Sunday, May 30, 2010

I spent my birthday burning a hole in my hubby's pocket

My hubby brought me to Iggy's for dinner on my actual birthday. As usual, I would always claim the birthday leave given by the company and simply not work on that day.

Flipping through the food section of 8 Days magazine one fine day, I saw that Iggy's rose 17 notches up from last year's 45th spot to reach 28th this year on the S Pellegrino world's 50 best restaurants. This is the highest ever position attained by a Singapore restaurant.

Up on our once-in-a-blue-moon fine dining list are:
1. Iggy's (28th spot in 2010,0 45th spot in 2009)
2. Les Amis (78th spot in 2010, 60th spot in 2009)
3. Jaan par Andre (39th spot in 2010)
4. Tetsuya Japanese Restaurant

Between Iggy's and Les Amis, Kh decided on Iggy's coz that greedy boy saw that the former serves a 9-course dinner priced at $195 per head while the latter, a 4-course dinner for $200.

It was also decided the night before that he would bring me out to shop for my present and watch Shrek 4 before dinner.


[Picture credit: weheartit]

I was pleasantly surprised as he is not one who likes to shop and one who seldom buys me gifts. The words "go shopping for present" are like heavenly harp melody to my ears.


[Picture credit: weheartit]


I don't complain as I seldom buy him gifts too. I think he's making more effort to surprise me in recent times. *smiles foolishly to self* Or it could be because I've started buying him gifts too.



[Picture credit: weheartit]


I spent my whole birthday sleeping in and catching up on all the lost sleep over the weeks that we had no time to shop. I had a slight headache but refused to down any painkillers. We wound up eating instant noodles at home and having tea break at Old Town White Coffee @ Cineleisure before catching Shrek in 3D.




The movie was fine. I didn't exactly like the 3D effect. It was just layers and layers of images. I prefer those kinda 3D effect where objects would pop out or float out from the screen magically.

I love Shrek 1 the most. As much as I like traditional fairy tales, I always have a thing for twisted fairy tales and spoofs of movies. Shrek 2 was good coz of the introduction of Puss in Boots. Shrek 3 was forgettable. Shrek 4 lacked the same comic element and wit as the 1st but it was a perfect ending to wrap up the whole Shrek series. A definite must watch for those who have watched all 3 installments. A can-miss for those who haven't.

After the movie, we had some time before heading to Iggy's at Regent Hotel so we shopped for a while and restrained ourselves from snacking as we were getting a little hungry. My headache persisted throughout the day and I wondered if I would be able to enjoy myself during dinner.


At Iggy's...


[Picture credit: Google]

When we were seated, the menu in the form of a small piece of paper was placed in front of us. Looking at the title, the menu seems to change monthly based on seasonal ingredients. We were asked if we had any allergies or preferences. Not knowing half of the ingredients seen on the menu, we said we were fine with everything.


What's on the gastronomic menu for the month of May




I like my water sparkling.




Appetizer



The appetizer wasn't displayed on the menu. I LOVE the seaweed cracker to bits. The light seaweed taste and the crisp texture left me craving for more. And those are not quite your usual dumplings in the dim sum "basket".


Sashimi -- hamachi, hanahojiso, poultry





Both of us love the sashimi a lot. I'm one who have to douse my sashimi with lots of soya sauce and wasabi. Without wasabi, I wondered if I could handle the sashimi. The wonderful pairing of a little salt and oil give so much flavour to the sashimi. It taste so much better than the pairing of soya sauce and wasabi.

Bread was served together with the first course. The olive oil with Iggy's special blends taste perfect with the bread.


Wagyu -- nanohana, cauliflower, haricot de mer, navet



This has got to be our favourite! The cauliflower shavings together with the mustard and all the other garnishes blended perfectly with the raw wagyu. We were craving for raw wagyu the next few days after the dinner.


Shirako - coriando, konbu, curry



We asked the waiter what exactly shirako was and he replied that it was the reproductive organ of the cod fish. Sounds like a huge turn off right? No, the taste was really unique. Reminds me of when I first ate foie gras.

Scooping and eating foam was a little weird and we wondered if we were supposed to scoop the foam aside or to eat it. The foam had a hint of curry taste so I should think the foam was meant to be eaten, revealing the shirako.

