Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Cup Rice & Noodle - Healthy Korean Goodness @ Selegie's PoMo Mall [Singapore]

Green colour can be extremely therapeutic for the eyes but when it comes to looking for a place where i can indulge in a good meal, the same colour tends to result in a reduced appetite as the presumption is that the food would likely be too healthy for my liking.

That's my sentiment when i stepped into The Cup SG although the appearance of a primate plushie soothed me somewhat; i have to give face to my own kind. Nevertheless, i was keen to check out The Cup as it's rare for me to step into a new establishment nowadays. 

For those who are still wondering on the cuisine that's served at The Cup SG, it's Korean and the eatery was fairly a new entrant in the food industry; starting operation in October 2015. 

Setting was simple yet comfortable and the range offered was comprehensive from rice to noodle, soup, snack, salad and even the recent food fad; bingsu. 

It didn't take me long for me to decide as i always follow the chef's recommendation; in this case, the bibimbap that had a "best!!!" label next to it. For my two friends, things were a lot harder as they had existing allergies. 

That's when one of the staff came over and boy were we were touched by his willingness to replace ingredients my friends were sensitive from! In many places, the chance is rocket high that they would say no. 

Dakgangjeong Salad
Knowing my friends couldn't take spicy food, the dressing was replaced with honey mustard and teriyaki sauce! No complaint about the dressing even though the best compliment was reserved for the fresh and juicy chicken. 

Kimchi
This small serving was for me to try out and according to the same gentleman, it differed from your typical kimchi with less of an ammonia taste; there was indeed some differences. Sadly, they were sour for me and i guess i would very much prefer "normal" kimchi

Bibimbap 
Mine! At that point, i could find no relevance to the name of the shop. Initially thinking that food would be served in a cup (which means i would ingest much lesser), i was obviously disappointed to receive a bowl instead.

If you have had lunch with me in a Korean restaurant, you might have noticed i steered clear from seaweed soup. However, this small bowl that accompanied my main course totally changed my opinion with its rich intensity of pure seaweed that was simply beyond my shallow expectation; it was only later that i heard that no MSG was used in The Cup.

Back to my bibimbap - nothing special about the appearance; one look and you know it is the signature Korean mixed rice with one slight variation. The grain used for The Cup is gardenia seed rice; said to be heavy in nutritional benefits! 

More information on the benefits is listed on the placecards on each table! I have kindly taken a picture for your ease of reference. 

Once mixed (subject to the skill of individual), the taste was evenly distributed and i must say it was tasty and would be considered as comfort food for me if stress hits me! Extra credit to the beef which was sweet and apparently the result of a marination i had never heard of; that of the green kiwi! 

Comfort food = Licked-clean bowl. The next time i visit, i shall bring my parents who are into healthy fare and always complaining my diet is too hazardous for health. 

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Location
1, Selegie Road, #01-05,
PoMo Mall, Singapore 188306

Facebook Page

Order List
As above

Pricing
Dakgangjeong Salad - S$8.90
Bibimbap - S$9.90
(Subject to GST only)

Additional Information
Takeaways are available in the form of paper cups; mystery of the brand name is finally resolved (i think). If you are adventurous enough, go for their corn silk tea. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Side Activities for Kids @ Asiatique the Riverfront [Bangkok]

Adults would be too busy shopping at the many stalls in Asiatique the Riverfront night market but how about the kids?! How are you going to pacify them when they have yet to grasp the concept of shopping to de-stress oneself? 

One attraction that came to mind would be the gigantic ferris wheel on the side of Asiatique; known as Sky Asiatique, i had the intention to take the wheel but was put off by the pricing of 300 baht per person! 

Anyway, that's only one of a few activities for your kids; there's also the good old carousel in the middle of Asiatique although most are concentrated on the market's fringe, near the ferris wheel.

Riding the kid's sized motorbike was nothing compared to what came to my sight shortly after; a strange device on display that gave rise to a few questions; how does this work and the lack of complicated controls which could only infer an easy operation (i think)?

Then i saw these two robots by the side of a container cafe; now, this would definitely attract the attention from kids and even i, as an adult, is interested to give it a try just to become "iron man" for a short moment! 

Tickets had to be purchased and i regret not taking note of the pricing. At least for that strange device, i can tell you the price is 25 baht for a ticket that admits two persons. And it's called the Sky Yoyo! 

I would love to pay for a ticket to sit on the robot but i decided not to for the following reasons: there was hardly anyone playing and i can see the existing players were children a third of my age! 

And no way would i be chaperoned by masked adults on self balancing electric scooters! 

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Location
Bangkok, Thailand


Monday, June 20, 2016

The Understory - Mid Canopy Walk @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension [Singapore]

After the memorable visit to the exhilarating HSBC Treetop Walk, i can feel my heartstrings tugging me towards the canopy walk at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Extension when i saw the sign.

These photographs were taken more than six months ago, on New Year's Day, but i do remember vividly that i had the feeling this would be disappointment.

The concrete beams supporting the wooden planks only appeared a little more than half my height and i am considered as midget sized among my friends!

Good thing is that we were incredibly near to ground and could possibly "observe the different species of birds, insects, reptiles and small mammals that live among the shrubs, herbs and vines"; bad thing is this activity is not suitable for impatient people like me!

