Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

Synopsis: In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, "Sherlock Holmes" sends Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his stalwart partner Watson (Jude Law) on their latest challenge. Revealing fighting skills as lethal as his legendary intellect, Holmes will battle as never before to bring down a new nemesis and unravel a deadly plot that could destroy the country. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
Robert Downery Jr. just gets better and better! So charming was him in this latest film that I just simply cannot wait for the release of Iron Man 2!! Full of intellect, nothing seems to be able to escape the eyes and brain of Sherlock Holmes. Faced with the new evil nemesis, everything can be explained away just by using the Holmes's 5 senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste! Be awe by the director portrayal of Holmes, the charm of Robert Downery Jr. and of course the exciting fighting scenes of Watson and Holmes.
Rate: 7.5/10

Monday, December 28, 2009

MOF @ Marina Square

How long ago was it since I last step into MOF? Probably not in a year's time. My impression of Japanese food was expensive, bad dessert and probably their best dish would be their salmon, bento and ramen, and that depends on the chef who was preparing it. So far, only the remen from Ramen Ten have my thumbs up for it. MOF certainly fits into my description above, only this time round, I tried their toji, which was pathetic in quantity and average in quality.
Before jumping into the food review, I must say that they surprise me with this exquisite brew of green tea the Japanese way. I could appreciate it if the tea they served was a bit thicker but that was not so big of a fuss. The fatal mistake they made was squeezing us into this little room such that there was little or no space for the waiter / waitress to maneuver. So what this meant was that nobody will bother to come in to serve us unless we go out to catch hold of them! Is this the quality of service that they are taught to give? Food for thought.
For their seafood toji, please do not be fool by the picture above. It sure looks a lot right? Well, truth be told, the whole plate is only 2cm deep, so you get the picture, pathetic in quantity but average in quality. The only issue I have with the dish was their calm. Although I counted 6 shells, but I can only find 3 of the calm bodies. What happens to the rest? Looks like I just have to stick to their bento in the future.
Rate: 5.5/10
The year is soon coming to an end. What will the next year hold? Will I accomplish all my goals? The Christmas lighting for this year looks good. Let us just indulge in this festive mood at the moment....

Friday, December 25, 2009

Seafood Ramen @ Ajisen

A dish hailing from Hokkaido, this seafood ramen is just distinctly average. Some miso soup, add in half an egg, some crab meat (that disintegrate easily), some sotong that is hard to chew and lots of bean sprouts, this does not really justify the price to pay for this dish. Ajisen Ramen still has a long way to go before they can match their rival, Ramen Ten.
Rate: 5/10

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bodyguards And Assassins

Synopsis: "Bodyguards And Assassins" concerns efforts by a group of martial artists to protect Dr. Sun Yat-sen who is popularly referred as the Father of Modern China, from an assassination attempt while visiting Hong Kong to raise funds at the beginning of the 20th century. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
I admit, the fighting scene are quite awesome to watch, but that does not mean that the audience had to endure 90 minutes of pure dialogue and boring event preparation leading to Dr Sun arrival. I almost fall asleep watching the first 90 minutes, seeing ordinary people going about their daily activities, which does not really link to the main theme of the movie. A great cast, but the direction and plot lets the whole movie down. Watch this movie if you have really nothing to do for the day.
Rate: 6/10

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Storm Warriors

Synopsis: Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok is reprising their roles as Wind and Cloud respectively in the comic-adapted "The Storm Warriors", the sequel to the ever popular "The Storm Riders" 11 years ago. Evil Japanese warlord, Lord Godless (Simon Yam) is intent on conquering China. In an effort to succeed, he imprisons all of the Chinese martial artists and attempts to make them subjugate. Amongst the prisoners are Cloud (Aaron Kwok) and the martial arts elder statesman, Nameless (Kenny Ho). Thankfully, Wind (Ekin Cheng) comes to the rescue, but all three are badly wounded during the battle to escape. Chu Chu (Tang Yan) also shows up and takes a direct strike from Lord Godless when she jumps in to save Cloud. The remaining martial artists sacrifice their lives to save the trio as they believe they are the only hope to beat Lord Godless and save the country.
This is a typical example where the success of the first series does not guarantee the success of its follow up. No doubt that the graphics are quite awesome, however, the movie is too fast pace such that the audience get lost while the movie zap between the scenes. The "open" ending, though I am not sure if there is an ending at all piles further negative reviews for the storm warriors. Watching this movie is highly unrecommended as there are better alternatives on the market.
Rate: 5/10