Upon googling "shirako", I realised that what the waiter said was a milder version of what it really was. It is cod milt, in other words the seminal fluid of cod. You say eewww? I would too if I hadn't tried it. You have to try it. It's really good but I would think it may be a dish of acquired taste.


red snapper -- leek, fennel, tarragon



We've always loved sashimi and by this dish, we were well-prepared for Iggy's perfect blending of ingredients which makes their dishes tantalizing to the taste buds.


Lobster -- fennel, tomato, basil, Grand Marnier



From the lobster dish onwards, my description may not be very accurate as by then my headache had gotten worse and I was feeling a little nauseous. I'll include kh's reviews as well.

The lobster claw was sweet and succulent. The portion of pasta was small like all other dishes but due to my slight nausea, I almost could not finish it. Kh thought it was delicious.


chicken --foie gras, spinach, olive, truffle



After the lobster pasta, I took a glance at the menu and saw that there was foie gras. I told kh I could not wait for the next dish and it would probably be my favourite.

How wrong I was. The foie gras was stuffed in the chicken. I am never a fan of bland chicken meat and the foie gras stuffed in it did not have the same springy on the outside, rich and velvety on the inside quality that I always crave for in foie gras. I could not finish the chicken and kh was glad to finish them for me. I did not like the truffle too. I preferred the way the truffle was prepared at Au Petit Salut. I love the spinach though. As much as I'm canivorous, I love my greens too.


Elements of flowers



Upon serving, I asked the waiter what kind of flowers were there in the dish. I could not really catch what he was saying but he said something about how we had to slowly savour the different tastes of the various flowers. After that he sprinkled something which he termed as "candy" onto the dish and advised us to eat it while the candy lasted. The candy reminded us of a childhood "pop pop" candy where it would crackle and sizzle upon contact with moisture.

I like this refreshing sweetness and piquant blends of the various flowers. Who would have thought flowers tasted so good? I thought it was a great way to conclude the dinner. Kh and I wondered why it wasn't placed as the last dish.


Peanut -- Granny Smith, celery



I wasn't looking forward to this dish as I HATE celery. However, I felt I should just give it a try as I thought to myself that celery might just taste yummy in a fine dining restaurant. After picking morsels of the dish, I confirmed that no amount of sweet peanut and tangy granny smith could mask the pungent taste of celery.


Marshmallow cubes with frozen yoghurt shavings



This isn't on the menu. Love the frozen yoghurt shavings! Marshmallows are usually sweet on its own or eaten with sweet toppings such as chocolate fondue or fruits. Hence, the unique blend of sweet marshmallows and refreshing sour yoghurt was a welcoming change.


Birthday cupcake complimentary from Iggy's






This is what I call wining and dining



BTW their Iggy's Pinot Noir is good.


Outside Iggy's






The "hole" in the kh's pocket






I was expecting this to be our most expensive meal to date since we've ordered wine as well. However, The Cliff is still our most expensive meal.


Overall view: ****
The portions for each dish was small and we often wished for more sashimi or wagyu but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. All in all, it was a satisfying meal and a truly gastronomc experience. I love the exquisite presentation of each dish. Most of all, I love the unique almagation of tastes and textures which melded perfectly to tantalize the tastebuds.

Food: **** 1/2
I liked all the dishes except the chicken and foie gras as well as the celery and peanut dish. From the lobster dish onwards, I was not really at my optimum eating mode and my headache and nausea could have affected my mood and review. I personally would rank The Cliff as top of my list. Kh however thought that Iggy's was the best fine dining meal we've had so far. He assertd that being able to enjoy the dishes despite my headache and nausea proved that it is the best.

Ambience: *** 1/2
I find the decor on the simple side. We did not sit at the bar but in a room which gave me the feeling of a private room and also the feeling of claustrophobia.

Service: *** 1/2
The service was good. However, it was inclined towards the professional side instead of the warm and affable side which I very much prefer.

Price: ****
You can't really put a price tag for the fine art of merging different flavours to a harmonious effect.

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Some shots of us...





He always does silly poses at split seconds of my unflashed and flashed mode.




