Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Unfolding January's folder



I'm not gonna do a great rewind entry like last year so I'll have to be more consistent in updating photo entries from now on. I reckon that since I'm forever stuck with editing photos for NYC Day 5, I'll better stop editing the NYC folder and start with 2010.


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The wedding of J & J

First on the January agenda is the wedding of the lovely couple J & J.




It was my first time attending a wedding at the bird park and this is the cutest wedding favour ever!






All the couples at our table



Notice how we like to squeeze the penguins in the most unimaginable places.

I've since named our penguins "The Chi-Lites". It's the name of a band in the 70s but somehow the penguins simply look like they're called "The Chi-Lites"... just like how some people can look at me and exclaim, "You really look like a Jolene."

J & J are vegetarian and the buffet served was vegetarian of course.

J corrected saying that not all the dishes were vegetarian as they had to take their relatives' palate into consideration. Damn! I was marvelling at the texture of the fish being so real.





A touching speech




me with the bride




a group shot




After the wedding luncheon, guests were free to roam the bird park. Kh and I hadn't been to the bird park since primary school and so we decided to tour around a little bit before heading back.







I love the species of parrots at the bottom left corner of the collage. I call them the "strawberries and cream parrots".


Along the way, we bumped into the couple taking some shots around the park.




Presenting the world's most dangerous creature






I got a little too close to the Grey Crowned Crane and when I turned around, my hand gave a swing and went into the bird's way. You can guess what happened after that.



The bird pecked my hand. It was quite painful. There was a burning sensation for awhile replaced by a bruised feeling for the whole day.

After that whenever we walked past any of such Grey Crowned Cranes, we'll go, "Stupid bird!"


Tallest man-made waterfall didn't look very impressive at all. I thought it looked much wider and more majestic back then. Or maybe that was in relation to the size of a primary school kid.




Oh yes! On our way out from home, I spotted the cutest little vespa tied with colourful balloons. I wonder if the vespa was a gift to someone.





Red and white vespa looks oh so vintagey but this is not the classic vintage vespa if you could tell the difference.

I've always dreamed of riding a vintage vespa whether as a pillion or not. My bro-in-law has a vintage vespa but he zhng (modified) his vespa till the seat became a one-sitter so there goes my pillion dream.


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Post Christmas dinner at White Dog Cafe

Note: All photos are taken by my lousy nokia hp camera




kh and I didn't have a xmas dinner coz I was away at NYC last year while the poor boy spent his xmas and new year sleeping away.

We were roaming around Vivocity one Saturday after I knocked off work and decided to have a post xmas dinner that day. Since it was meant to be a xmas dinner, we ruled out hawker centres and food courts. (Actually it was just an excuse to spend a little more on food) We walked past so many restaurants with long queues snaking outside the premises.

Then, we stumbled upon White Dog Cafe. There was no queue outside and almost all the tables were filled inside. We presumed that these were signs indicating that the food must be of a certain standard without the long waiting time. Besides, the restaurant's name sounded interesting and we thought it was worth exploring this place.

After placing our orders, we waited for quite some time.

While waiting, we heard a chef yelling, " Yi ge la la tang!" to another. [Loosely translated: One clam soup]

We thought it was rather comical to refer to clam chowder as "la la tang" coz it made the western soup sound almost oriental.

While waiting, we also heard a chorus of "Hello!" "Welcome!" from the enthusiastic staff for the umpteenth time that I wondered if they truly find it motivational to do that or were they merely following the rules.

Soon, we spotted an empty window seat and requested for a change in seats to the obliging waitress. After that, we nestled onto the couch seats near the window where we could see Sentoa or rather, the construction in progress.

At last the food arrived.



The mushroom soup was fine, like any other mushroom soup with fresh mushrooms finely chopped. [See top left pic]

Greedy kh didn't wanna share the foie gras so we ordered 2 sets. It was a mistake. Judging from the price of the foie gras, I could roughly guess the standard. It was the worst foie gras I've ever tasted. For the first time, I got a little sick of eating it. [See top middle pic]

I forgot what kh ordered for his mains but all I saw was a meagre slab of meat. [See bottom left]I ordered steak sandwiches if I remember correctly. [See bottom middle] The meat was too tough, way over well done when I usually like my steak medium rare. I had a hard time swallowing my mains.

The drinks were so so. [See top right & bottom right]



Overall, this restaurant didn't fare too well on my list. The prices are not justifiable for the quality of food churned out. For food like this, I would rather be eating western food at a hawker centre or food court at a fraction of the price. I don't think I would go back again unless there is some sort of promotion.

I thought that our self declared post xmas dinner was awful but kh insisted I was being a picky eater. Actually, I'm really picky when it comes to food -- all except for home-cooked food coz they're the best!

Yummy level: ** 1/2
Overall satisfaction: ** 1/2

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Exploring L'artisan Bistro & Bar

This eatery is a gem in the heart of the shady Orchard Towers. We all know what's in Orchard Towers right? I read from somewhere that it's known as "the four floors of whores". I wouldn't step into that place by myself at night.

We decided to have dinner at L'artisan Bistro & Bar as we were on our way back from Ling Jewellery. Please don't ask me why we were still at Ling months after our wedding.

I remembered reading very favourable reviews of that place and suggested to kh to venture into Orchard Towers. Curious eyes greeted us as masseuse slinked out from tinted glass doors requesting if we would like "service for two". *rolls eyes*

We hurriedly made our way to L'artisan Bistro & Bar where we were greeted warmly by a staff. There were only two other female patrons there who looked like they were regulars. If I hadn't read about the rave reviews, I would have mistaken this cafe as a sorry little nook on the verge of closing down.

