Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photo: Sunset no. 3

Sunset 2

I took this on the same day as this photo. This is the vertical version of it. Which do you prefer?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kamboat Dim Sum Kitchen

I was looking for a restaurant at Marina Square when I remembered that Kam Boat Kitchen has a branch there. As we were both poor students, my friend and I jumped at the chance to try their special dim sum lunch set at $13.80.

Food
The lunch set comes with 5 different dim sum. Each person gets to eat one of the two dim sum.

PB220787

The steamed prawn dumpling and the char siew bao came first instead of the soup. The har gau was very nice.

Char Siew

I liked their char siew bao as well too.

Soup

The soup of the day was some carrot soup which was rather tasty.

PB220795

And here's the crispy chicken spring roll and deep fried beancurd prawn skin roll. The crispy chicken spring roll was bland. However the deep fried beancurd prawn skin roll is definitely one of the best I have eaten. It's almost the same as my mum's but less salty and with more prawns!

Mushroom siew mai
The mushroom was interesting but I didn't like the siew mai. Neither did Rien.

Stewed noodle

The portion for the stewed noodles with sliced meat and golden mushroom was small. As we had eaten all those dim sum before that, we weren't really that bothered by the amount. However, the noodles was dull. There wasn't much flavour.

Mango Pudding
We were given several choices for the dessert such as gui ling gao. We chosen the mango pudding which was lovely and of the right texture.

Service
There were plenty of staff around and they filled up my tea quite often. But I am not very happy that the manager removed my mango pudding when I had not finished it. Overzealous?

Ambience
The restaurant is quiet. This is probably due to the various empty tables in the restaurant. Overall, I find the place to be good for chatting slowly with your friends while enjoying your food and tea.

At $13.80, this lunch set is pretty affordable for those who are easily full. This lunch set is available if 2 or more people ordered it. With dim sum that hit and miss, people who have high standard for their dim sum would be better off ordering their ala carte main course dishes (which are fantastic at their shaw branch).

Rating: 6/10 (minus for overzealous managers)

Kam Boat dim sum kitchen is at 6 Raffles Bouleverd, #02-05, Marina Square

Photo: Sunset no. 2

Sunset 3

Another photo of the sun setting. Really like this shot. Please click for bigger view.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Liquid City Book Launch

Liquid City Book Launch
29th November 2008 (Saturday)
2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Kinokuniya, Takashimaya

Liquid City is a comic anthology from South East Asia. This includes works from Sonny Liew, Ken Foo, Troy Chin, FSC, and Kuanth among others. Meet the people behind it (and grab their autographs) at the launch.

Please visit their website for more details!

Random musing from this blogger: I want to get the book since it has some of my favourite artists but it's expensive (or cheap considering that some of the comics are in full colour), I'm seriously broke and there is a small error in the book. Arghhhh!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My head broke

I just read some parts of Breaking Dawn by Meyers and my head broke. How can such a piece of mary sue fanfiction crap be published and is so fricking popular?! I haven't read the first three books (only read some questionable quotes) so I'm going to give Twilight (first in the series) a chance.

The book better got to be good. Or I swear I'm going to burn it/draw horrible stickman comics for wasting my very limited amount of time allocated for novels.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight: The people have spoken

When USAweekend conducted a poll a few weeks ago to decide whether Harry Potter or Twilight series were better, they did not expect the flurries of response by Socrates, Jane Austen, Karl Marx, Dean Winchester, Al Gore, Darth Vader and many famous others condemning travesty that was Twilight.

When the men of Athens read Twilight, they sentenced me to death.


Posted by: Socrates


Twilight is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

Posted by: Karl Marx


The more I see of Twilight, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all its characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense.

Posted by: Jane Austen


Twilight made me do it.


Posted by: Darth Vader


So this is how braincells die-- with thunderous applause.


Posted by: Padmé Amidala


The 66th seal is broken. Lucifer has sent Twilight into the world.


Posted by: Dean Winchester


Twilight is responsible for Global Warming.


Posted by: Al Gore


I chose Twilight because its female lead makes me look competent and smart--not to mentional a leap forward for feminists in comparison! Gosh darnit!

