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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Birthday 2015 In Summary

For someone who is always late in updating about events, I managed to get the thumbs up from so many of my friends when I updated about my birthday staycation at MBS in June. It was well within a month from when it happened.

And then I forgot all about updating the rest of the meet ups and pig outs for this year's birthday.

Some of you would know that I dislike my birthday. I spent two birthdays at the specialist centre and hospital. And in all morbidity I thought that if I should leave the world, I should at least meet up with all the people who mattered to me for the last time. Hence, I started arranging to meet up more often with the different groups of good friends and also reached out to old friends whom I haven't met up with for a long time.

I really enjoy spending time with all the people I love during the May-June period. Though to me, I would just treat these as get-togethers and catching up with friends instead of celebrating my birthday. It is the time spent with treasured people that fill up my happiness jar.

This year was a little different. Somehow it was such a busy period for many friends and I that it was quite difficult to arrange pig out sessions. So unlike the previous years, here's Birthday 2015 all in just one post.

Like my usual fashion, this is a long post so to get all the pictures loaded in good speed, don't read this on your phone on 3G network.

~*Takumi and TCC with the Branch Babes*~

My branch gals had an advanced birthday lunch celebration with me on a Friday. Knowing that there would not be impending meet ups with good friends, I thought that that would be the only cake I would be getting this year. How wrong I was as you would soon find out why.

These are my lovely branch babes. Well there used to be 7 in the branch but we have since slimmed down a lot in manpower. Now you know why I'm always going home late.

We realized that the wide angle camera function of one of the gal's Samsung phone skewed the proportion of objects at the end. My colleagues' faces ended up being so distorted that even Facebook face recognition could not recognize them. After much 美图秀秀, we managed to get a decent shot... sort of.

Before drinks and cake at TCC Keppel, we had a wonderful Japanese lunch at Takumi. Takumi could be considered as semi fine dining during dinner but for lunch, they have a really affordable and yummy menu. I ordered the Salmon and Salmon Roe Don for my main.


My colleague was full of praises for her Negitoro Don. I know I could not finish a whole minced raw tuna dish on my own.

Dessert came as a surprise coz we didn't have that the last time round. It's either a nice surprise that day or they robbed us of our desserts the last time we went there.

~*Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant with Hubby*~

Hubby had been spending so much time at work that he had quite neglected me. However that Friday, he promised to have dinner with me outside. We didn't know what to eat until the aroma of Chinese soup wafted into my nostrils at ION. Each time I smell this delicious soupy aroma at the top level of ION, I would tell myself that one day I am so gonna eat at Imperial Treasure Steamboat Restaurant. The day finally came!

We could do a Photo Hunt and spot the difference between the 2 pictures. Anyway I really love roasted Barley Tea.

When the waitress asked us which soup base we wanted, I asked her, "What is this soup smell that is always coming from your restaurant? We would order that." She was rather amused and said it was just a mixture of all their soup. I forgot if we ordered the Ginseng Chicken Soup or the Healthy Chicken Soup. The soup tasted like a bland version of the aroma that was engulfing us.

Before the steamboat pot was served, a tray of 12 condiments was presented at our table. We were told that we could mix our own sauce.

Hubby and I both love sauces with peanut and garlic but he was more adventurous in mixing more condiments in his. In the end, I love his sauce more! His was on the left, mine on the right.

For us Chinese, steamboat is usually an affordable and easy meal which involves throwing in of ingredients and building up a tasty soup base. It is also the kind of get-together meals whereby people gather and "cook" together. It is really easy to prepare steamboat meals and hence we seldom spend too much for a steamboat meal. However, the price is a little steep at Imperial Treasure because it is the classy sort of steamboat restaurant that serves premium ingredients. You could tell how fresh the ingredients were just from the photos. I'm craving for their steamboat as I'm typing this right now.

They served choice cut of meat like this well- marbled beef shank over here.

Their pork shoulder was delicious too. There wasn't a hint of those porky taste that I dislike.

Fresh vegetables.

Deep Fried Spring Roll, Deep Fried Beancurd Skin.

"Soon Hock" Fish and Cuttlefish.

Cuttlefish Balls with Egg York, Pork Balls and Shrimp Dumpling.

The King Tiger Prawns were so sweet and succulent. I was craving for more prawns after I finished my share.

Well, this photo was supposed to depict me with the smorgasbord of steamboat food in front of me. But the hubz preferred to leave the food overexposed and focus on how this human seemed to be spontaneously combusting.

Wefie with the hub. We both looked super tired. I'm still liking my much shorter hair and I always find it very intriguing that I could start the day with hair blown in neatly and end the day with hair curling everywhere. But that's fine. I'm ok with hair curling everywhere as long as they don't stick out as a bunch. I'm tempted to cut my hair again!

