Saturday, October 21, 2017

Downtown Line 3 Open House - Checking Out Singapore's Latest Subway Extension with the Kids! #DTL3OpenHouse

The open house for downtown line 3 was last week and i am sorry for this delayed post; it's so late that Singapore's latest subway extension is actually having its official opening today! 

Nevertheless, better late than never and with so many photographs of the kids, it's a waste if i am going to just save them in my hard disk. So, what's the reason for me to attend the open house when i abhor crowds?

Love; not so much love for Singapore's train system as i have been frustratingly disappointed with it for the past few years and this can be seen from my occasional instagram posting whenever i am faced with yet again another train delay. 

Rather, i went because of my love for my niece and nephew as Jerald loves trains, the stations etc and you know how fast kids grow; i am not going to miss out on their childhood. 

I know, i know, i am such a great uncle! To be fair, my sister (their auntie), joined us too! Start of the journey was Fort Canning station; the first on the new extension that ends at Expo. 

Train wasn't as crowded as expected but we must keep in mind that Fort Canning doesn't have much of a residential population and throngs of people would be expected towards the built-up towns like Bedok etc. 

Our little boy in the train carriage! All smiles obviously as trains are his kind of thing whereas commoners like i look at trains as a mode of public transportation. Anyway, there were complaints of train delays on the social media although i thought it wasn't as bad as the ones i encountered on my way to work! 

We dropped at orange-colored themed Bencoolen station; which was the deepest MRT station ever built in Singapore at 43 meters underground. 

Despite the award (of being the deepest MRT station), i was there simply because my younger sister would be meeting us there. 

Jovyn having a fun time with the artwork. Maybe i can rent her out as a model or something as she is always so full of expression. Pity she is a bit shy in front of strangers; just like her uncle.

From top to the floor of Bencoolen station. I didn't see any stairs even though that's a problem for the working population as precious time would be wasted with just a few space hoggers blocking the escalators.

Oh yes, forgot to mention the train tunnels! I don't often take downtown line and even if i do, i am seldom at the head of the train. Hence, i didn't know the interior of the tunnel was shimmering like diamond when the train drove along the track! 

Despite the existence of cold concrete walls, it almost felt like a tunnel after death; one that would light up as you pass by and eventually brighten up when you reach your "station". 

Having the lights coming from the trains actually save money from installing lights in the tunnels as in the case of Circle Line. Furthermore, it's eco-friendly yet pretty. 

Traffic lights in play even though Downtown Line, like Circle Line and Northeast Line, is entirely driverless with an automated system that moves the trains. 

Tampines Station was way more crowded and maybe because it was past lunchtime, many people were participating in the numerous games and activities for the open house. 

I am guarded when it comes to games and activities as it often means time would be wasted unnecessarily! Thankfully, the kids didn't insist on taking the booklet to get a stamp at every station in order to redeem a prize at the end. Taking photos would be the best!

In the train from Tampines to Expo; so many passengers! Okay, there's another selfish reason why i chose to embark the journey with the kids; i wanted to check out the Travel Malaysia Fair at Singapore Expo! 


Expo station; the words on the wall seemed to refer to the different translations around the world for subway. Honestly, i thought there would be a lot more. 


Art installation on the wall near the exit.

Smack yourself hard on the cheek if you don't know which station you are at. Haha. The wordings were so huge and contrasted with the bland, boring passageway. 

We went back to Tampines station again as Jerald has identified a few keepsakes (limited editions hor) and i couldn't reject him as i had yet to purchase any present for his birthday in September

My damage; less than S$40 for a miniature downtown lego train and a keychain. Am secretly happy that the model train was sold out as it would have torn a hole in my pocket with a price tag of over S$120! 

Whatever the case, i am most happy when the kids enjoy themselves! 

Tanah Lot Barbecued Corn @ Bali [Indonesia]

The amount of photos i had for Tanah Lot temple at Bali numbers close to 200 and breaking them apart into mini-postings can be extremely helpful for me as my brain couldn't process that many pictures in one single post! 

Hence, for today, i am going to talk about the barbecued corn i found at this hardly prominent street side stall at the temple compound. p.s. Tanah Lot is more than just a religious abode; a rather large area was zoned for commercial uses with a number of shopping streets.

BBQ corn came in four flavours - sweet, chilli, salt and butter. Being unadventurous Singaporeans, we opted for the standard butter and it was barbecued nicely without being overly charred as in some cases i had encountered. 

Alex took the first bite as he was the one feeling famished. In addition, he enjoys corn that was grilled, barbecued or steamed and professes to be the corn connoisseur. 

