Friday, April 30, 2010

Should I (Kopi Luwak)?

The above is a very simple question for my post today.

My dilemma arose because the thing i am going to talk about is pretty disgusting and not many people would dare to touch it; what more eat it.. 

However, I heard rumours that a teppanyaki style is extremely popular in Japan...

*disgust*

This 'thing' is coffee.

A late bloomer for coffee drinking, my habit started when i was working for Starhub; facing the computer screen 8 hours a day was not possible with a mug of spirit-lifting coffee!

From then on, i tried various type of coffee ranging from the black to the white, starbucks coffee to kopitiam coffee, yunnan coffee to vietnam coffee. But there's one particular type of coffee i still don't have the chance to try out.

It's the Kopi Luwak, also known as the Civet Coffee.

According to Wikipedia, this is "coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by usually the Asian Palm Civet, then passed through its digestive tract."

Basically, we are eating the undigested beans found in the shit of this mammal!!

Judging from my recent financial difficulties, i will welcome anyone who is willing to sponsor a cuppa civet coffee! If i remember correctly, Trung Nguyen Coffee in Liang Court might just have it.
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Yes, i know this will mean that i have eaten shit.
Literally!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Duck Rice and Porridge (鸭饭, 鸭粥) @ Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Eating House (林成利鴨飯餐室)

Remember the pack of duck rice i had at Kent Ridge Park?

Judging from the bloody full stomach at that point of mind, i am not sure if my taste buds were conked out. They could react like the aftermath of an alcohol intoxication where everybody looks everything tastes delicious!

Today, i am back at the shop itself, with Hannah, who decided to skip her exercise session to join me!!

Her brittle bones were apparently hurting her. Wahahahaha.

Anyway, efficiency was the call for Lim Seng Kee and our order of duck rice for two was delivered within 5 minutes! That's fast food standard!!

The duck was carved thinly without any traces of bones and spread over slices of fresh, crunchy cucumber! Covered with a layer of sauce, the meat actually tasted quite normal.

What makes a big difference that has people commenting that this is one of the best braised duck rice in Singapore, is their unique sauce.

It was slightly sweet, with an obvious herbal taste that left a very nice aftertaste that made you crave for more. 

This was the kind of sauce that you can eat bowls and bowls of plain rice with!!

An additional order of sambal kangkong was served. Untypical of most sambal kangkong, the one here did not have that lip burning chilli sensation, which was good (for me).

Both Ms Lim (a super chilli person) and I loved this!

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Need i say more?
I will be back!!

Location
38 South Buona Vista Road.
Quite near to Haw Par Villa.

Closed on Sunday hor!!

Price
Duck Rice (for two) and Lime Juice (for two too!) - S$13.00
Sambal Kangkong - S$3.00

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Scramble on iPhone - Words with Friends


Realistically, i did have a scrabble board long time ago.
Practically, i never understand how to play it.

Forming words are easy.
Counting the points and remembering the rules were kind of difficult!!

That's when technology steps in!

Gone were the days when we have to waste our precious time waiting for the other player(s) to complete their words and at the end of the game, painfully adding up the points with a crappy calculator!

Words with Friends is an online scrabble game for iPhone users with wifi accessibility and/or datapack.

Create a userid, create a game, add your friend(s) and you are ready to go!! 

Since the biggest advantage is on portability (i use it whenever i need to bomb), a game is limited to only two players!

Don't have many friends who have iPhone or basically detest this kind of games?

You can always add a random opponent from iPhone users all over the world!! 

Or you can always challenge me! 
My username is cavinteo!

Don't be shy okay?
*toothy grin*


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Cheesecake Cafe @ Siglap Area

TAKING PICTURE(S) WITHIN THE CAFE IS NOT ALLOWED!!!
However, you are welcome to take pictures of the food and your friends accompanying you.

*i managed to take one picture before they stopped me!!*
Neh neh neh neh!!

With this minus-points rule out of my mind, i have to say that this is a great chill out place with comfy chairs and decor that must have been come from a narcissistic person with a penchant for mirrors, paintings and Roman statues.

On one hand, it has a classical Roman feel to it. On the other hand, it exudes an almost laid back attitude, relaxing your tense up mood!

A reason why i will continue patronising this cafe.