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Couples Retreat

Synopsis:Four Midwestern couples embark on a journey to a tropical island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three is sucked into the resort's couples therapy. They soon discover that participation in the resorts couples therapy is not optional. Suddenly, their group-rate vacation comes at a price. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
Watching this movie just makes me wonder, how do we maintain the passion and love a couple have for each other years down the road? With the onslaught of commitments: houses, cars, bills, job, we may be too caught up with this materialistic world to meet all expectations that we just sometimes take the other part for granted. Pretty interesting to look at the couples on screen facing all the problems that they never want to talk about to each other, that sometimes the solution is perhaps the most basic foundation in humanity: Communication, Care and Love..
Rate: 6.5/10
Ps: Did I tell you that Xiaxue's BF proposed to her in the very cinema that I and *mds* were in?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unexpected Win

Thanks Nuffnang for the movie tickets! =) Let me share with everyone my winning entry!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Eatzi Steakhouse & Bistro @ Safra Yishun

Jack's Place, the once premium steak eating restaurant, has ditch its high class outfit to roll out economy affordable set lunch. From one of its branches under the brand name "Eatzi Steakhouse & Bistro", perhaps this is a way to survive this ruthless working world where the strongest survives. Comparing the price now (@$9.80++), complete with a drink and a dessert, the package is indeed attractive to consumer. Went with my boss (his treat) to Eatzi Steakhouse & Bistro @ Safra Yishun for lunch on 07/12/09 (Tue). Having so much feast lately, I am indeed getting fat!!
NZ Sirloin Steak with Brown Sauce
The first thing you see on the plate when it arrived is their fried egg plant. I guarantee you that they are indeed sweet and tasty! Freshly fried out of the oil, the egg plant is hot, hard and complete with a crispy overall. You simply cannot get enough of them! The steak, however, pale in comparison. They are just average, not to hard, not too soft, and definitely not as juicy as I remembered the last time round when they are still the high class restaurant. I guess for the price you pay, you cannot expect too much huh? =)
For the dessert, the pumpkin pie is served. They sure let my eyes light up for the meal! They are yummy, with a crispy exterior and a not too sweet pumpkin interior. Overall, quite satisfied with the dining experience but I think there is still room for improvement for their customer service. Not too good when we have to wait for a long time and resort to constantly ask them when our dishes are arriving. =)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Happy Flight

Synopsis: Japan's feel-good maestro Shinobu Yaguchi ("Waterboys" & "Swing Girls") aims high and comes in for a safe landing with "Happy Flight," a succulently played ensembler centred on an accident-prone journey from Tokyo to Honolulu - first when the on-board computer malfunctions a couple hours into the flight, and when a typhoon threatens Tokyo after the plane turns back. The story develops in a perfect concoction of tension-comedy faced by the cabin crew and passengers. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
What do you get when you have air stewardess and co-pilot on their maiden flight? Well, you will have a whole lot of mistakes that will get you laughing off your seat! Besides the comedy part, the director in fact did a very good job in portraying the whole airline industry. You will get a sneak peek into their everyday job from the maintenance of the aircraft, to the air control tower, to the weather forecaster, to the backroom check-in team and even to the bird man! Have a feel of some of the stress that comes with the air stewardess and the pilot job. An OK movie to watch if you have some time to kill.
Rate: 6.5/10

Friday, December 04, 2009

4th Year Anniversary

4 year on, time really flies. I have since graduated from NUS, found a job which thankfully was something related to my discipline. I am quite glad with the nature of my job currently, but minus the pay of course, they are seriously underpaying me! Someone has said to me before: Go where your skill is honoured in the company, and your life will be easier. Easier to be said than done, but for the work that I am doing currently, they are really not the top concern because we are not the one rolling in the $. Well, there is still greener pasture elsewhere right? Since the start of another year is just around the corner, lets have some new year resolution:

1) Land on a permanent job.
2) Hopefully I can make it for a M.Sc
3) Hopefully I can get a good number.