~*~*~*Sarah Palin in 2012~*~*~

Posted by: Sarah Palin in 2012


And finally,

I, in fact, single-handedly killed the Cullen cult; Renesmee was a bit tricky to handle, being biologically impossible, but with a bit of ingenuity and my dazzling smile, she was easily taken off! You can read about my exploits in my latest book (including how Bella tried to seduce me, but I don't blame her, most women act like that around me) "Culling the Cullens."

Posted by: Gilderoy Lockhart

Photo: Sunset

Another Sunset

Photo of the sun setting from my house. Click for bigger view. Please comment and criticise?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anime Festival Asia 2008

DOMO-KUN
Domo-kun did not made me spend any money

AFA 08 was good, but not fantastic. The $5/$8 would have been worth it if I had stayed for the concert but I wasn't (and neither was Rien) prepared to stay so long at the fair.

But first, I would like to apologise to Rien who waited for me for an hour due to some miscommunication. I am also sorry for being an insane Gundam fan squealing at all the Gundam Models.

Kunio Okawara

The highlights of the event has to be the Kunio Okawara interview. Being able to see the Gundam Designer up close was truly a humbling experience. Many fans sat on the floor (when the chairs were filled) to listen to the peaching of the Great One. Fortunately I was with a Gundam hater, and was able to pull myself from my worship.

Trans Am Gundam Exia
Gundam Exia (Trans Am) Sold out before 11am

The entire event seem to be a great Gundam masturbation fest. The amount of space allocated to the Bandai was bigger than any other series. Of course, as a Gundam fangirl, I was most happy and natural in this habitat. I was found drooling at the models and resisting the intense urge to donate money to the Gundam cause.

Human sized Gundam Exia model Gundam Exia Cosplay
Gundam Exia VS Gundam Exia

For a brief amount of time, I thought I was seeing doubles. There were two Gundam Exia! As it turned out, the Exia with glowing eyes is a wonderful cosplay done by the master of mecha cosplay, Clive Lee. Poor Mr Lee was hounded by the Papparazzi every where. Even when he was resting with his head gear off, the cameras refused to stop flashing.

Robot by IFS
One of the IFS display work

Apart from the gundam fest, there were several smaller collection of booths such as the Imaginary Friends Studio (IFS). I was quite excited to see them and their works were as good as I expected them to be. However, they also came with a hefty price tag.

Movie booth
Encore Films Pte Ltd

Encore Films were also there with some of the Japanese films that they have distributed in Singapore. May I suggest to Encore films to take on some of the Japanese drama series? I do not mind paying more for a good DVD release with eligible subtitles and which do not crash my DVD player.

Anime Festival Asia 08

Apparently, this was an anime themed Japan Tour booth. I am not very sure since the intimating tigers in the background send me scuttling off like a frightened prey.

Dragon Ball

One of the main reason that I paid $5 was to see the the Shouen Jump World Tour booth. However, my high anticipation lead to a high disappointment as there were only some pathetic Death note, Bleach and Prince of tennis works. There were also some original Dragon Ball Z 'manuscript' that were submitted to the editor before being printed in the magazine.

Code Geass
Why was Lancelot featured here with Suzaku? Lulu? Where are you?

There were also 6 'experience' booth of the Code Geass, Skip Beat, Casshern Sin and the other series showing on Okto now. I really liked the booths and I would liked to think that it convinced Rien to watch Code geass.

And course, we have the figurines section. Rows of figurines one after another, in a showcase of toys from the various toy companies:

Giant Reborn
Life sized Reborn with Leon. This must have cost a bomb.

Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku with parts of Fate in the background

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Haruhi Suzumiya Cast with blocked Yuki's head

Rei Ayanami
Rei Ayanami. I still prefer Kaworu.

I enjoyed the event since they managed to control the crowd entering the place unlike a certain cosplay event. I did like the booths for Sky Crawler and Lamb, Animax Asia's anime. It would be nice if we have more of such booths. For events, there was no interesting events apart for Kunio Okawara stage appearance and the sky crawlers trailer on Saturday in the afternoon. This is another aspect that they need to improve on if they want to attract people next year.

Soul Eater
Cosplay of Soul Eater

To be honest, the attention paid to the Gundam and Mecha series were higher than the other series. They should be more booths of other popular series such as Soul Eater. In additional, most of the merchandises sold there were of mecha models. It was of no surprise then that KKnM ended up with a long queue of people waiting to see (and buy) non-mecha products.

