 per piece). These lightly buttered rolls were perfect to mop up the goodness of the sauce for the seafood- regardless of whether it's Western style or Chinese style crabs, it is a waste to leave any kind of sauce in the plate!

These Garlic Soy Sauce Wings ($9) were as good as or better than the highly raved 4 Fingers Crispy Chicken. Very crispy chicken coated with a sweet, salty and addictive garlic soy sauce.

The star of the show had to be the Combo Bag ($80). Supposedly for 2 people to share, we shared it amongst 3-4 people. It consisted of a Sri Lankan Crab, prawns, clams, potatoes, corn and sausages.

Here, you get to return to human's caveman instincts and just eat with your hands. I am a person who, as far as possible, tears a prawn apart using utensils because I am too lazy to wash my hands and do not like my hands reeking of seafood. But here, it's hard not to think "Aiya, whatever, eat with hands then eat with hands la." For the avoidance of doubt, the smell of the sauce lingered on after many hand washes until the next day. 

You could choose from different sauces- Dancing Crab Signature (Mild, Spicy or Extra Spicy), Herb Butter, Beurre Blanc and Tangy Garlic Butter. We got the Dancing Crab Signature. The sauce had a tomato base, with garlic and other herbs and seasoning. It tasted like tomato pasta sauce, but a more refined version of it. 

Seafood- fresh. Corn- juicy. Experience- wonderful. 

Don't come here if you don't want people to judge you for eating messily. But besides that, there is no reason why you should skip this place if you love seafood.

Service- server who took our orders had an extremely indifferent and bored face. They were also short handed.

Dancing Crab
The Granstand
200 Turf Club Road
Tel No: 6 466 3303 

Monday, October 6, 2014

China Mania!: The Global Passion for Porcelain @ Asian Civilisations Museum

Has it already been 3 years since I last visited this museum? The last time I came here, the museum had the exhibition on Terracotta Warriors which I thoroughly enjoyed. We were in the area deciding what to do when our legs brought us here. Free admission for Singapore Citizens and PRs. 

The main thing we really took away from this exhibition was how porcelain was being exported around the world, how Chinese porcelain inspired competition (read: imitation) and how the distinct influences from different countries are apparent from the design of the porcelain.

Porcelain is made with a clay rich in silicates, called kaolin. When Marco Polo saw porcelain being made in China, he called it porcellana (Italian for a type of white seashell).

During the reign of the Ming emperor, overseas trade was banned and exports of porcelain dropped. Potters from Thailand and Vietnam then started making their own porcelain.

Kendi is a pouring vessel with a spout on the side, without a handle.

Kendi in the shapes of animals were mass-produced. Animals such as elephants, cockerels, phoenixes, and ducks were considered auspicious emblems.

The exhibition text was in English only. Click here to select your Gallery Guides, in English, Chinese Malay or Tamil.

The interactivity level of this exhibition was low but that was fine. If you are interested in porcelain or just want to visit a museum for free, make a trip here!

Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place
Singapore 179555

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Kusu Island

Many things in life don't go according to plan. But as long as we are fine with going with the flow, who knows what we may find? 

Initially, we wanted to go to Lazarus Island. But things didn't go according to plan as there weren't ferries to Lazarus Island during the Kusu Island pilgrimage month. 

We proceeded to Kusu Island then- on a ferry where we were the youngest passengers on a weekday morning. 

For $16, you get a return ticket to Kusu Island. Get to Marina South Pier first and then get to the Singapore Island Cruise booth. Check out the ferry schedule before you leave as well.

It was a 20 minute boat ride to Kusu Island. 

Kusu Island means "Tortoise Island". It is a legend that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors. Every year during the ninth lunar month, devotees will go to Kusu Island.

On the way to the Tua Pek Kong temple.

Besides a temple and a Keramat, you will also get to enjoy some beautiful views- look at how clear the waters are (at least compared to say, East Coast Park)! You can swim, fish, have a picnic (which we did, and it was fantastic) or just have a stroll.

We left the ferry terminal at 10 plus and reached back mainland at around 2 p.m. If you are looking for somewhere where you can still get internet connection yet get away from the bustle of city life, why not make a trip to Kusu Island?