Some statistic:
Page Count: 35430 +5519
Year on Year increase: -5150 -48.27%

Thursday, December 03, 2009

My journey with Nuffnang

When did it all started? If my memory did not fail me, I recall that some 2 years ago, I noticed some strange icon (with the word Nuffnang) started appearing on most of my friends’ blog while blogging are considered the “in” thing at that point in time. Don’t get me wrong, they are still popular now, but for my age group, the interest has kind of wane down due to our work commitments.
Out of curiosity, I decided to click on the link to check the website out. Well, at first I was kind of skeptical regarding the mode of operation. Earn passive revenue by showing advertisements on your blogs? The more views that the advertisement has, the more revenue you will earn? Come on, most of them are closed down within 1 years and even those who are sustainable, their payout was so little that it may take years before I can receive any money at all! I can say that though this idea wasn’t fresh (USA and Europe websites has tons of them – you get paid by clicking on the advertisement links) but this is definitely a first in Singapore. In addition, the company, Nuffnang is headquartered in Singapore! Well, that kind of boost my confidence up a bit but still, can I earn enough to reach their payout of $50? Nevertheless, not wanting to condemn a company without giving it a chance to prove itself, I decided to sign up an account with it since it is FOC anyway. Even if it does fail, I won't lose anything at all, will I? =p Ever since, I must say that Nuffnang hasn't disappoint me one bit at all.
After becoming a member for 18 days, I finally got a new campaign from an advertiser. For the details, it can be seen here. I have watched this company grow from an infant into an adult. In 2008, to further enhance its position in the market and to stuff out competition, Nuffnang roll out the Nuffnang Glitterati program. It was a good strategic move as it force bloggers to choose sides and reward them for their loyalty to the company. To further reward and increase the avenue at which their members can earn their income, Nuffnang rolls out the LR (Large Rectangle) and LB (leaderBoard) Ad units, which was in addition to the SS (SkyScraper) already available.
With the success of the company (shown by increasing number of people signing up), more events began to come our way, some of which include free movie tickets to be won. I am proud to be able to participate and win in one of the events with the evidence in the photo below:

Watching the premier of Chronicle of Narnia - Prince Caspian with my gf~ Thanks Nuffnang

Though the user traffic to my blog is not always very high, but after 1 year since joining, I am able to do a cash out of $49.18! Well done Nuffnang! You really did not disappoint me~ May you continue to strive on and achieve new heights in the world!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ninja Assassin

Synopsis: Raizo (Rain) is one of the deadliest assassins in the world. Taken from the streets as a child, he was transformed into a trained killer by the Ozunu Clan, a secret society whose very existence is considered a myth. Haunted by the execution of his friend by the Clan, Raizo breaks free from them and prepares to exact his revenge. In Berlin, Europol agent Mika Coretti (Naomie Harris) has stumbled upon a money trail linking several political murders to an underground network of untraceable assassins from the Far East. Mika digs into top-secret agency files to learn the truth behind the murders. Her investigation makes her a target, and the Ozunu Clan sends a team of killers, led by the lethal Takeshi (Rick Yune) to silence her forever. Raizo saves Mika from her attackers and must now trust each other to survive and bring down the elusive Ozunu Clan.[Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
What does it reminds you when you see blood spilling like water, human body parts flying all over in slow motion and human head being blown in halves? A scene from Kill Bill? Perhaps, that's the "Hollywood" version of martial arts, but it sure does not goes well with me. I find the whole show extremely meaningless, lacking in plot, which the director hopes to make it up by filming the most sadistic way that a human can die under a ninja weapon. Enough said, please give this show a skip if you can, unless you want to be there to look at Rain extremely toned body muscles. =p
Rate: 3.5/10

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Seafood International Market & Restaurant

Year end is always a time for holidays and feasting. First it was Sakura (colleague treating), then it was Sakura again (company event), and now, it is time to try out something for a change. Welcome to the Seafood International Market & Restaurant located just next to Big Splash in the East Coast. This is most probably the best deal of the buffets that I have ever had in Singapore. Only available for lunch and cost at most $30 per person, you get to enjoy steaming hot dishes cooked by chefs personally and wait for them to serve to your table! The dishes available are not those normal type that you can get anywhere else. Think about abalone and shark fins (for real)! You get my drift, sounds unbelievable right!

The entrance to the shop and the food reviews below:

Braised mini Whole Abalone with Oyster Sauce
Where in Singapore can you eat an abalone in a buffet? The abalone was chewy, definitely fresh and mix it together with the sauce on your dish...Heavenly!
Braised Shark Fin Soup with Crab Meat
This shark fin soup quality is as good as those that you get in the wedding banquet. The thickness of the soup was just nice, and with the additional vinegar and pepper that you add to your discretion, you will definitely finish the whole bowl in a flash! Not to mention that the serving that you get here is about twice the serving you get in those wedding banquet... =)
Steamed Tilapia with Nonya Sauce
This is a new dish on their menu and I must say that I don't quite really like the sauce. I have no issue with the tilapia, they were steamed perfectly, with their meat retaining most of the fish essence, soft and chewy, but with the sour and spicy (well it is not as hot as it seems) Nonya sauce, it did not quite go down well with me.
Drunken Prawn with Herbal soup
This dish is definitely a must try! Firstly, the prawn is as big as what you are seeing in the picture above. After peeling off their shell, make sure you get a scoop of their solid herbal soup, dump your prawn in your spoon and send it all into your mouth! Extremely Solid dish!
Fried Sakura Chicken with Tri-Sauce in Stone Pot
Though this dish looks nice and is a chef recommendation on the menu, but at my recommendation, you can give this a skip. Most of the chicken that they use here are chicken breast meat and I think that they have over-cooked it in the stone pot. The chicken meat that I managed to dish out were quite hard in nature with the exception of perhaps the chicken drumstick. Further more, after downing a few pieces of chicken, you can get quite sick of their tri-sauce. Not a good choice to try.
Prawn with Green Salad
If you are looking for something light (or appetizer), you can give this dish a try. Steamed prawn with assorted fruits and salad sauce, the combination actually can give your tongue quite a tingle and open your appetite for more delicious dishes later on in the meal.
Overall, though some of their dishes are not as good, but at the rate which I have paid for this meal, I will give this restaurant buffet a high recommendation any other time. Sadly, the cost of the drink that you order are on a separate bill. For their dessert bar, you can give it a skip as well as normally, there will be throngs of people swarming at the counter to get their desserts. Typical Singaporean.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tampines kakis

Singapore is really a small world. What are the odds that you find 2 friends working in the same area, end work around the same time and live in the same area? Not really that high right? I was quite surprised when I chance upon Patryce and Perry while waiting at the interchange for 168 about 1 month back. After that, it was regular coordination to go home together, though somebody somehow or rather will be late...hmm. =p
Last Friday, at Patryce suggestion, we went to the Thai Express in Tampines 1 to have our dinner before catching 2012. Don't really know why she likes the green curry there so much, but I must say that they are really spicy (It basically just numbs your whole tongue and makes your stomach extremely hot after eating).
Poor Perry still waiting for his dinner to arrive...
Kaeng Khiew Wan Talay (seafood Green Curry)
Apart from its extreme spiciness, I find that there was nothing great about this dish. Why do I say that? Well, after the curry succeeded in numbing my whole tongue, basically, I cannot taste anything else at all. So, what kind of food was entering my mouth? I do not know. What I can only think of was to finish the meal and get me some ice cold water to drink to dissipate the heat! For the ingredients wise, the eggplant that they use was hard and tasted uncook to me. The fish slices that they put into the curry was of the low quality type as they were full of fishy smell. Where are the prawns and sotong? I certainly did not find any of these in my "seafood" green curry. Maybe there is a reason why the curry is so spicy in the first place! To stop customer from finding fault by diverting their attention to "operation saving tongue" =p Certainly, the dish was not worth the price to pay for the meal. But.... I must still thank Patryce for treating me, in exchange for the movie ticket of course.
Rate: 3/10
Synopsis: Over the decades, many have prophesised that the world will end when the ancient Mayan calendar ceases on 21 December 2012. But before that occurs, the human race is bound to face natural disasters such as massive volcano eruptions, typhoons and other natural calamities. An academic researcher opens a portal into a parallel universe and makes contact with his double in order to prevent an apocalypse predicted by the ancient Mayans. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
Extremely great computer graphic effects, though they can be too overwhelming at times. The previous statement basically summaries the whole 157mins of the movie. The plot is the typical Hollywood type, where the main character braves all odds and survives the disaster to end with a happy ending. Apart from this, the movie gives you an insight of what Earth will be like when the end of its life is near (some great volcano fireworks, large pieces of land masses sinking into the sea, the continents torn apart...etc). So politicians, if you wants to avoid the scenario depicted here, you all better come up with something in the Copenhagen Summit next month!
Rate: 7/10

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Raging Phoenix

Synopsis: Deu (JeeJa Yanin), a girl with equally high degree of recklessness and beauty has never experienced 'true love'. One day her life changes completely when some gangsters try to kidnap her and she narrowly escapes with the help of Sanim, a sad looking stranger with a painful past. Waking up in an abandoned factory, she joins his gang of merry do-gooders who practice a form of drunken Thai break-dancing martial arts that they dub Meyraiyuth. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
For those Ong Bak lovers or those who like seeing raw intense fighting, this might just be the movie for you! Simply awe at how far the limits of human body can go. The plot at the start can get pretty confusing, but the audience will be able to catch on as the movie runs its course. The fighting choreography (generally speaking) is quite good but at certain parts of the movie scene, I still find the fights laggy. For the overall storyline, I would say that the director is quite creative. All the kidnaps done were not held for ransom, but instead, they are linked to a perfume making process! Don't find the link? Well, you will know when you watch the movie!
Rate: 3/5
To live and eat like a king! A fruitful day spent with *mds*=)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Blue Mansion

