Saturday, September 30, 2006

September, I turn 26

Although the highlight of birthday was the dinner at MOF (see ealier post),
how can I forget to introduce the presents from my Royal Highness.
Getting presents for me had always been a difficult task for many who knows me. I will play mind games with them such that they will not get me the things I like, because I am one who likes to get enjoyment through scouting for the best deal and paying for my own purchase.
Weird, some might say, but that is me!

I have to sincerely congratulate my Royal Highness for her efforts to break through my multiple mind games and got me something that I have always wanted to get but contemplated.

Kingston 2GB Elite Pro Secure Digital (SD) Card.
I had always wanted to get it for my palm, but I felt that it wasn't necessary and should be contended with my Transcend 1GB 75x. That is also the reason I contemplated.
She managed to find the best deal and I am damn proud of it, since I am one who will get upset if she didn't get the best deal. That's why makes getting gifts for me a bitch-task.

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Timberland Laptop Messenger Bag
I had earlier guessed a bag, but I definitely did not expect a laptop messenger bag.
The design is great and I loved it. The material is also very sturdy. Me, being a fussy shopper, am definitely contended by this bag. It was bought without the knowledge that it is a laptop bag. It only occured to the both of us when we saw the compartments and the tag.

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My only concern is that the front flap is secured using 2 pairs of magnets. I thought harddisks should be kept far away from magnets and this happens to be a laptop bag.

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These are the best presents that I have received this year.
Will I be expecting more?
We shall see.

Ministry of Food (MOF), My Izakaya

After a tiring September, it ends with a birthday clelebration for myself.
I have always liked to make this celebration a small one with someone close, and that has got to be my Royal Highness.
Wicked! I am missing out on all the fun!
I don't really want to do anything too special and just want to window shop.
So stop asking me what I did on my birthday!!
But if there is something for me to talk about this day, it will definitely have to be the dinner that I had.

Dinner at Ministry of Food

We visited the Ministry of Food (MOF). They are also called My Izakaya.
MOF is located in the central area of Marina Square Shopping Centre. To easily give you directions to the restaurant, it is located on the ground floor, 2 levels below the food court, located among the few restaurants where Secret Recipe is. You will not be able to spot it without walking past Secret Recipe. The location is quite secluded, but the food is definitely a must try!
The rates are reasonable with basic bentos priced around S$12, deluxe bento sets at around S$18 and executive sets at around S$22. The desserts are about S$7 average. For a complete menu listing, please visit their website. I am doing so many free promotion and review for them is because they provide good service and good food at good prices. Note that they do have a standard 10% service charge and 5% GST charge.
Two Thumbs Up!

We did not order any starters and jumped into entree immediately. We each ordered deluxe bento sets and for every set, add a S$3 to get any dessert priced at S$6.90. All sets comes with a free coffee or tea. There is a cover charge of S$1 for each cup of green tea that is free flow. They were having a promotion for UOB card holders having 10% discount, which means that the service charge is waived.

Chicken Katsu Toji Set

I had the Chicken Katsu Toji Deluxe Bento Set. It came with a miso soup, pickles, japanese white rice, chicken katsu in egg gravy and 3 fried chicken pieces.
The miso soup is very good, unlike other places where the miso soup are usually diluted. The fried chicken pieces are crispy and juicy. They taste great when dipped with the unique japanese mayonnaise. The chicken katsu (chicken cutlet) is well fried, such that the skin is crispy and the juice of the meat is all retained. The katsu is served on a shallow hot plate among a bed of egg gravy, among which is layered with fresh white onions. I have always loved Oyako don (also termed 'Parent-&-Child' rice) as well as curry katsu don. I can say that this is a combo that let me taste both my favourites except without the curry.

