We bought shoes. We shopped. We sipped coffee. We ate.
Since I’m no longer bogged down by school/business, I’ve had more time to enjoy long meals and try out new places with various people. So I’ve decided to do a monthly update on some of my FOODSCAPADES ;)
Dinner at Wild Oats, Punggol Park
A few months ago, Wild Oats took the premise within Punggol Park where Bliss Café used to be and spruced it up aesthetically. It has a nice chill-out vibe with a pondside deck which I really like so I decided to check it out with my folks one weekday evening.
They attempted to duplicate some of their predecessor’s popular items like the luncheon fries and I heard good things about this lychee beer (but have yet to try it). The rest of the menu did not impress. I could get tastier chicken chop for a better price at the western food stalls at coffee shops.
After our totally forgettable dinner, we decided to chill with some coffee but they did not serve gourmet coffees so we adjourned to the coffee shop opposite for local coffee. How can a restaurant meant for chilling out not serve lattés?
The wait staff were distracted and generally looked irritated if you so much as try to get their attention and this is on a weekday. Be prepared for bad service on weekends.
All in all, food was forgettable, service was slipshod, bring your own chips and coffee if you really need a place to hang out.
I want Bliss back!
Supper at Wild Honey, Mandarin Gallery
Finally got to try the Tunisian (sizzling pan of tomato stew, fried eggs and chorizo sausage) which was sold out during my previous visits. It was, as expected, quite heavenly. L couldn’t have enough of the brioche dripped with sweet, steaming tomato stew.
Dinner at Mad for Garlic, Suntec City
For this month’s dinner with Mike and Yvonne, I picked Mad for Garlic (another restaurant from Korea). Lunched there twice with the colleagues and left impressed so I really wanted to introduce the place to them.
We ordered the Garlicpeno pasta, a Garlic Snowing Pizza and a Garlicholic rice. Garlic overload… but we are at Mad for Garlic :)
They do their rice and pastas better than the pizzas (which are mostly just cheese pizzas) but do try the Garlic Snowing Pizza – it’s fab. Don’t let your orders be affected by the number of chillis on some of the menu items because it won’t be very spicy by Singaporeans’ standards. And if possible, go in a group so you get to share and try everything.
I was never a fan of garlic but this place, I love!
Brunch at The House of Robert Timms, Wheelock Place
Met up with the uni girls for brunch at The House of Robert Timms last Saturday. A part of me wanted to go back for the winking bear in my coffee (hee) but they have changed it to an old-looking bear as you can see from the photo.
Since I’m a new fan of poached eggs, I ordered eggs benny but it was a far cry from the ones I tried at Spruce. The scrambled eggs Alice ordered looked good… actually, everything else looked good. I probably just ordered the wrong thing. It wasn’t bad though, just not as nice as I expected.
We shared desserts – one lemony cake, one molten chocolate cake, one pavlola – and had a nice three hours of catching up before some of us had to scoot to our respective polling stations to vote!
Can you believe it? Marina Bay Sands has been around for, what, two years now but L and myself have never set foot in it! (I did go to the Convention Center for a trade fair but that’s work so it doesn’t count.)
So one Sunday afternoon, we decided to check in for lunch and shopping.
Is it just us or is it really nice driving up the wide, open stretch of road beside The Helix Bridge, leading up to the resort?
Yep, we had lunch at Kraze Burgers, a fast food place across the skating rink. With its superhero comic wallpaper and the fact they they specialise in burgers, we thought it originated from an American burger joint but it turned out to be from Korea.
I had the KB Original (not bad) and L ordered a something which wasn’t a burger but had bacon and eggs (I forgot what it was). Anyway, considering the price, the food was pretty decent and the service was superb.
We chose the place because it was one of the participating restaurants for the UOB dining deal – six hours of free parking. HA. Such cheapos we were, but the six hours gave us lots of time to comb every corner of The Shoppes ;)
We had coffee at Rasapura Masters (the food court) and read a stack of newspapers left behind by previous occupants of the table – don’t judge! – before heading home.
P.S. Must try out one of their Michelin-starred chef restaurants one day.
She’s so kind and magnanimous, so gentle and mild-tempered. She whips up delicious food (when she had better health) which her children and grandchildren still talk about and makes the cutest statements in the most matter-of-fact manner.
That’s L’s maternal grandma.
In a lot of ways, she reminds me of my grandma (whom I still miss so much my heart hurts) and I love her like I do my own grandma.
Two Saturdays ago, we celebrated her birthday with a hearty dinner at Lao Beijing and it was so nice to see her blissfully surrounded by the people who love her and whom she loves.
Josh and Adel held a housewarming for the bunch two Saturdays ago. It was a typical gathering of a bunch noisy, IJ girls who are still really 16-year olds at heart.