The wait staff knew it was our first time there and asked if we wanted the window seat.

"The window seat is good. You can look at pretty girls... although sometimes we know they are not really girls la huh."

She meant the transvestites, better known as "ah guas" in local tongue. That got us giggling and we instantly warmed up.

The decor is simple -- almost absent. It was much too casual and forgettable. This place must have really focused on the quality of food such that decor is not of utmost importance.

The menu, which resembled a table placemat at seafood restaurants, was difficult to read. Everything was all over the place and there was no picture to aid in our decision-making. Hence, we asked the friendly lady for recommendations.

Here's what we ordered:


Note: All photos are taken by my lousy nokia hp camera and does no justice to the food

From the photos, you can see that presentation of food is not on the top of their priority list. However as cliche as it sounds, "don't judge a book by its cover". In this case don't judge a dish by its presentation.

By the time I write this, I've forgotten the names of the dishes. I'll try my best to review as my memory commits.

The starters was a type of smoked raw fish which was tantalising to the taste buds. Very appetising with a unique texture. [See top left pic]

Our mains of fillet mignon and rib eye in medium rare were succulent and juicy. [See top middle & bottom middle pic]

I like it whenever my "medium rare" arrived as "medium rare" and not "medium well" like what most restaurants do.

I love the berry sauce that came with my mains. The pairing of steak with berry sauce was the first I've come across locally but I presume it's something common in Europe. I casually asked what the sauce was, adding that I love it very much and the next moment, a small sauce dish topped with the berry sauce arrived at the table. Most attentive service I dare say.

The potato and cheese gratin that came with the mains was like any other potato and cheese gratin. [See bottom left pic]

Theresa, the owner of the restaurant, was very friendly and personally attended to us. We didn't feel as if she had interrupted our meal. Rather, we felt like we were dining in her kitchen with her doing her part as a hospitable host by engaging her guests in convesations. She asked for our names and addressed us by our names. While chatting, we disovered that her husband is a German and hence the emphasis on German and European cuisines.

She asked if the food was to our liking and that we had to be very honest so that they could serve us better. We had nothing but praises for the dishes so far. We asked her for some desserts recommendations and we never regretted our choices.

I chose the marinated strawberries with rum/kirsch (and other secret concoction) and vanilla ice cream while kh opted for the hazelnut ice cream topped with kahlua.

One bite into the strawberry and I fell in love with the taste. There wasn't the usual sourish tingly strawberry taste. Instead, I tasted a fresh burst of fruity sweetness and rum which went well with the smooth vanilla ice cream.

The hazelnut ice cream was heavenly too. Since it was homemade, there wasn't any artificial hazelnut taste. You could really chew on the bits of nuts with the full-bodied flavour of hazelnuts-- some caramel roasted and some fresh. Of coz like what most alcohol does, the kahlua made everything better.

I remember Theresa telling me that there's rhubarb in one of the dishes. I forgot if it's the strawberries or the berry sauce. I only remembered I had a hard time guessing what plant that was and I promised I would look it up on the internet.

The food is good. The service is excellent and there is no GST. The only gripe would be the seedy location.

When we were about to make a move, Theresa bade us goodbye like how a host bids her guests goodbye. We promised Theresa that we would definitely return.

Yummy level: ****
Overall satisfaction: **** 1/2


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The little things

This time I unwapped my xmas presents quite early in January after I was back from NYC.



For the past few years I've been leaving my presents (some unwrapped) in whatever paper bags or carriers I brought them home with a few months later. Only when my mum nagged at me to clear the bags off the floor would I start to unwrap them.



"Don't you want to see what's inside?"

"Don't you appreciate people's thoughts?"

Yes, yes, I do appreciate. It's just that sometimes they look a lot more enticing wrapped in pretty wrappers.



This time, it's the hubby who would nag at me coz he always says that our room is full of my rubbish. I think from this year onwards, I'll dutifully open all xmas and Teacher's Day gifts on time.

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This year, I decided to ditch my trusty notebook with only a few pages of lines left and be more organised. I decided to spend a little more on those Japanese organisers with calendar and planner coz I see my frenz using them and they look so cute. Also, it's easier to get organised with their calendar planner and the huge space to jot down notes for each day.





It's cute right? I even find myself jotting down dates when my good frenz are overseas and other dates which doesn't seem to be of importance in my life. But then, I miss out on doodling. The pages are just so cute and even on those pages with lines, they're too colourful to be marred by my random doodles.

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I actually did this post over the span of March till now. There are a lot more important stuff to do than to blog is my perpetual excuse to all and even to myself.

I promise I will do my best in updating more frequently so do look out for February's photo story updates coz I'm more or less done with the collaging and editing.

5 comments:

  1. the photo of you in the bird cage is so kawaii :))

    ReplyDelete
  2. the fooood looks delicious!
    i think the best way to be organised it have something like a cute diary or notebook to motivate u ! i lv all that stuff its gorgeouss x

    ReplyDelete
  3. citrella,

    Me is dangerwous cweature. Me is no kawaii. *LoLz*

    ReplyDelete
  4. heartofpearl,

    I agree on th motivation part. I often find myself jotting down stuff in the gorgeous notebook.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Copied & pasted from tagboard for remembrance:

    17 May 10, 07:47
    joyce: eh...not all the food was vegetarian to please my relatives...hahaha

    19 May 10, 12:48
    Jo to joyce: Oopsy! Changes made! I was still marvelling at how good the texture of the fish was! LoLz

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    ReplyDelete

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