In accordance to the name, this cafe sells many kinds of cheesecake. We had the following;

Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake.
 With its chocolaty themed title, you do not need to expect less. The problem is, it will be best if the chocolate brownie stands alone.

The cheesecake was almost overpowered by the chocolate ingredients.
Chocolate lovers might love this though.

Blueberry Cheesecake
The blueberry will be more suitable for a young person with sweet tooth. It had the right balance (unlike the Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake) but was a tad too normal.

Rum and Raisin Cheesecake.
It was creamy, airy and not compacted like most cheesecakes. The rum was noticeable without being too strong and the raisins added a special burst of sweetness to the bite!  

Another reason why i will continue going there.

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Location
685, East Coast Road.
Near Siglap Centre.

Price
Chocolate Brownie Cheesecake - S$7.60
Blueberry Cheesecake - S$7.20
Rum and Raisin Cheesecake - S$7.60
Peppermint Tea X 2 - S$13.80

No GST but 10% Service Charge remains.

Additional Information
We ordered two pots of peppermint tea to aid in the digestion of the almost bursting stomachs! As you have read above, it was a rip off at almost S$7.00 per pot for a tea bag!!

I guess the tea bag cost at most S$0.50, the tiny chocolate cookie at most S$0.30 and the rest went to the rental of the teapot, cup, teaspoon and.... the decor!

At more than S$7.00 per slice of cheesecake, this is pretty pricey! 
Oh yes, i am paying for the decor.

The cafe maintained a strict policy of at least one item per customer! This is to deter CHEAPOS who take advantage of the nice ambience but only order a pot of tea to be shared amongst 2-3 persons.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ah Biao Wanton Noodle (亚标云吞面) @ Soon Li Coffee Shop (顺利餐室)

With an average F&B rating of 8.9 (on a scale of 10) in HungryGoWhere.com, Ah Biao Wanton Noodle has attracted a decent number of reviewers within a mere 2 months of operation!

Originating from Johor Bahru, two versions of wanton noodles are offered; white and black. The black version has dark soy sauce, which can be really addictive in dishes like char kway teow.

Though we were really full after our meal at Le Muria, Mr Kon and I really cannot resist not trying this highly acclaimed stall. We can always debunk the reviews if they prove to be untrue!

Our worries were unfounded.

This is one of the best wanton noodles i ever have in Singapore!

Noodles were springy with a slightly egg-y yet palatable taste to it.

And don't get me started on the sauce the noodles were dumped in; which reminded me so much of the famous but pathetically portioned wanton noodles in Lavender food centre.

The char siew did not have much charred bits, which i initially thought to be a disappointment. However, the smokey and caramelised flavour remained at its optimal level!

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I had the white version and in fact, preferred it over the black one. Just a note, always mix the noodles well before you eat it. The sauce will oil the otherwise dry noodles and enhance the overall flavour.

Crispy pork lards were added and should have been a great supplement to this dish. If only they were fresher. 

Price
S$2.50 for a small plate (black/white)
S$3.50 for a normal plate (black/white)

Location
Within Soon Li Coffee Shop, located at 236 Upper Thomson Road.
It's very near to Thomson Plaza!

Additional Information
It may be difficult to find a parking lot outside the coffee shop. Hence, please consider parking at the HDB blocks behind the coffee shop; i think it's block 23.

Even though this stall is housed within a 24 hour coffee shop, it is only open from 11am to 11 pm!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clash of the Sisters!

Being the middle child and only boy in a family with two neurotic sisters, it can be a blessing since i have always been pampered... or a curse when both of them gang up against me! 

In terms of physical ability, one has super strong legs and the other is a taekwondo-karate-judo fanatic.

As a comparison, I prefer to read, eat and sleep.

My sisters are fun people, despite the shortcomings (the pig mother of course). Though married, my elder sister will come home every now and then for a sleep in session!

Occasionally, mini competitions will be staged when she's back.
This time, it is arm wrestling between the sisters!


Le Muria @ Upper Thomson Road (Near Nee Soon Camp)


The name of this restaurant looked deceptively French.

Coupled with a posh decor associated with fine dining, i shuddered (then) just thinking if it will take me a leg or a hand (or worse; both) to dine in this barely two months old establishment.