We sat around the very nicely-planned dining area, munching on takeaway pizzas and winglets while exchanging the lamest jokes and overdosing on laughter. Josline was very pleased to have company to show off her spanking new pink room to (so cute) and Jaeline was just contented to snooze in her mummy’s arms, ignoring all the commotion around her.
L and I contributed a luscious cake from Awfully Chocolate for the gathering as it was also Adel and Rachel’s birthday (they both share the same birthday).
We’re really growing up, aren’t we? A part of me wishes I can be a kid forever but another part appreciates that growing up means being able to make important decisions and buy big ticket items like a house. Can you imagine? :)
Speaking of, Gi has also moved into her new place and will be organising a housewarming soon! Yay to new hangouts!
A few weeks ago, we added a new member to the bitchy fold ;)
(They used L’s car as the wedding car and we bought 4D that evening but we’re still nowhere close to making it big the lazy way. OH WELL.)
Gi’s the second in our group to get married and I daresay we’re getting good at this gatecrash thing, except that the groom’s party really copped out this time. All the bridesmaids (especially Sammi) took the pains to prepare a brutal concoction only to see them collectively bombed onto the floor! Ergh!
But it was a great wedding and everyone had fun. Rachel thought she could bawl there and then because “we practically saw Gi grow up and it felt like a mother giving a daughter away“. Erm. Emo, as usual.
Well, she had every reason to cry when Sammi forcefully snatched the bouquet off her. She’s now convinced she’ll never get married. (I bet the next wedding in the group will be hers.)
So I received the dresses from Forever 21 last week but despite getting all of them in XS, they were still too big for me. Boo.
It was very anti-climatic and I was quite upset. So I went onto ASOS that same night and bought the same amount of dresses – all from the Petite range to make sure they fit for sure – to replace the disappointing batch.
They have arrived and everything fits! Whee!
On our first weekend in Sydney, we visited the weekend markets (something we didn’t manage to do on our last trip in 2007).
Nestled at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks is one of the earliest settlements in Sydney, rich in history and culture. Every weekend, passionate people set up stalls and showcase their wares at The Rocks Markets – from paintings to postcards, wine holders to pearls and apparel, and a full range of artisan and handmade stuff.
We strolled from stall to stall amid the bustling cobblestone laneways and on one stretch, there were cafés on one side and market stalls on the other – the sight of it makes me happy :)
I bought random knick-knacks for people back home as well as two packs of Photocurators from an inventor. It is a simple device which makes photo mounting easy and hassle-free. After paying up, I asked if I could take a photo of him and his booth and he gladly obliged. LOL.
Lunch was at Pancakes on The Rocks on Metcalfe Arcade. The last time we visited in 2007, it was past dinnertime and there was a long queue. This time, we thought it would be better since it was pretty early in the morning but still we had to queue. Very popular place. Thankfully, seating two persons is always easy so didn’t have to wait long before we were ushered to our table. No surprises what’s on their menu ;)
We explored The Rocks area in search of the hotel we would be staying in on our second leg in the city. It didn’t really matter to me if we found it or not, it was fun just going wherever our legs took us in the nice, cool weather, passing by quaint terraces and taking pictures at The Wharf.
We did eventually find the hotel after a long, roundabout walk and got excited about how posh it was (more on that later). Took the railway (that’s the term they use) to Paddy’s Market in Market City where we stayed the rest of the evening.
Paddy’s is very much like what you would see at our pasar malam – a stark contrast from the ‘arty’ stuff sold at The Rocks markets. Good thing is, you can get your souvenirs here at a fraction of the price of souvenir shops elsewhere. And if you’re looking for shirts/sweaters/caps with ‘AUSTRALIA’ or ‘SYDNEY’ blazoned all over, this is the place to go. Being touristy suckers, we ended up with three bags of shopping!
We got back to the hotel early enough to catch a movie showing on cable, get changed and check out the facilities. It was a really cold winter’s night so we went for a nice soak in the jacuzzi and parked for a bit in the sauna after to get some heat into our bodies (after being in the cold all day).
I winded down with some reading while L watched the telly and we had an early night to prepare for our drive to Hunter Valley the next day.
P.S. The matching striped outfits wasn’t planned, btw!
What happiness! There’s not just one but TWO chandeliers in the kitchen! Who said being a housewife can’t be glamorous? ♥
Damage this weekend goes to two pairs of stilettos from Steve Madden. I’ve been looking for a pair of nude heels for the longest time.
It wasn’t easy finding a pair which has the height and is still reasonably comfortable. Tried on a few different styles at the ION outlet while trying to kill time last Saturday so I know it’s of decent comfort and, most importantly, the correct size. After currency conversion and shipping (I’m using vPOST), they’ll still cost a good S$50 less than the retail price per pair :)
For our Blue Mountains visit, we joined a small group day tour which included pick-up and drop-off service so we could just “shut down” and enjoy.