~*Birthday Cake Cutting with My Family*~

My 大姐 (eldest sis) got me a durian cake and told me to go back to my family home for cake cutting on the eve. She claimed it had been planned since January and not because I said that the cake from my branch gals would possibly be the only birthday cake I would have this year.

My sis was so funny. She wanted a solo picture of me and the cake. My dad was beside me and still, she framed me in the middle and cut part of my dad out. I would have included my dad in if I were the one taking the photo.

My dad said it was all right to cut him out as he was in shabby looking home clothes, yet he continued to sit there. Hahaha... Here is an anigif of the cake cutting process.

My mum requested not to post that day's family photos on the Internet and so this is a photo of me and kh.

~*KUVO with Vios*~

The VIOS group met up at KUVO for a joint birthday celebration for Jully and me.

It was the first time at KUVO for many of us and we wouldn't have known of this gem of a restaurant tucked away in the dingy Orchard Shopping Center. To many of us, Orchard Shopping Center is a building whereby we had karaoke sessions during our schooling days. Hence we were pleasantly surprised to discover a clandestine multi-concept space which offers fine food and wine. Besides the great food, the lush furnishing and warm lights made the short weekend lunch meet up a cozy affair.

We ordered so many platters of small bites to share as you would soon see.

KUVO Coffee Hot Wings served with baby carrot crudités and blue cheese dip.

The blue cheese dip made eating carrots so fun!

Calamari Al Ajillo -- calamari sautéed in garlic and extra virgin olive oil with pork chorizo.

Tiger Prawn Al Ajillo -- tiger prawn sautéed in garlic and extra virgin olive oil with pork chorizo.

Spicy Meat Balls slow-cooked in red wine sauce, drizzled with sour cream.

Now let's go on to our main dishes.

Portobello and Cheese Wagyu Burger-- housemade wagyu half pounder with chargrilled portobello mushroom and melted edam cheese served with bacon, U.S. fries and petit greens.

Free-Range Country Chicken -- half oven-roasted spring chicken with kumara mash and jus of forest mushroom.

Duck Classique -- French duck leg confit in amaretto prune jus, served with ovenroasted soft cheese-potato cake and fresh garden medley.

Double-Cut Rack of Lamb -- roasted baby lamb rack dusted with housemade citrus spice and juniper berry glaze, served with eggplant confit, chargrilled zucchini and gingered kumara purée.

Steak Au Poivre -- chargrilled U.S. Angus beef tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce, served with grilled asparagus, baby carrot and haricot vert on potato purée bed.

KUVO Atlantic Cod Meuniere -- sweet pea crusted fresh cod medallion with pearl barley fricassee, potato gratin and citrus nuttybrown butter.

Birthday gals, let's be irritating and act cute.

I thought this was supposed to be a proper one.

Birthday gals with the gals.

The peace smile is getting more common. You either look extremely sweet or downright annoying. I've to really work towards looking sweet. Lol!

Little Belle saw all the aunties doing the peace smile and she tried to imitate too! So cute!

I love this shot!

Photo bombed to the max.

Birthday gals with the boys.

Boys being boys...

So while this was supposed to be a dreamy shot of us making a wish...

This was what happened behind us!

We are ONE!

Jokers Mark and Kh were at it again, spoiling the group shot this time.

A proper group shot!


  1. Jo, I'm happy to read your birthday was better this year then the last few. I probably wouldn't be thrilled for mine either if they were as bad as the couple you had. It's nice to see you blogging again... It took me 2 weeks to update mine because of all the exercising I've been doing lately... it's all about priority xox ♡

    1. Hi Launna, I love that you are spending the time on exercise which is definitely a good investment! I agree that exercising really takes up lots of time coz I could see my other priorities giving way to exercising at times. However, we do see the benefits! I've been slacking a lot lately the past 2 weeks coz of the transboundary haze making jogging impossible and after this, I would hit my YouTube videos once more.

  2. Yes I remember last year it was a multi-blog event this birthday, you had maybe 10-12 of them if I remember? Well no one has better ones at least food wise than you do, dear. Pig out events indeed, perfect for such a special event. So happy for you that you are so well-cared for by friends and family.

    All Things Bright and Lovely

    1. Yeah, last year and the year before were the years when I met up with almost the different groups of friends I hold dear to. The best thing to do with friends is to pig out together!

  3. Happy birthday! Oh those foods. Looks delish!

  4. This looks absolutely fantastic, what a wonderful time :)) xx

  5. I'm happy to hear you had such a lovely and fulfilled birthday with lots of things going on. It must had been hard celebrating your previous birthdays when you had health problems, but at least this kind of unpleasent experiences make us realize how important friends are.