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Sukiyaki Beef Set

My Royal Highness ordered the Sukiyaki Beef Deluxe Bento Set, since she had wanted something soupy and she can get to play with her food. This set comes in a 'mini-steamboat' style where the stock is heated over refillable solid fuel. You can then cook your fresh beef flakes over the boiling stock. The soup have a lot of goodies in it. It has got golden mushrooms, shitake mushroom, carrots, cabbage and tofu. Most interestingly, the soup tasted midly sweet rather than just salty. The flavour of the soup is very rich. I am surprised that MOF does not use any MSG! The reason why she enjoyed it is that she even get to beat her own egg into the soup.

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Dessert: Macha Imo

The Macha Imo is their feature soft-serve ice cream with a green tea syrup served together with 2 japanese sweet potato dumplings. The potato dumplings are served hot and is supposed to be eat together with the soft serve, such that you get a hot and cold feeling simultaneously. There are other syrups to go along with the soft serve with sweet potato dumplings.

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Dessert: Inaka

This is actually a hot dessert. It is a thick red bean soup with 2 pieces of fried mochi. Along with it, is a saucer with something that looked like sauteed seaweed. I sampled each and the taste were the extremes. The red bean soup is a very sweet dessert while the seaweed is very salty. I felt that the sweetness was too overpowering that soon I got sick of it. However, when I took a strand of the seaweed after a spoonful of the dessert, the sweetness was killed off instantaneously. It then dawned on me that I should add the sauteed seaweed into the red bean soup and each them together, which my Royal Highness initially pointed out.

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Currently, students who present their student passes, get 30% off desserts only. The lastest promotion flyer is shown below. MOF will be having their press conference this week and get their name known to the mass media. Furthermore, do your bid for Ren Ci Hospital. For this period, MOF is donating 50% of their profits to Ren Ci Hospital. Those with a sweet tooth and those who love japanese cuisine must definitely try MOF. It will only get crowded soon, so do not wait, visit MOF today!

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Rant-&-Rave Channel







September, She turns 26

October is here and September has already ended in the blink of an eye.

September is always the most busy month of the year, because in September is when I will have to crack my brain, churn the brain juices and plan the celebration of very important dates.
Nope, it is not about the IMP and World Bank visit to Singapore during this month.

The Importance of September

In every year, there will be a few days where my 'Royal Highness' will be older than me and falls within the month of September every year.
We are turning 26 this year, and in September, she (Royal Highness) will be 26 first while I will still be classified 25, only for that mere few days!
Nevertheless, during the very important day when my Royal Highness celebrates her birthday, I will always make sure that it is a eventful and unforgetable one, so that for the rest of the year, she will spare my little peasant life from her tyranny!!

The Planning

For a week before the big day, I have been in a very depressed state. I could not focus well as my mind has been trying to think of what will be the best gift for my Royal Highness. This secret mission can only be undertaken during after office hours, when I do not have my running regime and when I do not have to meet her. Hence, I have to make sure that I make full use of my time. I had considered a watch, a dress, bling-bling, a wallet, a Nintendo DS Lite and even a spa treatment. However, they were all not suitable. I had not wanted to get some too cheap and make this seem insincere. I have presented watches before and getting a watch again will make it seem like 'hell, I got no time to shop, just get a bloody watch and f*** it!'. I also saw a dress which looked rather fine, however, unless I can guess her dimensions accurately, I don't wish to take the rish that she will have to return to change due to size mismatch. Jewelleries are out too, since I know what she needs and what she had. She just don't require anymore bling bling. She loves her self-bought vintage LV classic wallet, I doubt I can get her something better, furthermore, she had it for years and nothing beats the sentiments. I have seen girls tapping on the screens of a Nintendo DS Lite, and thought that some video games will get her in the groove. She might just support my decision of getting consoles. However, I realized that I had that idea mainly because I wanted to play it too, so out-the-window goes the DS Lite. 'Hey! A special spa treatment will be great!', but I recalled how she detest those pushy staff trying to get her to sign 'Contracts-of-Eternal-Bondage'. I am back to square one.