I am also slightly annoyed by the small area allocated to the artist alley. Only 4 tables?

AFA08 is not a bad event organised for the first time. But if they really want to attract people from the region, they will need more than this.

Food Safari Photos

I kind of forget to upload the photos from Food Safari 2008 last weekend at Suntec Convention Hall. Please C & C the photos!

Meat Ball
Taiwanese Meat Ball Soup from one of the booth. I find the soup a little salty but It was generally alright.

Kebab
I must have seen at least four different Kebab booths. All Kebab booths enjoyed high patronage.

Turkish
I can't remember why I didn't buy the Turkish ice cream.

Random Booth
A random booth selling frozen food.

QQ rice
QQ Rice's booth. Their purple rice of doom looks awesome. I didn't dared to try it though.

I'm disappointed by myself. Most of the photos I took turned to be severely blur and out of focus. I am still an amateur in photography.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Damages at BookFest@Singapore and MPH Sale

In lieu of my usual book review on Mondays, here's a full account of the bookfairs.

Cats pouches
Colourful cats bags at the stationary section

In a rare show of coincidence (competition?), we had two food fair and two book fairs occurring at the same time at two different places. Phew that's a lot of twos. Anyway, I first thought MPH sales was nothing much - I was proved wrong later - so I went over to bookfest to get my chinese novels.

Towel Gift
Towels decorated like food

As my cousin who came along with me does not like chinese books, I had a limited amount of time to browse through and obtained only two books, 血符(xue fu) and 暗杀(an sha). As per last year, the range of english fiction books was sadly limited with no major discount. I believed all chinese books are subjected to a 20% discount.

Books
Yes, even the hard covers cost $8

On sunday, I went to the MPH sales after reading about the cheap deals on a forum. To my great surprise, most of the books were relatively new and I even saw a couple of non-fiction books published this year going at $8. Cost of the book depends on the size of it. Smaller paperback books cost $5 while bigger books regardless of the cover cost $8. I'm really glad that I went to the warehouse sale; Thirteen new books on my book shelf!

My total damage for both fairs are $111.30 (including stationary) or an average of $7.45 for each book. :D

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Once More at Astons Specialties

Raining and lunch hour makes Aston Specialties an extremely packed place. The branch at Cathay is just too small to accommodate the amount of people coming for lunch. The rain reduced the tables further - you can't dine outdoor!

The long queue resulted in us waiting a while - 20 minutes - for seats and and even longer duration - 25 minutes - for the food. Thankfully the food is palatable and we have plenty of time to waste.


Food

Grilled fish with herbs
Grilled Fish with Herbs

Not the best grilled fish I have eaten. While I previously disliked the overpowering mushroom sauce on the steak, I find the herbs sauce is not strong enough. When eaten with the grilled fish, it just tasted bland. The french fries is the same as before. The limited amount of chilli powder does nothing to improve the taste which is a far cry from Ma Maison.

ieat Super Burger
ieat Super Burger

As expected of a super burger, the size was huge. With layers of tomatoes, lettuces, thick beef patty, fried onions, cheeses and bacons, it does wonders for a famished stomach. The bacon was especially good. The thin bacons strips is well grilled and crunchy. However, the same cannot be say of the beef patty. I find it too dry. Fortunately, the taste of the grilled beef remains though my partner commented that it taste like burger king's burger (-_-lll). Nevertheless, the burger is better than the burgers at fast food joints due to the thick patty, crispy bacons and generous serving of the golden brown onions strips.

Service
In my previous visit I noted that there seemed to be an excessive of staffs doing nothing. The staff are still not doing anything but this time it's because of the slow output from the kitchen. While I won't say that the service is atrocious, I noticed that hey squeezed a group of 6 pax into two tables for a party of 4. If you have been to the branch at Cathay, you would know that the table is extremely small. I can't imagine how that group of guys managed to eat together.

The burger is definitely worth the price at $12.50. As for the grilled fish, the price is only alright. I will advise people to avoid eating at Astons Specialties at peak hours. The food isn't that good to warrant such a long wait.

Rating: 6.5/10

Astons Specialties, Level 4, The Cathay

Not Othello!

Your result for The Which Shakespeare Play Are You? Test...