Our first stop was the Sydney Olympic Park which is now vacant. There’s not much to do except to get in a few photos but our guide spiced things up by displaying some boomerang throwing skills in the big, open field. He made it look effortless but I’m quite sure it took a lot of practice.
Next stop was Featherdale Wildlife Park where we got up close and personal with the kangaroos and koalas. It was a lot of fun hand-feeding the greedy kangaroos and getting stamps on my wildlife passport :)
We were supposed to check out Echo Point but it was a really cold and foggy morning so we detoured and stopped by Katoomba Village for lunch.
Had to wolf down our lunch at lightning speed because our order took a very long time to arrive and we had to rejoin the group. Pity cos I would’ve very much liked to explore the village.
Our next stop was one of my favourite stops – Scenic World, a must-see attraction if you do visit Sydney.
Instead of trekking, we took the Scenic Railway 415 meters down into an ancient forest. With an incline of 52 degrees, it is said to be the steepest incline railway in the world.
According to our guide, the forest was a coal mine before and the railway was built to transport the coals. However, as the coals were being transported, the poor workers from the mines had to haul themselves a long way up. Some of these workers then decided to pay to be transported and soon, the mine owners found it more profitable to transport their workers and it became a full-fledged passenger train…
Here’s a video of the Scenic Railway ride. The voices you hear are of the Chinese tourists seated next to us.
Once down in the forest, we walked a short 400 meters along the forest, taking in the wonderful sights of nature and the incredible fresh scent of eucalyptus. I tried to take as many deep breaths as I could cos the air was sooo light and fresh!
A little info nugget: The Scenic Walkway had to be built around the vegetation because no trees were allowed to be axed. I’m glad the forest is so protected :)
To get back up, we took the Scenic Cableway. It is said to be the steepest aerial cable car in Australia and and looks quite scary hanging precariously from a thin cable but for some reason, once inside, you’d actually feel quite safe.
During its ascent, we saw stunning views of the Jamison Valley and more of the Three Sisters.
What a sight to behold :)
We did more bushwalking at Cahills Lookout. Ten minutes into the walk, we came out to a little clearing where we got to view from atop, the Narrow Neck, Boars Head Rock and Megalong Valley.
And I finally got to explore a village – Leura Village. I love how peaceful it is and how the quaint little shops and cafés line the streets. I felt like I dived right into an Enid Blyton storybook. There was a candy store, bakery and even a Teapot Museum!
Our last stop was a short visit at Wentworth
Falls Lake where we took in more sights of nature and got in some photos with our guide and the tour bus.
The sun had set by the time we got back to the city. We walked from Circular Quay (where we disembarked) to Darling Harbour and had dinner at I’m Angus Steakhouse along Cockle Bay Wharf.
It was, hands down, one of the best meals I had during the trip. We shared chilli bread, a scallop entrée and filet mignon, and cleaned out every last drop of gravy (as you can see from the photos). We went again on our second last day to try other items on their menu. Utterly satisfying.
That pretty much sums up our productive day at the Blue Mountains.
So the OCD in me spent the last hour and a half copying and pasting entries from my LiveJournal. I’m doing it manually because I don’t think I can handle deleting hundreds of repeated entries and comments if the importing tool goes crazy on me (like it did before). I still need my hair for my appointment this Saturday.
Speaking of which, I really need to decide what to do with my hair soon. Should I just trim or go chin-length? Should I straighten or perm? I’m very inclined towards the idea of short hair but I would look so kiddish nobody at work would take me seriously. What do you think?
Anyway, I’m going to wake L up to go for a jog now.
Will try to do up another post on Sydney later!
Step out in the polished style of Chanel with this Rare Reissue Pink Crocodile 2.55 Handbag. Glistening pink crocodile shapes the exterior of this classic rectangular bag. Gold chain top handles are woven with coordinating pink leather. Top flap with spindle closure reveals another flap closure, which opens to reveal a pink leather lined interior with three pockets.
This lovely thing costs US$18,950 and would be a totally irrational purchase but it is SOOOO PRETTY!
Well, a girl can dream.
The weeks pass by so quickly I don’t even remember what I did anymore. I had meant to post this entry at the end of July but LiveJournal was down and – surprise, surprise – the first week of August has passed. Guess I’ll just plonk pictures…
For Radio’s 75th anniversary, MediaCorp threw a gala dinner at Capella, Sentosa with an interesting show line-up, the highlight of which was the stunning voices of Il Volo, a trio of Italian pop-opera teenage singers.
As usual, it was a star-studded evening with radio DJs, producers and management in attendance.
My whole team turned up and we had a really good time mingling with the radio personalities and sipping on bubbly.
We had a blast of a time chilling out with Pei Fen, her manager and “Aunty Lucy”, laughing till tears rolled from our cheeks. It was a fabulous night.
The only downside was that it was work as usual for all of us the next morning, plus a hangover. Not fun.