Saturday, August 31, 2019

Avenue of Comic Stars (香港漫畫星光大道) in Kowloon Park @ Hong Kong

I actually remember walking along this Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard in Hong Kong in Year 1997 when i visited with my sister and her friend but fast forward to 22 years later; things remained pretty much the same.

With the exception of this flight of staircase with child-height statues on the sides. I would have normally treated this as a simple publicity showcase but thanks to my last-minute research; i recalled there's an avenue of comic stars somewhere around Tsim Sha Tsui.

Showcasing popular comic characters hailed from local comic artists, i can only recognise Old Master Q (老夫子) as the comic books are often placed in barbershops and hair salons (even till this day)!

The avenue wasn't huge although i regretted not checking it out in the daytime when lighting condition would be so much better. On second thought, Alex will not take too kindly to the warm summer temperature. 

Furthermore, we can't relate much to the comic characters, especially for Alex who can't recognise more Chinese characters; even for me, my childhood revolved around Taiwanese and Japanese comics.

Again, Old Master Q (老夫子)! The good thing about Old Master Q comic is like it can be super short like only 6-panel strip; making it very palatable for a kid. However, it can also stretch into a story, going back to ancient times, with dozens of pages. When you need to wait for your turn for a haircut, it's literally the best companion!

"Handprints of distinguished local comic artists" - one out of ten in the venue, this one showed one handprint but the label indicated Alphonso Wong [original creator of Old Master Q (老夫子)] and Joseph Wong (son).

Don't know who this is even though the name of the comic artist, Ma Wing Shing, rings a bell!

When i saw this status and read the information label, i knew who this Ma Wing Shing is. He is the creator of Fung Wan (风云) which is eventually adapted into a movie starring Aaron Kwok and i even remember there's a RPG (game) which i had played before!

Goofing around the statues; according to their website, there were 30 statues of comic characters, ranging in height from 1.8 meters to 3.0 meters tall.

Cuter character; Kon would have loved to take a picture with the panda. Inspired by the two pandas in Ocean Park, On On and Guy Guy (聾貓) is a young comic created only in Year 2004.

Ding Ding Penguin (丁丁企鹅) - at my age, comic / cartoon is no longer that much of an attraction even though i still enjoy the occasional Doraemon cartoon shown on television.

Not many people in the avenue, which was opened in Year 2012. Guess many people are better acquainted with its more famous cousin, Avenue of Stars along the Victoria Harbour waterfront.

Compared to the larger statues, i prefer the smaller yet way cuter statues at the entrance staircase. Poor Ding Ding Penguin is relegated to the back where it's overshadowed by the others. To be fair, i think it's a newly added character.

End of our short exploration!

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Location
Kowloon Park Dr, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Map
As above.

Website




Friday, August 30, 2019

Dapur Abdi Homemade Kueh Lapis (Healthier, Original Layer Cake) @ Batam [Indonesia] #kuehlapis #indonesialayercakes #DapurAbdiHomemadeKuehLapis

When it comes to Indonesia Kueh Lapis (or layer cakes) from Batam, most people who like it would be aware of the reputable brands like Batam Layer Cakes (BLC) or Lamoist. 

Today, i am going to introduce another alternative and mind you; it's literally homemade and if you wish to self-collect, you actually have to go to the semi-detached bungalow! 

Given the scale of its operations, there were limited flavours; i.e. original, prune, pandan and surabaya. I am a sucker for original kueh lapis even though from the samples, the aromatic Pandan would be a close alternative if the original were to sell out. 

Never been a fan of prune layer cake despite it being relatively popular among Singaporeans. 

Baking in progress! To be honest, i know how to bake kueh lapis but the work is laborious and you need a lot of time! Therefore, i know how much work goes into one cake and in correlation, the reason why it costs so much. I do have time to spare to bake layer cakes but i could never replicate the buttery flavour found in Indonesian kueh lapis! 

Solid butter and melted butter in the fridge. I thought it's a bad idea to put this in full view of all walk-in customers. It's like a reminder to us on the amount of butter we are ingesting!

I actually got this contact from the chauffeur engaged for the day trip to Batam back in 2015 and thought it would be good to support (alternative brands)!

So what do i actually think about the kueh lapis from Dapur Abdi? Those who have been complaining about the oily butteriness of Indonesian layer cakes would be suitable for this. It's not as oily and even though the buttery flavour was a tad lacking; i found myself liking the texture and taste more as i took a few more bites! 

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Address
Blk. C No.167, Tlk. Tering, Kec. Batam Kota, 
Kota Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29433, Indonesia

Map

As above.

Contact (WhatsApp)
+62-822-8333-3543

Pricing
As above. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Citygate Outlets - More Like a Lesser Version of Singapore's Changi City Point @ Hong Kong

I was full of anticipation for Citygate Outlets in Hong Kong as i spent quite a bit in my last outlet shopping at Mitsui Outlets in Sapporo

Afraid that i might not have sufficient time, i even put in a minimal of four hours on my itinerary for outlet shopping with flexibility to extend should the need arises.