Othello


You are the Tragedy of Othello: the Moor of Venice. Set in the beautiful "city on the sea", Othello tells the story of a Moorish general and the disastrous consequences that arise from jealousy and lies. What your score tells us about you is that you are most likely a very cunning person, who is able to get people to do what you want. People come to you for sage advice, and to confide in you their deepest secrets. Always the opportunist, you may, however, exploit this fact if an opportunity presents itself for your own personal gain. You're not all bad, though. Like Othello, you are probably very devoted to your friends and family and most likely very courageous. While a bit of an outsider, you are able to gain people's confidence and admiration. We certainly admire you!

Take The Which Shakespeare Play Are You? Test at HelloQuizzy


Erm. Hello? Why am I Othello? I hate that character! Though I did studied the play for school. I have to say I love tragedy. There is nothing that I hate more than Hollywood style happy-ever-after ending. Gah.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chinese cuisine at Mayim

Beef Noodles
Beef Brisket Noodles ($6.30)

Mayim is a restaurant located at West mall that sells (mostly) Chinese and (some) Japanese cuisine. I have been there before - when I haven't gotten a camera - and find the food to be of a rather good standard. Oh the beef and bamboo shoots! This time round, we didn't order a la carte but tried the dim sums.

Shrimp dumpling Noodles
Dumplings Noodles ($6.30)

Being poor students, we ordered noodles with stewed beef brisket served in soup and noodles with fresh prawn dumplings served in soup. Phew. What a mouthful. The beef noodles with soup is only okay. I have ate better at Din Tai Fung. But the dumpling noodles with soup are fantastic. As seen from the photo, the dumpling is big! Each dumpling has 3 fresh shrimps. In fact, I kind of regret not ordering this.

Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao ($2)

Apart from our 'main course', we also tried their dim sum. The Xiao Long Bao costs $2 for a basket of 3. Each of this baos is presented in small little aluminium cups. When bitten, the skin of the xiao long bao is thick. The soup inside the little baos has a oily and sickening feeling when drank. I do not recommend you to order the Xiao Long Bao - which is ironically listed in the menu as a hot favourite - here.

Siew mai
Siew Mai ($2)

We also ordered the siew mai which also cost $2. The siew mai has two fresh shrimps and mushrooms in it. It was a real joy to nibble at the siew mai. It isn't dry at all. While I won't say that this is the best siew mai I have eaten, it is delightful to me.

Service here is substandard. The waitress threw us a dirty look when we called for her as she was delivering food to the other tables. That was still ok since she was busy and by right should not attend to us but ask another waitress to help her (which she did). The main thing was not being served any water! Is plain water charged? Or was it that they saw that we ordered one glass of barley and decided not to serve a glass of water? Humph.

The restaurant is like a cheaper cousin of Crystal Jade Kitchen. Like those restaurants, the background noise is high. The price is slightly cheaper than Crystal Jade Kitchen for its ala carte and is a good alternative if you are sick of Crystal Jade (I know I am!). Service can be improved greatly though.

Rating: 6.0/10 (marks docked for the lack of water!)

Mayim is located at level 2, Westmall, Bukit Batok.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bookfest@Singapore 2008

Bookfest@Singapore is here once again!

Date: 14 Nov to 23 Nov 2008
Time: 10am to 10pm
Venue: Suntec City, Hall 601 to 603

Floor Plan. Taken from Great Deals

Bookfest offers one of the biggest collection of Chinese novels in an exhibition. It is reputably the biggest bookfair in South East Asia. However, the English selection was rather limited when I went there last year. I also recommend grabbing some stationary and notepads at a discount.

For me, I'll probably be going down on either on Saturday or Sunday to browse through the Wu Xia novels and maybe look for the published online chinese novels; I really hope they bring in some of them this year! Here to me hoping that they sell Faber Castell's excellent highlighters.

Ma Maison: Eat the Hamburger Steak

Following His Food Blog's advice, I decided to dine at Ma Maison for a special occasion. I had heard a lot about Ma Maison's hamburger steak with special sauce that apparently takes hours to stew. Being the glutton I am, I ordered the hamburger steak.

Food
Baked potato gratin
Baked potato gratin

For appetiser, I ordered the gratin. While I wouldn't say that this dish was a disappointment, I didn't really liked it. The taste wasn't to my liking. To do it credit, the layer of cheese was thick, the shrimps were succulent and the small potatoes are nicely baked with broccoli. Maybe it was because I do not like the cheese. I do not know.