Outfit of the day



Silk & azlon tube dress from Banana Republic; shoes from nue; LV eva clutch


cutesy princessy earrings and ribbon ring from Green Petals




The Eiffel Tower earrings are part of my birthday gift from viv




ribbon around the finger



Tying a ribbon around one's finger is supposed to serve as a reminder to something... to what?


charmed by Thomas Sabo...



This time I hooked all five charms onto the bracelet. I realised that there's the Eiffel Tower again! I remember Tiff said she would wish for me to sit by those sidewalk cafe in Paris, sip cocktail and enjoy life's every moment. Hence she chose the Eiffel Tower and cocktail charms.


colour illuminate in hazel



A complimentary pair from an old friend as mentioned on a past blog entry. I like how coloured contacts accentuate the iris. This hazel colour is a little too subtle and only visible with flash photography. I would prefer a more distinct brown.


Being my off day the next day, we went shopping in the evening. I still had no idea what I wanted. I could only think of the Tiffany heart tag choker.




We went into Tiffany and I tried that on. I like it quite a lot but kh said it's too similar to the necklace he bought me a few years back.



Me tinks he's blind and me thinks the sales attendant thinks he's blind too. The choker is chunky and is of a different style from the small and dainty necklace. Just when I was about to tell kh this, the SA articulated my thoughts out with a huge grin on his face. Kh reognised the male SA who served us as the same one who attended to him when he bought my proposal ring. Kh had a good impression of him then. I dunno about now. LoLz

"You've already got Tiffany necklace and Tiffany ring, why you still want another Tiffany?"

I also dunno why I want another Tiffany. I just happen to like that choker. With no more ideas on what to get, I suggested to look for a new wallet for kh. It was supposed to be my xmas present to him coz his wallet was in a really bad shape. Its leather skin was peeling off in pieces and it was a sorry sight.

It's already 5 months past xmas and I haven't gotten him any coz he was very picky about wallets. Cannot be too thick and bulky. Cannot have coin compartment. Cannot have extra flap to put more cards. Cannot have overly protruding metal plates or his back pocket would end up with a hole. Cannot be too wide etc. Haiyo... so many restrictions, so difficult to buy for him.

We decided to check out Ferragamo UOB closed door sale and I was so glad that they carried a much wider range of wallets for men. The choices at Prada, LV, Gucci were so limited and kh thought they weren't worth the hefty price tag.

The wallets at Ferragamo were at 30% off and UOB members could get an additional 10% off all mechandise. Kh soon found one which matched all his criteria.




We started looking at other stuff and I almost died from asphyxiation when I saw discounts up to 55% off.

"There's a further 10% off the discounted price when you pay by UOB card!" sang out the SA and that line kept ringing in my head.

"I feel like buying something leh. No, I MUST buy something. The sale is just too good."

Kh didn't even mock faint at my remark, something he usually does whenever he hears the words "buy" and any designer label's names he could recognise. This was a cue that he won't be nagging at me that day for buying labels.

We tried on watches and I tried on shoes and bags. I finally decided on a simple black leather bag which would match a lot of my outfits. Even after discount, it was $985. I knew the amount was too large to ask for my birthday gift. Moreover, kh doesn't believe in paying for my designer labels. To my utmost surprise, he said he would sponsor half the price. After that he changed his mind and told me that he would double this up as an anniversary present as well.

I was so happy that I kept on asking "Really?" for the umpteenth time. I also quizzed him on why he doesnt wanna buy me the Tiffany choker which is about $400 less than the bag and he said, "This one is $985 from $2190 leh!"

[Aside: Not to forget a further 10% off $985.]

Wow! I could almost hear myself in him. Have I changed my frugal and don't-believe-in-splurging-on-designer-labels tailtail? *LoLz*






Signing off,
Jo is a happie happie bimbo gal


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P/S:
Do you like my new template?

I do!

Hope I didnt scare you readers with the changes in templates these few days. I've finally decided on this ligneous template. I love the wide white backround for the posts juxtaposed with faded black ligneous borders and black flower motifs. The pink for the tabs, titles and links on the sidebar complements the whole look. I hope you readers out there like this template coz I reckon my regular readers would see my blog more often than I do and I want something pleasing to the eye.