Synopsis: The Blue Mansion is a quirky murder mystery about a wealthy Asian tycoon who dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances. He returns as a ghost to try to uncover the secret of his death with the help of his family and the police. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
Finally, some great movie from the local movie industry and not the usual sarcastic comedy dominated by the Liang family. Despite the un-catching movie title, its plot and the supporting casts more than make up for this little disadvantage. As the movie slowly unwraps itself, the audience are treated to several darkest secrets that each member in the family hold behind the wealthy facade. How did the tycoon die? The movie presents to the audience several options which are all highly possible, and the answer (a surprise) will be revealed at the very end. Through suspense intermix with a few span of comedy, I must say the director has done a very good job. If only the local industry can produce more movies that are of this quality.
Rate: 3.75/5
Yay! *mds* had a happy day! All the hard work is worth it~ =)

Prince Taiwan Porridge

Just how different can the food from Taiwan be, when compared to Singapore? I admit that after tasting the dishes from this restaurant, I left with good memories of the former. There are several unique choices available on the shop menu that you probably have never seen before in Singapore, some of which includes Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seed, Steamed Minced Pork with Egg Yolk, Braised Chicken with Rice Wine, etc. For the other choices left, they are mostly localized dishes that you can find in most of the "zi cha" stalls all over Singapore. First impression of the shop when I arrived is that it is very traditional, plain and simple, which, unlike some of the other shops nearby, are decorated with bright lights enticing eaters to patronize their shop. Once you are comfortably settled in, food menu are promptly served and they await you (and gives recommendations of course) to take your orders. There is one thing that amaze me though in this restaurant is the speed at which they served their food. Either their chef is too skillful, or their food is already pre-cooked, but serving all the dishes we ordered in less than 10 minutes seems really an unattainable feat to me. Now for the reviews:

Fried Taman Fish with Sesame Seed
Deep fried to a crispy state, mixed with special in-house sweet sauce, this dish is a must try. Feel the smoked fish flavor as you chomp it between your teeth, suck the fish juice dry and finally ending with a gulp down your throat. Simply fantastic!

Steam Minced Pork with Egg Yolk
When the dish is first served, the outlook of it looks pretty sinful as the whole ball of minced pork is sitting right in the middle of a pool of oil and seasoning! Throwing away all thoughts of the extra calories and kilos that you are probably going to get, I personally feel that the minced pork is a bit on the salty side, but nonetheless a good dish if you eat it together with the rice served as they form a pretty good combination.

Fried Kang Kong with Sambal
This dish should be familiar to everyone here in Singapore. A pity that the one served in this restaurant are still not that Sambal to me, lacking a bit in the hotness, salt, and the shrimp flavor. You can give this a skip first to try other better dish on their menu.
Chinese Dough with Cuttlefish Paste
Freshly fried to a crispy exterior with a soft and munchy interior, this dish is a must try! Mixed it together with the sauce served (while the dough are still piping hot) can really send you rocketing sky high as you savour the tasteful cuttlefish dough.

Though not all the dishes served here are of excellent grade, but the restaurant is still a good one for a cozy group gathering. Prices wise are reasonable as they range from $6-$8 a dish. There is no service charge imposed on the bill, but one thing to note: Better bring your own drinks here as the one served in this restaurant are pretty expensive (Around $2 for a bottle of water chestnut/barley). For me, I think I can settle with my own plain water in my bottle. =p