    I see many fantastic dishes and treats...and some of them look suprisingly familiar, for example that pink shoulder. That's quite popular here as is pig neck. I didn't know you prepare them in what seems to be the same any rate they look the same! I remember we already talked about blood sausage. I'm not a big fan of meat, but we do have a lot of different meat specilties here and it is fun to compare them with yours....and steamboat looks yummy! That is one dish I would love to try!!!! I can imagine all the flavours. I love soups and I try to introduce them to my cooking as soon as the temperatures get cold.

    Those photos of you and yourgirlfriens do seem a bit out of proportion but they're still pretty cute.
    The photos with your dad (or half of him) are adorable! That cake looks yummy....and wefie of you and your husband is great. You two are such a lovely couple.

    1. It's true, Ivana. Unpleasant experiences make me realise where my priorities lie and who are the important people in my life. I didn't know you have the same pork shoulder which is called pig neck over where you are. As I'm no cook, I don't really know how to differentiate the cuts of meat so all thinly sliced meat look the same to me. Yes, it's so fun talking food (meat) with you coz it seems like both our counties eat lots of delicious stuff that others find "gross". Soups are always welcoming and satisfying in cold weathers.

      Thank you for your lovely words always. They make me smile. xo

    2. they don't know what they're missing out on....'gross' food is really yummy.

  6. Happy birthday Jo, and glad to hear that this one was a lot happier than past birthdays! The food looks absolutely amazing, and I would love to eat some of that fish, TBH!!! ;__; HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN! I hope you have an even better one next year ^^
    Junniku blog!

    1. Hey June. Glad to see you here. Haven't seen you around for a long time. Thank you for your belated wishes. =)

  7. Jo, luckily I just ate and had a dessert cause I would be very hungry after having seen all this yummy food! You seem very happy and adorable, the bday cake is gorgeous, but what I loved most is the wefie with ur hubby, u both are my fav couple!:) Many kisses! xo

    1. Hehehe... Glad you ate your desserts, Lilli. Thank you for your lovely words, Sweetie. xo

  8. Oh sweetie my best wishes to you, like always a lot of cute pics with your friends and that is very nice. I love it!
    My best wishes to you~ Like always delicious food

  9. Hey Jo, Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I'm sorry I haven't been commenting much on your blog recently, I've been really busy with uni and work ♥
    It's great to hear that you had a lovely lot of birthday celebrations this year! I am drooling from seeing all that food in one post ♥_♥ hehe i love using 美图秀秀 too, it just makes a picture instantly look so much better. The steam boat dinner also looked amazing! It is rare to see such a large variety of sauces that are available for mixing - i think customising your own sauce is definitely the best part of having steam boat!!! I'm glad to see you have such a great time, thanks for sharing these moments with us :)

    1. No worries, Fifi. Social media is not a priority in times of bz-ness. So glad to see you here! Yay! Someone outta Asia who knows what MTXX is! I used to like it coz of their beauty filter but I don't like how the filters (in the upgrade last year) also automatically enlarge the eyes, slim the face and add darker eye make up esp when the photo is a full frontal shot.

  10. I hope you always celebrate your birthday like this with your friends and family, but without the hospitals!
    By the way, two days before my birthday I went to hospital too for my arm, but it wasn't serious.
    Have a nice weekend!!!

    1. Thank you, Demi. I hope the hospital visits would be a thing of the past. I hope your arm is fine! What luck to happen near your birthday too. =)

  11. Looks like you had so much fun celebrating your b-day with your peeps, hub, family and the Vios group! Haha, Jo are you living like 4 months ago? Just kidding! How are you?

    1. Hahahaha... I'm always living in the past, Sany! I should be more current. =D

    2. glad you had a great time during my birthday. don't worry about late updates though I sometimes forget to update my blog for a long time hahaha!

  12. After watching those pictures I'm very hungry ;-) You are so beautiul my dear !!!

  13. happy birthday dear =) ) hope you could check my blog =0 we can follow each other too if you like =)

  14. Hi Jo, I already wished you a happy b-day on FB but happy belated once again :) I hate my birthday too btw. haha! Omg you had such a great time with family and friends. It's great that you had much more fun this year. Haha I never heard the phrase pig out before. You guys really eat a lot and it looks so delicous. Durian cake holy moly I never tried that fruit. It's a dare in the German series "I'm a celebraty, please get me out of here". Haha I have to say the cake looks very yummy. Your dad looks fine and his clothes aren't shabby. I love the pic that hubby took of you. Wish you a happy Sunday Jo.

    RYC: I guess Holly would try to kill me but she still needs me haahaha :)


  15. it seems like you had so much fun Jo! I wish you'll have another year full of happiness and successes. :)

    xoxo, rae


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