Friday, August 31, 2018

Chi Bing Korean Restaurant - Pork Belly Buffet @ Star Vista [Singapore] #chibing_sg

My intention was precise; to order the spicy bulgogi i had previously at Star Vista's Chi Bing Korean restaurant, take pictures (for blogging) and leave for Phoon Huat for my baking needs. In all, about 30-45 minutes would be all i need. 

Unfortunately, things didn't proceed as expected. For one, most diners were having Korean barbecue and secondly, huge words "unlimited BBQ" on the menu, as indicated above, were enticing for meat lovers like my friend and i! 

We caved in. :( 

With the ordering of main dishes, you would have free access to the side-dish counter where five items awaits your selection (ranging from beansprouts, seaweed, kimchi, salad and pickled radish)! The side-dish counter was my elder sister's favourite section when we were in Korea; whenever there was a chance, she would make multiple trips to the counter to fill herself up with kimchi and other popular Korean side dishes. 

As this is a buffet, i am reserving my tummy space for the more expensive items and took only the side dishes i would like to go with the meat; kimchi and picked radishes. 

The buffet included unlimited servings of soy bean stew, steamed egg and steamed rice and you can consider topping extra for additional serving (not free flow) of lettuce, king oyster mushroom and fried rice. Absolutely no rice for me but we gamely took up the offer of soy bean stew and steamed egg.

Soy bean stew wasn't impressive but i could be biased as i never quite enjoy Korean stew. The steamed egg was much more memorable; scalding hot, fluffy and moist! 

Now, i thought the pork belly was the thinly sliced version but it was as depicted on the menu; generous, thick cut and for our first order, five chunky slices were placed on our table. By the way, in case you are wondering if there's other meat to choose from, there isn't. 

Time to start the sizzling using the electric griddle! 

The friendly server came over to spruce up our barbecue with more than just meat! My friend was surprised as he didn't know kimchi can be barbecued. For me, it came as no surprise as someone had kindly taught me a few years ago.

No oil is required as pork belly is well-known to be full of fats! Those meat lovers looking to justify their love for pork fat would be happy to note that it contains a high level of monounsaturated oleic acid; read here to find out more! 

Cutting up the thick pork with the pair of scissors! See how fatty the pork belly was and this wasn't even the worst; in some cases, it was just cuts of nothing but just fats. *eyes glistening with love*

Faster 'ready' time with the pork belly cut up! 

Unlike most of the Korean barbecued restaurants (for example, Ju Shin Jung, I am Kim, I am Kim Junior), the meat was not marinated and even though it didn't taste extremely porky, a dip (Korean sauce) would still be needed to enhance the flavour.

For me, the best way was to eat each piece of the pork belly with a slice of crunchy pickled radish! The crunchiness, the sour-sweetness with a manageable spiciness perfectly complemented the natural flavour of the juicy pork belly! 

Done with our first order and following up with our second as we were sure our tummies can manage another round; this time, a slightly reduced number of 4 thick slices of pork belly. 

Fast forward to 30 minutes later; our last and final round; another 4 slices of pork belly and another serving of the delicious pickled radish! 

Between the two of us, we wobbled up about 5 servings of pickled radish and a mind blowing 13 slices of pork belly! I didn't know my stomach had such capacity and if we estimated each chunk to weigh about 150 grams; we would have ingested about 2-kilogram worth of pork belly! 

No wonder i was so stuffed after the meal and continued to feel so the next day! Maybe due to the excessive amount of meat, i am still having slight discomfort and a lingering headache for the past few days.

Look at the amount of oil collected from our griddle after the meal! 

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Location
1, Vista Exchange Green,
#01-43/K4, The Star Vista Mall, 
Singapore 138617 
(Near Buona Vista MRT Station)

Operating Hours
11.30 am to 10.00 pm

Website
https://www.chibing.sg/

Menu
As above. Can also refer to here

Pricing
Pork Belly BBQ Buffet - S$22.00
(subject to GST and Service Charge)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Caterpillar - Fright in the Morning

It was a normal morning rush on a weekday and i had just disembarked from the shuttle bus at my workplace when i noticed something small dropped right in front of me! 