The above wrapped up my initial opinion of this restaurant!
In case you are wondering, my mom is a frequent patron of the 7-11 next door (for 4D betting) and i passed by this restaurant every 1-2 weeks!

Anyway, fate has its strange way of creeping into our life. The gang of four was looking in HungryGoWhere.com on places to eat and Mr Kon was attracted by the almost ridiculously high reviews (4 of them) of Le Muria.

The familiarity of this name did not sink in until i searched for the restaurant in iPhone Maps.

Truthfully I wasn't keen, judging from what i thought was a correct perception of that place. Kon, knowing me, did his magic (fantastic reviews, prices not expensive according to the reviewers etc) and i agreed (albeit reluctantly).

Stepping into an empty restaurant at the supposedly crowded dinnertime can be so nerve wrecking! The reviews real or not ah?!?!?!?!?
*update: i honestly think they are real*

Heck care lah!!!
Time should no longer be wasted!

The first thing that debunked my impression; It's not a French eatery wtf!!!

According to the first page of the pamphlet size menu, Le Muria is the name of an apparently lost continent variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The food served in Le Muria infuses various tastes and blends of the land that was once Le Muria (Madagascar, India and Indonesia).

Orh.... Fusion food la...
And here comes our orders!

Soup of the Day (Corn)
The corn flavour was barely noticeable though there were whole kernels of corn.

Love the savoury (chicken i think) biscuits though!

S$2.50 per bowl (UNLIMITED SERVINGS!!)


Mixed Salad with Thousand Island Dressing
The small boy Alex decided to have something light since he was sick (damn weakling).

Though i am not a salad fan, this was really appetising for its wide variety of fresh ingredients thinly drenched with the thousand island dressing.

S$5.00 per plate, which was really a shocker since the serving size was not small!


Grilled Chicken with Black Pepper
Part of the set meal (with limited free soup and drink), the grilled chicken was normal with minimal marination.

The buttery mushroom sauce should have made an explosive difference but for reasons unknown, it did not.

Originally S$13.90 for just the dish but as a set, it was only S$9.90!
Good deal!


Fish N Chips
The recommended must-try in HungryGoWhere.com, we were surprised to find an uncommon batter that wasn't thick, wasn't oily, wasn't crispy yet tasted fabulously!

The specially mixed tartar sauce was a delight to have!
Either with the fish or fries!

Originally S$11.90 for just the dish but as a set, it was only S$9.90!
Another worth it deal!



Butter Chicken (whole chicken)
High expectation was anticipated since any food with a significant amount of butter should taste nice nice right?!?! Think butter crabs!

Bad luck...

The butter flavour was so light, it was almost non-existent. The dips (tomato-lookalike sauce with potatoes and the other one had garlics and onions i think) enhanced the flavour but their powers were just insufficient to term this a must-try.

In addition, the meat was too dry without having any deep infusion of marination that make many chicken meat tastes out of this world.

It was filling nonetheless.

At S$17.90, a sampling portion (half chicken) is also available.

Buffalo Wings
A must try!!! Unlike the buffalo wings i blogged before (HERE and THERE), the ones here in Le Muria were distinctly different in taste and smaller in size (read: drumlets, not wings).

They were so juicy with a really tantalising marination! If there's anyone who is willing to sponsor me, this is the kind of dish i would gladly participate in "who can eat the most buffalo wings in 10 minutes" contest!

Six pieces at S$6.90, fries included!

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Like any restaurants, there are things that are good and some things, not so good. In Le Muria, the good was excellent and the not so good was normal. 

A person with basic analytical skills will know the odds of good food are quite high (judging from my post) and i will definitely be back again for other must tries, like the beef stew.

As Mr Kon commented, this is a good place to have a jug of beer and a plate (or few plates) of buffalo wings.

Location
914, Upper Thomson Road.
Quite near to Nee Soon Camp (the old BMT camp).
And it's near to the kampong (village) i used to stay!

Lost?
Call 6455-2133!

Price
We paid S$57.86 in total.
There's a 10% 5% service charge with no GST!
Additional Information
There's a complementary serving of indian spices biscuits before you start your meal. Not amazing but definitely a good service gesture for the customers.

They do serve liquor and beer (ginger beer too for 'kids' like me)!
Happy hours are also available for those 'beer bellies'!

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