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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pasta de Waraku

Seafood with Wafu Tomato Sauce
This is my second time in Pasta de Waruku. If not for the 30% discount, I wouldn't have gone into the shop. For the Seafood with Wafu Tomato Sauce, I ordered the up-size version as I remembered that the last time, the serving they gave without up-size was too small. Overall, in my opinion, the dish is average. I find that tomato sauce is too cheesy and it makes me feel guilty. Looks like I have to exercise more to burn off the excess fats~ For the seafood they served, I have to say that their prawns are fantastic! They are big, fat and juicy, however, for the squid and oysters, they pale in comparison. The squid is a little bit hard and the oyster, to me is a little bit dry. If without the 30% discount, I would have find that it is not worth the money paid I have paid.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Swenson @ Suntec

Dining at swenson is usually the selection of fish and chips for me. But for this occasion, I decided on a change of choice and ordered the baked spaghetti bolognaise instead to try out its latest addition to their menus. I have no idea how long this dish has been introduced as it has been ages since I last stepped into the restaurant. Certainly, this dish has not disappoint me. With its melted cheese spread over the hot spaghetti mixed with minced beef in tomato sauce, the taste is just heavenly. One reason I prefer tomato sauces over cream as base sauce for baked dishes is that you will not easily get sick of the meal while you are eating it. One regret though, the meatballs are just plain normal. I would have expect more from them since it is the main attraction for the dish. Well, this is one area they can improve on.
One particular service that I find interesting in Swenson is the way they served their cold water. Usually, the restaurant will just give each person a cup of cold water. But for Swenson, they came in 2 empty little cups and a cute little bottle filled full with water. So now, instead of keep calling the waiter to refill your cup, now you can DIY at your own convenience. I find this rather innovative of them. Keep up the good work.
Overall, I had a very wonderful day and feel so blessed~ Thank you *mds* for all the surprises.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Strategic Repositioning

The headline reads:

TORONTO, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE: MDZ), a leading provider of products and services to the global life sciences markets, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its MDS Analytical Technologies business, a leading global supplier of drug discovery and life sciences research tools, to Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) for $650 million in cash, and that it currently intends to return approximately $400 million to $450 million of the sale proceeds to its shareholders. The completion of the sale is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, and other closing conditions.

What a "great" news to start the day. Barely 4 months into my first job, I have a chance to encounter such a situation. Initially shock at the news as it totally come out of the blue, I can only breath a sign of relief that it is not a competitor that acquire us, so there will be minimum restructuring. What will the future holds? I totally have no idea. If the shareholders meeting in October passes this deal, which highly it will as they stand to get lots of dividends back, no matter what, I will just adopt a wait and see attitude. At least, by December, the picture will become clearer... Contract or Perm, lets wait and see...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

A big thank you to the 10 people in this world who still remember my birthday. I thank you for all your well wishes. With that, I have officially lived in this world for a quarter of a century and have passed into the Cat Y band. What achievements have I made so far? Looking back, really, nothing much. Safe for a degree paper, I still have a debt of around $25,000 to clear. Living in Singapore comfortably is a struggle, where the cost of living is considered to be high. Though my ultimate goal seems far, but I will still try my best to reach it, though it is just a tiny step at a time. Fate seems to be toying with me, little did I know another shocking new is awaiting me 1 day after my birthday. More update on my next post, though I doubt you all will know what the news is.....