Hamburger Steak
Sizzling Hamburger Steak

As stated before, Ma Maison is pretty famous for their hamburger steak. I ordered this from their special menu. It's the same hamburger steak but on a heated plate. As the sauce is poured onto the hotplate only when it arrives on the table, the waiter will ask you hold up a napkin to prevent the sauces from spraying on you. The sauce waa salty but it was good. I also liked the fact that it did not dry up like the sauce at Waraku (which, to do it justice was kept warm under a small flame).

The hamburger steak is served on top of some herbs and beansprouts with a small pathetic serving of carrots and broccoli. What happen to a balanced meal of vegetables and meat? The hamburger steak was indeed delectable. With a nice half-cooked egg - my favourite! - on top of the steak, I enjoyed it greatly However, the best part of the meal was the french fries. It was crispy and the sauce complement it perfectly. Definitely one of the best fries I have eaten.

Sudachi Hamburger Steak
Sudachi Hamburger Steak

I'm not too sure what to make of the dish. Served on a hotplate, the sauce is sweeter than the normal hamburger steak's. I find that there are too many conflicting elements in this dish. The mint leaf combined with the radish, the sauce and the steak just taste plain weird. Without the leaf though, it was lightly better. The hamburger steak is also seated on a piece of gourd (not very sure). According to the person I thought was the boss, this dish is newly introduced into the menu and is a popular way of eating hamburger steak in Japan.

Ambience
Ma Maison boasted a fairly romantic atmosphere. The waiter went around lighting up candles when night fell. However, the evening was partially ruined by a kid moving and shaking around in his seat; he happened to be seated on the same connected bench as I.

Service
I went there on a Sunday, so I was highly surprised that the restaurant was not packed. The waiter do come round filling up the water though I wasn't there for too long top find out how often. The waiting time for the food was also slightly long especially since it was not packed.

Price
The food is actually rather expensive. The baked potato gratin is not worth its price of $5.80 to me while the Sudachi Hamburger Steak is of a small portion with no side dish at 19.80.

All in all, Ma Maison offers good fusion food though some dish may be expensive to those on a budget.

Rating: 7.5/10

Ma Maison is at #02-51, 200 Victoria Street, Bugis Junction

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Duck Meat and slightly burnt pasta

Every few weeks, my maternal side of the family will assemble in my aunt's house for a family gathering. Food takes as much focus as the family in these gatherings. For the particular week shown in this post, there was so much food I thought I was going to explode!

Bad food photo 01
This was bought from a factory. However, it was so salty that everyone went bleh at it. I guess we wouldn't be buying roast pork from them any time soon.

Bad food photo 02
The duck meat. While the roast pork was just plain bad, the duck meat was alright. Coupled with the duck sauce, it was better. It still didn't come near to some of the better hawker fare though. In addition, the tough meat at one of the erm, parts totally killed my desire to eat more. Man 1 Factory 0.

Beehoon
Well, my aunt actually cooked beehoon and pasta. People who did not like pasta could choose to take the beehoon instead. Since I liked beehoon, I had to take some to savour.

Burnt Seafood Pasta
The Seafood Pasta. Despite its unappetizing appearance, it was actually delicious. Pity about the burnt mozzarella cheese though.

Seafood Pasta
And this was how the pasta really looked like when you removed the offending burnt cheese. Oh yummy!

After main course was of course the fruits! I always find that I ate way more fruits at my aunt's house than I have ate in an entire week. Honeydew, grapes, apples and pineapples were some of the fruits typically served on a good evening.

Photo stolen from Peaz

The dessert is in the form of cedele cookies. It was cruel to break the smile face into pieces but our cruelty was justified when we ate it. I always find that the Short Bread from Mark and Spencers was too thick. This cookie solved that predicament. It was thinner; each bite was enjoyable. The eyes were actually peanuts m&m. A nice complement with the yummy butter cookie.

Lastly was Choya! This is not a frequent sample in the family gatherings. But occasionally we do have dessert wines, red wine and everyone's favourite, choya. We mixed it with some ice cream soda. It's a perfect drink for family gathering if there are kids around.

Well actually there was still another dish left. Chinese dessert: Ginko nut with beancurd skin, made by my mum. I hated this but everyone else loved it. With that, the feast was over. Until the next gathering of course.