Monday, September 25, 2017

Lunch - Delicious Yet Cheap Local Fare @ Bali Apollo Dive & Water Sports [Indonesia]

I am a cheapo at heart and thinking i might likely be ravenous after snorkelling at Nusa Dua (Bali); i actually brought along a pack of made-in-Indonesia Tim Tam, which suffered an expected fate of being torn apart with its content cleaned up in no time. 

However, the snorkeling didn't take place although my fellow travel mates took longer than expected to clear their seasports activities. The cold bottle of Bintang beer didn't register as food in my brain and with lunchtime around the corner, i couldn't resist but to order a local meal from the counter in the seasports centre! 

Nasi Goreng - this would be my second fried rice in Bali after the one we had on the first night at Seafood Pantai Kuta.

This was so much better tasting with a taste that's given a thumbs-up by Alex! Furthermore, the price differential is huge; the one at Apollo cost only 25,000 rupiahs and that's more than half the 55,000 rupiahs we paid for at Seafood Pantai Kuta.

Mie Goreng - again, i couldn't resist when i see fried noodle on the menu of an Indonesia eatery and it was no exception on day three of my August 2017 Bali trip. It didn't disappoint with the truly authentic flavour of the Indonesian style mie goreng that i love so much! 

And you know what i realise? Usually the ones served at higher class Indonesian restaurants were not as fantastic! A fellow travel mate from Korea commented that in the four days we spent in Bali, the mie goreng here was his best meal! 


Tanjung Benoa, Jl. Pratama No.70, 
Benoa, Nusa Dua, Kabupaten Badung, 
Bali 80361, Indonesia

As above.

Nasi Goreng - 25,000 rupiahs
Mie Goreng - 25,000 rupiahs
Small Bintang Beer - 25,000 rupiahs

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Dad & Jerald's Birthday 2017

My dad's birthday is just a few days away from my nephew's and as i couldn't manage two cakes at one go, i decided to just bake a decent one for a joint celebration! 

To be honest, i am quite proud of the strawberry cake as it was a lot of work to make a natural yet concentrated strawberry puree and i had a hard time smoothing the butter cream cheese.

Cake aside; let's bring the focus back to the two birthday boys! Dad is officially 65 years old now whereas Jerald is 55 years younger! 

It's not easy getting the rest to get into the picture as they are fully aware it would appear on this blog. Not everyone is as easygoing as Jovyn.

Mom happily joined in too but the picture turned out blur. :( The primary fault is obviously on the cameraman for not being able to control his "models".

Singing the "song" and this time, in three languages! 

Note the cheekiness in her smile and you would roughly guess what she had done. The brat had kill-steal the candle blowing from her very own grandpa! Terrible! 

Kisses time for the oldest member in this family.

Cutting the cake by the grandpa and the grandson. Now that i took the effort to make cake for my family members (and some friends), the cake-cutting always brought forth an anticipation on reviews; for better or for worse. 

While the combined strawberry cream cheese and butter cream was well received, even i was a tad disappointed with the texture of the cake; too dense and overly hard. Guess i should use the Asian recipe for soft, fluffy cake in the future.

Happy Birthday, Dad & Jerald! 

Street Decorations (Light Up) for the Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 @ Chinatown [Singapore]

It's been a few years since i last covered anything on the mid-autumn festival but since i was on leave last Tuesday to accompany my dad, i thought i might as well make use of the time to take photos of the decorations at Chinatown! 

Hanging LED lanterns across the parallel Eu Tong Sen street and New Bridge road - not impressive enough although it could be a different story at night. Just like Christmas lighting along Orchard road, you can only feel its beauty at night. 

Still, i don't get the logic of the animals that were on display; initially, i thought it would be based on zodiac animals. However, there were also birds and fishes. Thankfully, i do read the Straits Times and i understand the ten animals on display were based on "traditional lanterns popular in the 1960s to 1980s". 

The main 12-meter centrepiece raised even more questions; why was the tree blue!? Was it with reference to the blue skin of the indigenous tribe featured in the mega-movie, Avatar?

Instead of fruits and leaves, sixty animal lanterns adorned the tree. My immediate reaction was horrified; it's like the animals were sacrificed and put on the tree as part of a ritual! 

Don't believe me? Convert the photo into a black and white image and then tell me if the centrepiece would look out of place in Halloween Horror Nights 7.

Whatever the case, there were more than a thousand handcrafted lanterns and they were "designed in collaboration with students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts". Out of the ten animals, the chicken, the dragon and the rabbit were clearly represented in my childhood memory!

In addition to the animals, i found lanterns featuring people; from the look of them, it's likely the representation of the four major races in Singapore. 

Main performance stage which would be ready for the grand opening of the Mid-Autumn festival light up this evening.

Going down the staircase from the bridge connecting people's park complex and pagoda street. I love the way the photo panned out to include both the shophouses in the past and the covered canopy in the present. 

A recreated scene from the past - definitely before my era as i don't remember seeing any rickshaw when i was young! Such photo spots would be popular with instagrammers! 