Even dad, who was way more patient like me, was just focused on walking straight until the end of the canopy walk. To be fair, it was drizzling just a few moments before and most living things would likely to be hiding from the rain.

Personally, i thought this would perform much better as a bouncing bridge for children even though this would inadvertently make the environment noisier and at the same time, less educational.

- The End -

p.s. short and sweet and i cannot imagine i have forgotten about my stash of photographs taken at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve earlier this year! More to come! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fire & Dine Bar & Restaurant @ Asiatique the Riverfront [Bangkok]

Weather was hot and with many retail shops at Asiatique The Riverfront yet to open for business, we opted for an early dinner even though things are seldom as clear out as we honestly couldn't decide the answer to the question "where". 

This appeared expensive and given that i am more a social drinker (one bottle of apple cider beer a sitting kind), i was honestly hesitant to step in! We were eventually convinced, visually, by the menu outside, which featured delicious looking food.

As the name suggested, this was essentially a bar cum restaurant concept and with bar being placed first, the ambience was skewed heavily towards that with bottles of liquor on display at the main counter.

No doubt this would be a marvellous place for friends to catch up over food and wine. For two persons who were there simply for food, the place was too dark for my camera! Thank god for the air conditioning though.

And the glass of ice cold coke! 

Menu was extensive and once again, we were spoiled for choices. As i had rice earlier at Tonkatsu Wako, i shall give the pasta menu a try then! 

I think the waitress was surprised we didn't order any beer / wine / liquor although she did kindly pass us a serving of peanuts; we must have appeared hungry. 

Deep Fried Calamari 
Batter was important for any deep fried stuff and this didn't fail our expectations with the batter remaining crispy even after a while on the table. My grouch was with the squid meat which was way too tough! I can only give extra credit to the super eggy mayonnaise that kind of helped us to clean up the appetiser. 

BBQ Pork Skewer
Big enough to replace a meal course, this was delicious and i cannot stop thinking of its marination even right as it was not overly sweet and tasted somewhat like our local char siew, albeit a bit chewier. Unlike the batter of the calamari, you have to eat this when it's hot as the texture hardened significantly when the dish cooled. 

Olio Angel's Hair
I remember the Angel Hair from Saveur well and since i don't get to see it often in the few pasta / Italian eateries i go too; it made perfect sense for me to order it on my 36th birthday! 

This wasn't too bad but a tad too dry for me. It was also spicy with all the tiny pieces of chilli padi which i could somewhat accept. The thing i enjoyed most? The slices of nicely fried garlic! 

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Can't say i am 100% satisfied with my meal even though i would love to try out the slow-grilled chicken. The aroma was so enticing and i only saw the grill counter after i exited! I can be extremely blind. 

Location
10, Warehouse 10,
Bangkok, Thailand

Opening Hours
Mondays to Thursdays - 5.30pm to 12.30am
Mondays to Thursdays - 5.30pm to 1am

Facebook Page

Pricing
Deep Fried Calamari - 280 Baht
BBQ Pork Skewer - 130 Baht
Olio Angel's Hair - 220 Baht
[Subject to VAT (7%) and Service Charge (10%)]


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Urban Retreat - A Higher Class Massage Parlour @ Bangkok [Thailand]

I am not afraid to tell you that i would rather pay for that air ticket to Bangkok for daily Thai massages than to fork out close to S$60 an hour for the same session in Singapore. 

While i had been pleased and satisfied all this while with my 200 baht (about S$8-9) an hour Thai massage, i thought this relaxing trip should allow me to splurge a little bit more and i couldn't resist making an appointment for the upper-class looking Urban Retreat that's pretty near to Park Plaza Sukhumvit Hotel. 

Unlike the dark and dingy massage parlours i was accustomed to in the past, this was similar to the lobby of an expensive spa; bright, comfortable and it smelt good! 

Since we had to wait for our massage therapist to prepare the room for us anyway, i might as well take some time to read the laminated terms and conditions.

Thank god it wasn't lengthy and i even managed to hook up to the free WiFi to surf the web. Note that business appeared brisk and walk-in doesn't guarantee an appointment; i tried and failed. 

Time to wash the smelly and sweaty feet - they must be thanking me for allowing them such luxury as the scrubbing wasn't the touch and go style typical from those cheaper parlours.

It's a room that was given for the both of us! As with the lobby area, it was bright to the extent you can spot the stains on the mattress, notice the dust at the corners, if there's any. Piped music flowed through the speakers to soothe the mind and the aromatic air sought to lighten the spirit within us.

Trust me, there's a high chance i would have a good sleep even before the masseur enters! The environment was just too conducive and we couldn't wait for the session to begin! 

Let me show you the aftermath; Alex wasn't in pain. He wanted another hour of massage and we didn't have time as we needed to catch a flight! 

In summary, the massage was amazing and my masseur accurately pinpointed the areas that required extra care and i was very impressed with the entire experience; there's really a marked difference for paying almost double the pricing and for a stingy person like me, i am willing to continue to do so in the future! 

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Location
Super near to Exit 4 of Asoke BTS,
Bangkok, Thailand

Website

Menu
As above

Pricing
An Hour of Thai Massage - 450 Baht


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