Conclusion: LOEWE

In the end, I decided that the final straw will be 'this'. And 'this' is what I have promised to get for her, many moons ago. 'This' will cost more than everything that I have thought of earlier. 'This', I am sure will leave her speechless and contended. The only reason that I have avoided 'this' is because of the price.
'Damn it! I am definitely ready for this!' I am ready for Loewe.
I have done my homework properly, I visited the boutique and looked around.
The classic suede design which I find the best-looking, was no longer available.
The new calf leather Amazona with embossed logo was horrible as well.
The sheep-skin catalog looks fine, but the price was not right for me.
Then, this couple came in, gave me a 'this-guy-can't-afford-it' look and the girl was trying out the Chivas handbag. She claimed that she like it and asked the price.
She thinked twice and decided to consider.
'That is just a bloody lame excuse that everyone including myself will use!'
But all thanks to her, I get to know the price of that Chivas bag is not too bad.
After a little examination, I swiftly ask the sales lady to bag it!
It is magical!
I could feel the wind, even buy holding the paper bag and walking on the warm weekday night.
Her Royal Highness got her present earlier and got to enjoy the 'wind' during her special day.

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Although she really was quite mad that I splurged on it, but I insisted that a lady definitely got to get herself a decent bag. Do away with the big designer brands that are becoming common and 'friendly'. This Loewe Chivas is a medium sized handbag made of excellent quality calf leather. This natural colour is also the best form of the leather and doesn't make it look like a synthetic. I could really feel the strength and quality of the leather at first touch. Most importantly, this design is also a rare and is a variation of the more common Chivas series. I am really very contended by this purchase and my money is well spent.

Roses and Lilies

On the actual day, my Royal Highness took leave to relax herself at a face spa. I secretly sent a bouquet of her favourite roses and lilies and it was there waiting to surprise her.

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A Fine Dinner at IndoChine

I had earlier visited IndoChine along Clark Quay, thanks to Paul, my company's scientific director. The food there was excellent and the ambience was perfect. It left a really good impression in me. Hence, I decided that it is my duty to splurge on good food and good ambience on this particularly special day.

We visited the IndoChine at Asian Civilisation Museum and enjoyed a real good dinner al fresco style. Good food, good wine, good music and good ambience! We toasted this fantastic evening to fine Columbian Chardonnay. I already had in mind, to have their fantastic seabass. But we ordered red meat in the end. We had chargrilled baby octopus for starters.
The taste of this dish came mainly from the stock. The stock had a tangy taste and I believe is due to generous serving of fresh garlic and lemon juice. The rest of the taste came from their unique blend of herbs and spices.

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My Royal Highness had Beef Ragoût. The taste wasn't too fantastic tough it was nice.
The chargrilled beef stuffed together with asparagus and egg plant is grilled to the right texture and most of the moisture is being retained. It is neither too burnt or too raw. A light sauce with a mild sweet honey taste was drizzled over the ragoût to complete this dish, giving it a slightly different taste instead of just grilled meat.
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I, personally, had ordered the Bo Dop Dalat or beef stew.
This stew lookslike beef rendang, but trust me, the taste is far better than beef rendang. The beef is stewed until the meat is all soft and tender. This makes tearing up the huge chunks of beef hassle-free. I believe that the base of this stew is tomato with a blend of herbs making it moderately spicy, midly sweet and yet not too sour. It was the sweetness of the tomato and enhanced my appetite. I definitely had not expected the taste to be so unique when I first saw the dish. The beef chunks are completely soaked with the stew and the meat had already absorbed all the flavour of the stew, such that even without dipping into the sauce, I could taste the stew ooze out from the meat at every bite.

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The presents were great, the food was excellent and most importantly, the both of us really enjoyed ourselves.
This is the kind of pleasure that I am very willing to provide to make my Royal Highness a very happy woman, on her very special day.
I definitely deserve giving myself a pat on the back!

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

IOC S2005

International Olympic Committee or IOC held their meeting in Singapore 2005.
It was a major event for our small little dot and so we decided to make it a big show for the world to see.
The result = London 2012
What are you views about this event or even video?
Feel free to comment.