Friday, October 30, 2009

A big Thank you

Among the mundane life in the office, what really makes your day is your fellow colleagues around you. And for today, I want to say a big thank you to him for treating us to a Sakura International Buffet. Yes, thank you once again, your kindness will always be remembered.
Lunch for today was settled at SAKURA International Buffet Restaurant at the Admiralty Park Branch. A pity that I did not bring my camera along, so there are no pictures to show for this entry. *oops* To give a rough review of the food in this restaurant buffet, I will be breaking down the entry into a few sections below:
Japanese Sushi Section
The sushi served are those cheap and average kind that you can get for $0.50 a piece on the market, so there is nothing great about them. For their raw fish section, I only tried their salmon and cheese oyster. For the salmon, the chef is either unskilled or it is not his day today. The salmon slices are so fat such that they are almost 5mm in thickness! In addition, the salmon slices are unevenly cut and I certainty don't enjoy myself eating them. For their cheese oyster, they attempted a weird combination of cheese with tomato pasta sauce. The oyster are neither soft nor freshly baked. After just trying 1 piece, I practically left this whole section alone for the rest of the meal.
Grill Section
All is not lost for this Sakura restaurant yet. I tried 2 dishes in this section, namely the grilled squid and the grilled unagi. The unagi seems to be the choice of everyone here as it always have quite a queue on the stand and the eaters are right. Freshly grilled, the unagi is soft and flavourful, and it keeps you highly addicted to the dish till you finish the whole slice of unagi up. However, I would not say the same of the grilled squid. It is still quite raw as the squid feels soft and rubbery when eaten. I certainly do not enjoyed myself eating a piece of rubber.
Pizza Section
Japanese with American pizzas? No....Give this section a skip!
Hot Plate Section
This is the first time that I have seen them setting up a hotplate section, so I decided to give the chicken teriyaki a try. Mixed with seasoning, onions and mushroom, this dish is not too good, but not too bad either. The chicken pieces after leaving them to sizzle on the hotplate came out quite tough, but they are still acceptable when eaten with all the side ingredients on the dish.
Chinese dimsum Section
Give this section a skip, they do not know how a proper siew mai should be made.
Dessert Section
This section is probably the saviour of the whole place. Their ice cream are simply fantastic! Try the coffee, orange, chocolate and mango flavor, you will simply love it. They have also set up a mochi mini section. The red bean flavor is not bad, but you can give the green tea and black sesame flavor a skip.
Overall, quite a good time spent there chatting over a meal.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seah Street Deli for Serene 22

A little sense of Deja Vu as I entered this beautifully decorated restaurant. Have I came here before? Nevertheless, the little gathering on Sunday was meant to be a early surprise for Serene as she is turning 22. I have notice that people has changed, for BC, he has grown hair on his once clean shaven head and he looked more fierce than before, while for me, I think I need to get a hair cut real soon.
Seah Street Deli is an American western restaurant trying to portray the American culture where all the food served are typically twice the serving of what you usually get locally. With a nice decoration, and soothing music coming out of the jukebox in one corner, you can get yourself settle in pretty fast.

Texas Burger
Unable to resist the temptation of a 250g beef patty doubled up with BBQ Smoked Bacon, I decided to go ahead and give this burger from "Texas" a try. The serving came with a generous (and I mean generous, they think that the potatoes are free) serving of fries. The size of the burger initially gives me a shock as it is easily about 15cm tall in height and about 150% of the diameter compared to McDonald's Big Mac burger!
Overall, the burger was pretty average. Their sauces and side ingredients did manage to whip up a good taste and eating sensation for the burger, but, I find that the main focus of the dish (250g beef patty) was a letdown. The patty cooked was a bit too dry and this caused me not to fully enjoy eating my whole burger. If you tell me is it worth the price to pay for the burger, my answer would be a straight No. Nevertheless, this restaurant did managed to provide a good ambiance and atmosphere for a group to gather and catch up over a meal.
It really feels good to see everyone of you again after such a long time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paris 36

Synopsis: In the spring of 1936, Paris is in a state of uncertainty while the rise of the Third Reich in Germany worries many. A leftist union-oriented candidate, Leon Blum, has been voted into power and organised labour is feeling its new power by standing up to the management. While such matters normally seem unimportant to Germain Pigoil, who runs a small vaudeville house in the Faubourg district, the chaos of the city seems to be impacting his life and his work - his wife, Viviane has run off with her lover, she demands custody of their son, Jojo, and unscrupulous local entrepreneur Galapiat threatens to put Germain's theater out of business. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
If you have love watching Moulin Rouge, then you will most probably fall in love with this Paris 36. The movie opens the viewers to the world of the french culture and I am indeed surprised that the French can have such nice songs. Based on the hard times in Paris 1936, the movie has given each individual actors ample time to develop their character on screen, be it with romance, each own beliefs and thoughts, or their desire and determination to bring their theatre back to its glamorous past; these wonderful cast have truly delivered. Wonderful musical, coupled with good direction totally blows me away. A five star recommendation, so just sit back, relax and enjoy the french musical.
Rate: 5/5

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Ugly Truth

Synopsis: A romantically-challenged morning show producer (Katherine Heigl) is embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result. Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
Sometimes, truth are indeed ugly. A great film for all couples and single, as the film makes them re-think again what make the opposite sex ticks. You may agree or disagree with some of the points the movie presented, but overall, you cannot deny that you will walk out the cinema with an increase in knowledge about the other sex. A great direction by the film makers to present the points in such a comical and light-hearted way. So...what exactly makes you love the other one? =)
Rate: 4/5