Since i don't take photos of myself (and don't trust the skills of others), i shall present to you my lao-peh who would have looked right in place with his tanned skin, if not for his folded shirt and long pants. 

Lantern painting competition with some really good ones! It's already hard for me to paint on a flat piece of paper and it must have been quite a challenge to do it on a lantern.

This period would also be the time when lanterns were brought out to be sold; unlike lunar new year celebrations which is restricted to the respective zodiac animals, designs from past mid-autumn festivals can still be displayed for sale. 

There could be changes in material used though; in the past, paper, my time was cellophane, it later advised to hard plastic and then recently, plastic that could be blown up. 

Another change would be the design to reflect the latest trend for the kids; Jovyn's favourite cartoon now is the My Little Pony. I think her favourite character is rainbow dash. 

I still prefer my traditional paper lanterns; reasons being they are priced way cheaper and it's always a thrill to see them lighted up and gone in a flash. 

Do the above ring a bell? They were the same chicks and chicken used for the rooster year light up this year! You can actually adopt them after the festival; maybe i should do it every year and place them in my relatively empty living room.

By the way, Sago Lane was renovated and it now features a wider walkway and purpose-built stores with elevated platforms (to protect against flooding), power and better protection in event of wet weather! 

Ending the walk at the amazing Buddha Tooth Temple


Street Light Up
Until 19 October 2017

For more information on the mid autumn festival at Chinatown (Singapore) and its various activities, please check out the Chinatown Festivals website here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Akimitsu (秋光) Signature Tendon - Award-Winning Shop @ Northpoint City [Singapore]

Yishun might have been put in a negative light for the past year but things would be changing; especially when you have the president of Singapore living among us! 

Joke aside, you can't deny that Yishunians are getting excited over the slowly phase-opening of Northpoint shopping centre; there's now so many more dining establishments and today, i am going to share my review of one restaurant that just opened for business yesterday.

Akimitsu (秋光) - i first noticed the humongous advertisement pasted on the hoarding put up during renovation two weeks back and branded on it were the words "award winning tendon". 

I love tendon as evidenced by my reviews here (ginza itsuki), there (kohaku), this one (kogane yama) and that one (don meijin) and i was ecstatic to have one so near to my home! 

Glad that i knocked off at 5.30 pm on Fridays as i got the Akimitsu before 7.00 pm and didn't have to wait too long to get in! The above reflected the length of the queue outside the tendon shop at 7.30 pm. 

Ordering via the tablet hidden by the side of the table; you don't have to search for it as the staff would kindly bring out for your use once he/she brings you to your assigned table. 

In the meantime, let's attack the free flow beansprouts! 

Submerged in a concoction of god-knows-what, they maintained a fresh crunchiness with a hint of appetizing peppery spiciness (rather similar to Sichuan mala) that both mom and i really enjoyed! p.s. We cleared like half of the container!

Why did i show you a glass of plain water and a glass cold houji tea? Because i didn't know that Akimitsu serves plain free for free. Houji tea came in hot or cold at S$1.90 each but only the hot one is refillable. 

As part of the tendon set, we got complimentary chawanmushi and miso soup! Nothing exceptional for the soup whereas the steamed egg was quite good with a smooth consistency; only problem for greedy diners like me was that it was housed in a TINY teacup.

After a wait of about ten minutes, i got my Akimitsu Signature Tendon with the original (and recommended) asakusa original sauce! There were a ton of ingredients and i sure hope the eatery can either provide a bigger plate or a bowl next time so that we can place the deep fried goodies aside. 

So what fried stuff should you expect from this akimitsu tendon? A sheet of seaweed, french bean, baby corn, mushroom, eggplant, pumpkin, sweet potato, egg, white fish and prawns! 

It was a large piece of fried fish by the way which was managed superbly with the insides remaining so moist and tender! The two prawns didn't quite wow us even though the assorted vegetables tasted fresh and crunchy with just the right amount of sauce drenched on them. We took more issue with the crispy batter which was thicker than its competitors and proved to be overbearing towards the end of the end. 

If you like more sauce, please feel free to self-service with the tendon sauce bottle on the table. By the way, the sauce was relatively light and didn't taste utterly sweet; even though i prefer a sweeter sauce, the overall flavour was well balanced in both saltiness and sweetness. 

The fried egg is a must for any tendon as the yolk gave such a nice flavour to the rice! Okay, i am biased as i am an egg person and can have eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Rice given was actually little although it's great news for both mom and i since we are perpetually on a carbo-restricted diet, especially for meals after 6 pm! 

Yes, i cleaned up everything (except for the miso soup) but i can tell you; my stomach was on the verge of bursting; towards my last morsel of rice, i was struggling badly! In all, it's still a satisfactory meal but i could honestly make do with a thinner batter for the deep fried ingredients in the future. 


930, Yishun Avenue 2, #02-28, 
Northpoint City Shopping Mall,
Singapore 769098

Other Branches
As above.

Facebook Page

As above.

Akimitsu Signature Tendon - S$14.90
Cold Houji Tea - S$1.90
(Subject to Service Charge and GST)

Other Reviewed Restaurants in the Same Mall
(click to find out more)

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