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YouTube: Food in Toa Payoh

lookin' for something good to eat at Toa Payoh?
Check out these recommendations that are worth the queue.



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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Botak Jones 3rd Bout - Clementi

Yes, call me a food scout or even a 'greedy pig',
because I have visited Botak Jones again.
Since my first visit at the AMK outlet, I visited it again 2 days later.
Today, I made my 3rd visit 3 days from the 2nd visit, except that this time is the Clementi outlet.

My colleague had been bugging me to bring her to Botak Jones, ever since I introduced her to them. She was quite a huge eater herself, despite her small and thin physique. We have had the intention to pay the new Clementi outlet a visit last Friday during lunch, but the heavy rain foiled our plans. Since they are closed on Mondays, today is the day!

She was leaping with joy, when we were going to 'BJs' (do not get the wrong idea, it is short for Botak Jones) for lunch today. Another colleague joined us. We took a short train ride to Clementi MRT station along Clementi Road Avenue 5, exited on the right-hand side (not the Clementi central side, but the residential side) and headed for Block 325.

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Here we are! Look at my colleague, already ahead of me. Someone with such thin arms, don't really seem like she can take the same portion of food as me and more!

Ths stall is situated in a 'Kopitiam' coffee shop. The stall front was the familiar slogan and signages. This outlet was strangely managed by an indian man and a malay man, to my surprise, since they serve non-halal food. Nevertheless, the point is that they serve 'damn good food at a damn good price!'.

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Missus in the picture is a member running the outlet.

The all so familiar chalkboard menu catalogs every item that they have. Even the 'extended slogan' is also the same as the AMK outlet's, 'If you don't look good, we don't look good by Vidal Sassoon. If you don't look good, we really don't care by Botak Jones'. They are closed on every Monday lah, so do not get yourself disappointed by visiting everyday!

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Tried 'You-Crazy-What', 'Cajun Chicken plate', 'Whoopass Cheesy Fries' and 'Swanky Franky'. What should I try today?

The standard issue sauces and cutlery were the same except that at the AMK outlet, they selectively give out HP Sauce (aka brown sauce or Worcester Sauce), while at the Clementi outlet, they issue out Malt Vinegar as standard issue.

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I wonder what it is to be used for or taken with?

We decided to play smart by ordering a variety to try instead of all having Botak Burger. I decided to give the hotdogs a second shot and ordered Hot & Spicy Pork Bratwurst set- $6.50. The price is damn good and so is the food. The set comes with a sausage in bun, spicy fries, salad and heaps of onion. I was initially quite disappointed by the size compared to the Swanky Franky. But after considering the price, difference and taste, I give no damn about it. The bratwurst's taste reminded me a lot of beef jerky. The stuffing is perfectly tender, char-grilled to the right texture and taste damn solid!

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I just love heaps of bawang!

My 'forever-hungry' colleague decided that she must try the Botak Burger or she will regret it. I recommended her the single patty Botak Burger set with cheese - $6.50, in case she cannot finish her share. In fact, I was wrong!! At the end of the lunch, she felt that she could have a 'Double-Botak' burger only with no sweat. She have my salute!

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She loves it. Even after this meal, she continued to give me the hysterically contended and happy look, suggestive that she is full.

The other colleague that joined us, ordered The 'Fish' Burger set - S$6. I had a taste of the breaded dory cutlet, it tasted excellent! The dory tasted uniquely sweet with a mild taste of salt. The bread crumbs coated skin was fried to a right level until golden brown, such that the minute I set them on my tongue, they 'crunched' at every bite. The fish also had a tasty tartar-like sauce over it. The 'Fish' burger and the Fish & Chips are actually the same, except that the burger had the buns!

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I am definitely gonna try the Fish and Chips next!!

When will the next visit be? I have had Botak Jones for three times within 7 days. Will I ever grow sick of it? After today, I am one step closer to have sampled everything on their menu. What are you waiting for!? Get your lazy sloppy ass over to any of their outlets and try their Damn Good Food at a Damn Good Price!

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