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Price to Pay

Everything in this world has a price to pay, and it seems like a cheap deal is really "cheap" for a reason. As my other colleague is not around today to lunch with me, and with me getting sick of all the hawker food around my workplace, I decided to head in and try the much advertised Pizza Hut new pasta additions. After looking around the menu on offer for their $6.90 set lunch, I finally decided on the Chicken Neapolitan as it has the most unique combinations (Spaghetti with roasted chicken and button mushrooms in tangy Neapolitan sauce) as compared with the other three available.
As I comfortably set down to flip my newspaper, my soup of the day (chicken cream soup) and drink were quickly served. In my opinion, the chicken cream soup was just average, tasting like the kind where you can get from the Campbell can soup, with the exception that they add in fresh chicken meat chunks. After quickly finishing the soup, while waiting eagerly for the arrival of my pasta, little did I know that the staffs has something up their sleeves. They have decided to keep me waiting and starving for another 45 horrible minutes, without even bothering to tell me why is my order taking so long!!! This is totally unacceptable, when in fact, the whole restaurant is less than half full at any point in time. Worse of all, customers who were after me got their orders first, and this totally wipe off any impression I had of this Pizza Hut Woodland branch.
Coming to my order of the Chicken Neapolitan, I admit that it does have its unique favour and style. Unlike those conventional tomato paste, the chef has decided to add in a bit of honey to bring in a little sweetness to tingle with your taste buds. The mushroom served are fresh and chewy, while their chicken shreds gives off a strong roasted taste. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the meal and of course the price. But if not for their below-par service, I would have give this a high recommendation. Seriously, keeping me waiting without any explanation for 45 minutes is totally unacceptable!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Appreciation Dinner @ Swensen

This appreciation dinner for the committee members really came as a total surprise. For their hard work throughout the year, we were treated to a dinner at Swensen. Breaking new ground, this was a first, according to the old bird in the company, and I hope that this tradition will still continue even after the change of command on october 20. =p
As we get to choose our own main course, I decided on the Beef Stroganoff Baked Rice for 3 reasons below:
  1. I am sick and tired of the popular Fish and Chips from Swensen.
  2. From my experience, the steaks they offer are small in portion and not filling, plus they are not that good tasting anyway.
  3. The Beef Stroganoff are the latest addition on their menu and from the pictures, they look appealing. =p (ok, this sounds that I am forced to choose this as I am left with no other choice)

Well, to be truthful, the beef itself are good. They have almost everything you wish for: soft and tender, juicy, and with each chew, there is a faint stint of BBQ taste. The let down for this dish, in my opinion, lies in their baked rice. The cheese they put was plentiful, and I have no issue with that, but serving just plain white rice under the cheese, I think they could do better. The least they could do is to put some seasoning to the rice to make them smoother, and one suggestion from me could be black pepper (idea copied from NYDC). =)

Filling not very satisfied, and since there is still cash to spare in the budget, the organizer decided to order the Swensen Earthquake to share for each table. This must be the best invention by Swensen thus far and I simply love their earthquake. Be it fulfilling to your taste bud (ice-cream) or visual (seeing the dry ice flowing out of the container like a volcano erupting), they have it all. With the excellent blending of their caramel and sticky chocolate syrup, together with the nice, tasty and smooth ice-cream, eating it can really send your emotion sky high!

This is what you get the moment the Earthquake is laid onto the table~ =p

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Time Traveller's Wife

Synopsis: Based on Audrey Niffenegger's best-selling novel "The Time Traveler's Wife", it tells the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble (Eric Bana), a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams), an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap. [Source: Yahoo! Singapore Movies]
How would you feel if you can see the future: how well you will be doing, what are the Toto winning numbers, who is the lucky girl that will be the One in your life, or even... how you are going to die? It can be really scary, waiting for something to happen that you know you can't avoid or do anything to stop it. This is really a sad romantic film that tells the story of Henry, who is suffering from some gene defects that allows him to travel through different time, witnessing events that will be significant in his life. Though it can be quite funny at times, for example the girl marrying a future Henry that is some 10 years older because the present Henry has gone "time travelling", but knowing and witnessing your death, and waiting for that time to arrive, can be quite devastating. A good film with a great plot that explore the character development to the fullest.
Rate: 4/5

Saturday, October 03, 2009

MDS First (and last) Inaugural D & D 2009

This is so ironical. We are here supposing to celebrate my company very first D&D, thanking all the employees for their whole year of hard work, but at the back of my mind, I could not help but think that this is going to be our very first, and at the same time our very last D&D. Come October 20, when the acquisition has been given the green light by the shareholders, MDS AT will officially go into history (uncertainty for me again).Thank you for the recreation committee for all their hard work in organizing this event at Shangari-la. It has been a fun filled night, really. The MC was pretty funny and kept the atmosphere lively. The down side would probably be the food. The dishes served were just average, while their fried rice were simply disastrous.
A photo of my "supposedly" table before being whisked away to join the RC table
Ans show casing about 60% of our top management.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Into the Wild CP2 - Poison Ivy