Sadly, i put up expectation way too high as the things sold didn't quite appeal to me and there weren't a lot of varieties, unlike the Mitsui Outlets in Sapporo. To put it in better perspectives, i thought Singapore's Changi City Point was better.

Maybe the problem lies with me; there were branded stores all over the place but i am not exactly brand conscious and prices, in comparison, were not at a level low enough to entice me. 

It was crowded for a Friday though and fellow travel mates who went thought some of the deals were pretty good and they even managed to part away with a few hundred Singapore dollars' worth of shopping merchandise! 

Exclusive elevator bringing us to a retail concept known as 10th Avenue. Once again, my expectation heightened as i was hoping for something different. 

Nothing much once again with CROCS being the only draw for me. Pity the designs didn't quite appeal to me and i didn't get replacements for my almost worn-out CROCS. 

We should get this in Singapore; an umbrella dryer which would help reduce the use of plastic umbrella bags! Not too sure how it works though. I am in fact thankful that we didn't encounter heavy rain until the last day when we were already in the airport.

Biggest draw for me in Citygate Outlets; the supermarket on the basement level! 

And the most amazing find? Durians for sale and i did notice that in Hong Kong; the popular durians are Thai durians which are extremely different from the Malaysian ones we usually get in Singapore. The one above cost about HKD$340 (about S$60).

The rarer Malaysian ones were available too in prepacked form as the fruits would likely be too smelly. And this small pack of cat mountain king was priced HKD$198 (after discount); the converted amount was an exorbitant S$34 for just a few seeds! 

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Address
20 Tat Tung Road, Lantau Island, 
Tung Chung, Hong Kong
(next to Tung Chung MTR Station)

Website


Monday, August 26, 2019

Cajun on Wheels (C.O.W) - Halal Certified Louisiana-style Seafood Cuisine @ Plaza Singapore! #cajunonwheels #plazasingapura

When birthday celebration no longer includes presents; that's when you know that the friendship has elevated to an even higher level! That's the level both Alex and i have with the Great Kon; no more physical present as company is way more important. 

Hence, for the Great Kon's birthday recently, we decided to check out Cajun on Wheels (C.O.W) at Plaza Singapura! p.s. i must have passed by this restaurant numerous times even though i have always assumed it's a steakhouse given the big C.O.W sign! 

Anyway, C.O.W offers Louisiana-style seafood cuisine and good news for my Muslim friends; it's halal certified! To drive in the fact that seafood is the star, live crabs were put in glass tanks to capture the attention of passersby. If you ask me, the one crab in each tank didn't attract as much attention as, once again, the big C.O.W sign.

No waiter hanging around to take your order; so decide what you want from the menu and order straight from the cashier counter! 

Take your pager, collect the plastic apron and get ready for the food. We got the bucket bundle with the options to upgrade to 3 pilaf rice and 3 drinks at an extra S$6.40. Empty cups would be given upon payment and you may help yourself to the soft drink (non-refillable) of your choice via the dispenser. 

Here's our chef recommended Poseidon Bucket (serves 2-3) that had 600 grams of Sri Lankan crab, 300 grams of prawns, 500 grams of white clams, 300 grams of mussels, sweet corn, potatoes and chicken spam! 

A wooden hammer was provided in case assistance is required for breaking the crab's shell. However, i would still prefer the more powerful crab cracker. Even my teeth did a better job than the hammer. 

I forgot to mention about the available sauces for the bucket! There were the spicy ones like Cajun cheese, spicy chessy soil, salted egg yolk, thai red curry, the spicier options which include singapore chilli crab, sambal chilli egg and lastly, the non-spicy herb and butter. As Alex doesn't take kindly to spicy food, we had to go with non-spicy herb and butter. 

Let's tuck in! Now, i don't have much complaint about the seafood and thought they tasted not bad. To me, the sauce would be of utmost importance and although named similarly to the one from dancing crab, i found the herb and butter at C.O.W to be a tad underwhelming; to the extent i could do as well without the sauce.

The Sri Lankan crab wasn't much (at a pre-determined 600 grams which i was already informed about on the menu) but the meat continued to be satisfying! p.s. birthday boy raised a comment that some parts were not as fresh though.

Nonetheless, the hungry trio swept up everything, leaving dissected debris behind! We were, unfortunately, not full and proceeded next door to hoshino coffee for their specials set at S$59.90 for 2 mains, 2 drinks and 1 dessert! 

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Address
68 Orchard Road, 
Plaza Singapura #03-92, 
Singapore 238839

Website

Menu
As above

Pricing
Poseidon Bucket - S$123.00
Add Ons (3 Rice and 3 Drinks) - S$6.40
(inclusive of GST, no service charge)

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