There are some kinks though. My extreme tracker could not track anymore but it's ok. It's tracking doesn't even tally with my statscounter since I missed the upgrade period. I left it there due to sentimental reasons. It's a sign to get rid of it. That said, I'm a little sad though as it was with me since 2004.

Lastly, thanx to cuzzie nadine for helping me with css with no complaints at all. I owe you a treat! =)

I've got really nice cousins.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blog template under construction

The Dandy Dandilion template which I was beginning to grow fond of has no date stamp.

=(

Try as I might to change the setting, the date just wouldn't display. Isn't having a date stamp one of the most basic a blog teplate should encompass?

Now I've to switch to a blogger default template while searching for the perfect template with white background for the main post area. Maybe I would stick around with this minimalist white template for quite a while.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

tête-à-tête Volume 1

28 minutes ago, the hubby turned to me while playing WOW and exclaimed,

"28 more minutes to you becoming 28!"

My expression ---> -_-|||

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Make up does a whole lot of wonders

A perfect example of someone skilled at making up to transform her whole look would be Elva Hsiao 萧亚轩.

Yes, she created a stir recently by admitting to having gone under the knife. I wasn't surprised as I heard over radio a few years back that she would hope to fulfil her wish of having beautiful eyes for her 30th birthday.


Years ago, Elva looked like this without the aid of make up tools such as tapes and faux lashes.






[I chose this old video of hers as I really love this song "突然想起你" even though it isn't as popular as "最熟悉的陌生人" or "cappuccino".]


Her strong vocals, sleek dance moves and humble personality shot her to stardom and she had to do something about her appearance. Not like she was ugly or anything but she had to look more beautiful for the public. Over the same news on radio, it was stated that Elva spent 2 hours every day dolling up her eyes with layers of fake lashes and heavy eye make up to look like this:






Changed her eyes and she altered her whole appearance.

"Photoshop!" some exclaimed. You won't photoshop someone's face in a music video right? It would require immense effort to do a movie magic for someones's face in an MV.


This video shows the pre surgery Elva and look how gorgeous she was just by having great make up skills!




For my international readers, do you find Elva familiar? There is an older song "You Make Me Wanna" in which Elva collaborated with BLUE. Pardon the cheesy mv, look at her great make up.




I don't have any idols in particular but I do like Elva for her songs, personality and the fact that she could look so pretty without cosmetic enhancements unlike her other famous Taiwanese counterparts.


Elva post surgery





Really gorgeous and now she needn't even waste 2 hours just on make up. I know many people who slam aesthetic enhancements but if it gives one the confidence and saves one the hassle of spending too much time on make up, why not?


Her latest album



Just like a doll!

~

Since I'm on the topic of how make up does a whole lot of wonders, I have to find more visual examples to prove my point.


Can this girl



and this girl



be the same person???


They are indeed the same person. Hard to believe eh? You might even think this is only possible by PS (plastic surgery/ photoshop skills) but no, it's purely make up.

Look at the step by step pictorial transformation on this blog:
yutaki's blog

With make up skills like this, who needs PS (plastic surgery/ photoshop skills)?

~

If you're still sceptical by the step by step pictorial, watch these live videos taken from a Taiwanese variety show. I would never ever point an accusing finger at anyone denying PS after watching such videos. Make up beauties rock!

變臉美女

xiao ju and xi duo part 1


xiao ju and xi duo part 2


xiao la and kitty


Excuse me now while I go hone my make up skills.

~*~*~*~

I hope I didn't give anyone a scare by changing my blog outlook. My frenz and long time readers would know that my blog had always remained the same since 2004.

I've finally changed my blog template thanx to my beloved cuzzie! I've been wanting to do something to this blog like upgrade to new blogger and also change to a white background template for the longest time ever!

I hope this new look pleases your eyes. Though this is not like the most beautiful white background template around, the colour and layout is beginning to grow on me and ooh... I love the new features!

Shout out to my cuzzie barnabas once again.

THANK YOU!!!

I owe you a treat.

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Updated on 28th May, 2:24am

The dates for each entry can't be displayed no matter how I set it. What a major flaw in this template. How can blog postings not have any dates??? *grumbles endlessly while switching to the blogger default template*

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