I got a shock obviously as i am just thinking of two worst-case scenarios; either bird shit or a snake. While it's neither; i thought for a moment that the longish thing on my shirt was a teeny weeny baby snake and that's definitely not a good start to the morning!

Bet the little fellow was as terrified as it started secreting a greenish liquid - now, i am not too concerned about it dirtying my shirt although i am dead worried that it could be poisonous! Since i am no lepidopterist, you can't blame me for my ignorance. 

See the green liquid on my hand! 

Anyway, there's no way i can keep the caterpillar even if i have taken a liking to it and as per standard practice (as i did with another caterpillar found in my office); i released it to the great outdoors. Not sure if i am being sensitive but the cute fellow initially didn't seem like it wants to leave the comfort of my hand. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Eagle Square (Dataran Lang) in Kuah @ Langkawi [Malaysia] #eaglesquare #langkawi

Visiting Dataran Lang requires us to delve into the origins of the name "Langkawi" - there were many and the most popular one dissects the word into "lang" and kawi"; lang is short for helang (which means eagle) and "kawi" refers to a reddish brown stone. 

Hence, it was inferred that the name "Langkawi" refers to reddish brown eagle! You can read a short description of the origin on the plaque placed at the grand archway of the tourist attraction. 

Before we get to marvel at the majestic eagle right ahead of us, let us first take a look of this gigantic sundial sculpture that was installed this year! 

13.5 meters tall and 5.5 meters wide (for the disc); "the sign" rest on a bed of granite stones that was estimated to "have been formed around 230 million years ago"! 

Advancing forward to the ass of the helang. 

Perched on a platform overlooking the bay, the impressive 12-meter tall sculpture looked like it was ready to take off and soar above the skies of Langkawi

Initially, i was hesitant to visit as i felt it was an over-hyped man-made tourist attraction and time could be spent elsewhere. Thankfully, we did as the sculpture is the iconic symbol for Langkawi and best of all, admission was free! 

This angle didn't show the eagle in its best light.

Dataran Lang is right next to the Kuah jetty that had ferries to/from Perlis, Kuala Kedah and Penang. Coincidentally, we would be taking the ferry the next day to visit Alex's auntie in the state capital of Kedah; Alor Setar. 

Standing in front of the sculpture; seemed like a filming crew was just packing up. Since the square is open 24-hours, i read somewhere that the night view was just as spectacular with all the illumination. 

Taking a picture of my travel mates with the eagle! Darn, Alex looked like an uncle in this picture; hope he will not ask me to remove the photo.

Me playing around with the eagle. 

You can actually climb up slightly higher for a marginally better view of the eagle; closed up view of the claws and its butt. Hm.... how do we tell the sex of birds? Unlike male dogs and cats, we can't just tell by noticing the hanging jewels right?

Wah, the square was already in operation for 22 years and it appeared that the person gracing the opening ceremony is none other than the current prime minister of Malaysia; Dr Mahathir! 

The sprawling square. 

Should i know vehicles can be driven in; i would have done so! I am aware it belonged to the filming crew and likely could have sought permission in advance. 

We heard sounds of popping and cracking when the vehicle moved off and as can be seen, the floor tiles had cracked into pieces under the heavy weight of the van! This is something i encountered often in my workplace and repair cost doesn't come cheap! 

The two buildings on each side housed only stalls and i thought it was quite a poor use of space. 

Selling mainly souvenirs, water and snacks, there's nothing that would excite a seasoned traveller. By installing air-conditioning, there's probably a better way to monetise the space; maybe a cafe, an ice cream parlour or even a decent restaurant with a sunset view of Eagle Square.

=====

Location
Eagle Square, Kuah, 
07000 Langkawi, 
Kedah, Malaysia

Map

As above. 

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