It was good; the corn kernels came off easily and the bite was crunchy with a light buttery aroma. We tried to salvage as much as we could but it's obvious both of us were craving for more. 

By that time, we had already ventured towards another shopping street and it's with excitement (Alex, not me) that we found another stall selling BBQ corn! Of course we had to purchase another one; sadly, it wasn't as nice. :(

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Location Map
As above (red star).

Pricing
I cannot remember but it's definitely about S$1.



Friday, October 20, 2017

Thunder Tea Rice (擂茶饭) @ Tea Square (茶茶坊) opposite OG in Bugis [Singapore]

Colleagues who frequently have lunch with me would realize i am more a meat and deep-fried food person and things like vegetables often don't get to appear on my plate. There were exceptions though; like the recent strange craving for thunder tea rice!

This particular eatery at Bugis, near the famous Kwan Im temple, was on my radar for quite some time and i finally got try it with my elder sister after a karaoke session at Manekineko in Bugis Plus!

Joyce ordered and paid for the meal while i was taking out my camera for the necessary photo-taking for the purpose of this blog! And before i knew it, the serving of thunder tea rice, with a bowl of tea, was placed in front of me.

Unlike the thunder tea rice i had at Toa Payoh, i did notice a piece of tofu-like stuff in the middle of the bowl and since it's in the way for me to mix up the healthy greenies in the bowl; i took a bite. That stuff was actually preserved radish (chai-po) omelette and it's seriously the best i ever have; oily, fluffy and darn flavorful! Good to go with plain porridge!

What i didn't know then was that the omelette was a separate top up from the regular thunder tea rice; not that expensive at only S$1 a piece but in my opinion, it was a necessary addition.

As a whole, the thunder tea rice was pretty good with a taste that didn't overwhelm; somewhat like a home-cooked meal that's on the bland side yet healthy with vegetables, tofu, nuts and a touch of bitterness from the tea.

I would definitely draw comparison with the Hakka thunder tea rice at Toa Payoh's HDB Hub and while this version at Tea Square didn't impress me with their taste, its simple chai-po omelette was simply unforgettable and the main reason i managed to clean up the entire bowl of content!

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Location
180 Bencoolen Street,
#01-06, The Bencoolen,
Singapore 189646

Map
As above.

Facebook Page

Menu
As above. Aside from thunder tea rice, you can also find yong tau foo and pork with ginger in black vinegar. You can also opt for brown rice instead of white rice.

Pricing
Thunder Tea Rice - S$5.00
Chai Po Omelette - S$1.00

Additional Information
Vegetarian thunder tea rice is available on the first and fifteenth of the lunar month. Weirdly, i thought my order was vegetarian as i didn't notice any meat product and the day i visited definitely didn't fall under the aforementioned two days.

There's a separate counter for those who required more food; you can find glutinous rice, pumpkin kueh, yam kueh, ang ku kueh, muah chee and steamed egg cake. I would give it a try the next time i dropped by!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rum & Raisin Frappe at Point Cafe in Indomaret Ground Zero Convenience Store behind Sari Club Memorial @ Legian [Bali, Indonesia]

While paying my respects at the sari club memorial which was built as a reminder for those who perished in the 2002 Bali bombings, I was suddenly taken by an immense urge to release the pee in my bladder! 

Boy was I ecstatic to see a sign right behind the memorial that indicated available washrooms on the second floor of a Indomaret convenience store!  

It was Alex's turn after I am done with my "release" and I took the opportunity to linger around the store. Nothing much for me to buy although I did notice a cafe that was stationed within the store. 

Coffee to the Point - now, I don't really go for coffee as my preference has always been the local Singaporean / Malaysian style of coffee with condensed milk. However, I am always keen for ice blended coffee, especially if the weather is hot! 

Would have opted for my usual caramel frappe if not for the notice and pull up banner publicizing a rum & raisin frappe! I love rum and raisin ice cream and wondered if this would be as good as the ice cream version.

Let's not waste time while waiting for the frappe; ample seating both indoor and outdoor! It's also a WiFi zone (didn't try it as I was on StarHub Data Travel) and there are power points for you to charge your mobile devices. 

Ready and couldn't wait to try it! 

Took a deep, long sip and I must admit it tasted as good as rum and raisin ice cream in blended, drinkable form and featured the little bites of raisins! Refreshing and you know what's the best thing? It cost only 15,000 rupiahs (about S$1.50) after a 50% discount! 

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Location
Jl. Raya Kuta, Kuta, 
Kabupaten Badung, 
Bali 80361, Indonesia

Drink Menu 
As above. Frappes cost only 30,000 rupiahs and you can get other interesting flavours like choco banana and avocadoffee.


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