Having seen enough of goats, with good weather permitting, we set off towards our next destination (Poison Ivy) on foot. It was a long journey, possibly having walk for almost an hour since we last turn into Neo Tiew Road from Lim Chu Kang Road. If not for the good weather, I think we would have already dehydrated halfway and surrender to the gruesome mid afternoon heat. =p The first sight that greeted us when we arrived was this eco-friendly vibrant shop sign located right beside the road. Handmade and painted from recycled wood, it further reinforce the "back to nature" concept of the shop. Hungry from our long trek, we were quickly shown to our seat by the friendly shop staffs.

Lemon grass drink were indeed "lemon grass". Interestingly, the shop added in a piece of real lemongrass to the drink, reinforcing the idea that what you get is all straight from the nature, with no preservative added. For the ice lemon tea though, I think it would be more appropriate if they change the name of the drink on the menu to ice lime tea instead. Substituting lemon for lime, the drink initially tasted like ice lemon tea. However, once the ice started to melt, the drink tasted more and more like ice lime water.

Warrior Chicken Curry
With a generous portion of chicken, the curry is cooked together with a variety of herbs and curry leaves. Not too spicy for those people who can't stand the heat, this dish is a steal if the portion given can be larger to be shared among 5 people.
Rendang Chicken
Though the presentation of this dish initially is not very attractive and appetizing, however, do not judged a dish just by its appearance alone. Surprisingly, this is one of the best main courses that our group ordered. With a good blending of spices and herbs that made up the gravy, this dish can really stirs up your appetite. Each individual mouthful taken just kept you wanting for more. A must try for this shop and a good run for your money paid.

Four in One
Consisting of handmade Banana Bread, Kueh Bingka, Kueh Kosui and Jackfruit Cake, this is a definitely must try. Initially served piping hot, you will be amazed at the softness of the kueh served. This is definitely one of the best kueh I have ever eaten in my entire life. For the Jackfruit cake, it is served with a generous amount of jackfruit in the cake. Coupled with the strong jackfruit aroma once you chewed it in you mouth, it just left you breathless. The only weak link among the four is the Kueh Kosui. I find it too soft and not starchy enough. If the kueh Kosui can be harder, this dish will be perfect.

After lunch activities was a stroll around the farm plots behind the Poison Ivy, where they showcase sustainable farming. Every dish (greenery wise) served was straight out from their produce, where no industrial fertilizers was used. Organic fertilizers that the plants needed were obtained from their compost such as the one from the picture above.

A fruitful trip back to nature indeed.

Into the Wilds CP1 - Goat Farm

Many thanks to the organizers for this trip to the off beaten tracks of Singapore, letting us enjoy the natural greenery along the way and get in close with nature. Since graduating from NUS 3 months ago, the ESE class of 2009 bonding still remains strong judging from the high turnout rate for this event throughout the day. Though some of us cannot make it for the whole day, but we still try our best to make it and join in the fun to the best we can. Waking up early at 630am to travel all the way to CCK Mrt Station can be quite unattractive (for an easterner like me), not to mention that it is followed by a torturing 1 hour (estimated) journey to our destination as shown by the bus guide below. Luckily for us, there are not much passengers at the bus-stops after the bus left the CCK town boundary, thus we are spared the long journey to Lim Chu Kang. Having the length of the journey cut by half, and with much help from the cool weather, the short trip to the Hay Dairies Goat Farm is relaxing indeed.
With some luck, our timely arrival coincide with the milking session of the goats, where we get to see how goat milk are extracted to be bottled for our human consumption. Well, I really pitied the goats where they have to get their nipples "suck" everyday by machines and some of us wondered if the process is painful to the goats =p
After we have seen enough of the milking session, the group proceed on a mini tour around the farm. Due to the recent H1N1 issues, visitors are no longer allowed to get into close proximity with the goats, so activities such as goat feeding and goat patting are now off the shelves. Due to the unbearable stench coming from the goat dungs around the farm, we quickly exited the tour and went to the counter to get some goat milk to drink.
To minimise the unique "goatty" smell, I ordered the chocolate version of the milk bought at $2 for a 200ml bottle. The milk, to me taste pretty diluted and the chocolaty favor is lacking. Given a choice, I think I would not have bought the goat milk again from this farm, unless they start giving me better quality milk. Overall, it was still a good unique experience, nontheless.