Monday, May 31, 2010

Faye Wong - Please Mr Postman and Top of the World

One of the rare footage of Faye singing other artist's songs. She listen to Carpenters when she was young...

I love both of them!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A 2-year old toddler who smokes 2 packets of cigarettes per day!!!

Early morning and I was greeting by this rather shocking news...

Meet this 2-year old Indonesian toddler named Ardi Rizal who needs to smoke 2 packets of cigarettes per day! Apparently, he was given his first cigarette by his Father when the boy was just 18-months-old. Shouldn't the father give him some lollypop rather than a cigarette?! Now, he throws a tantrum when his parents refused to give him one…

His father was even quoted saying that 'I'm not worried about his health, he looks healthy”.

Apparently, Ardi is not alone. There is a disturbing trend in Indonesia that a staggering 25 per cent of children aged 3 to 15 have tried cigarettes before and among them 3.2% are active smokers.

Good lord, this is a pandemic waiting to blow up if something is not done to correct the situation now.

Read the detailed news here.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Play Pacman on Google!

Google never fails to amaze me!
In commendation of Pacman’s 30th Birthday, Google placed a Pacman’s banner on their website. See screenshot above!
Amazingly, the banner comes with sound and music. One can directly play Pacman game using keyboard arrow button – up and down. 
Reminisces of the past!  Google, the best!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pringles – Blueberry and Hazelnut Flavour

Wow… I saw this Pringles flavour at Watson one day – Blueberry and Hazelnut. Quite a bold flavour, I must say for a savoury potatoe chips. 

Of course, I do noticed that Pringles has been cultivating quite a lot of  exotic flavours recently, perhaps in an effort to gain a larger market share.

However, Blueberry and Hazelnut should be in cakes or chocolates, not chips, my friend and I conservatively thought.

If we may suggest some new flavours – how about mayo, vanilla, mustard, tuna sandwich, lime, balachan, chili crabs, foie gras, truffles, mushroom soup, carbonara, red wine, mojito!

Hee Hee… 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saboten – Japanese Pork Katsu at Millennia Walk

I had a nice two-week break earlier on and my colleagues were so kind enough to accompany me out for a nice dinner. With the newly opened circle line, it is now much more convenient to go to Millennia Walk area.  Before circle line, we are needed to walk a hell long way from City Hall station via Citylink to Suntec or Marina Centre. Now, the MRT stopped practically at their doorstop!

Anyway, while we were discussing what to do, another colleague tipped us off about this very nice Katsu restaurant at the newly opened shopping wing at Millennia Walk. Situated at level 3 of the Parco Marina shopping centre, Saboten is another imported fame store from Shinjuku.

There was a long queue forming when we reached. The restaurant was packed full with customers. Apparently, Saboten does not entertain pre-booking. So if you want to enjoy Katsu chops, do go early and queue.

The above is their introduction sign “Enjoy their Tonkatsu with delicious cabbage”. It was hardly an exaggeration at all. The food was indeed delicious. 

A preview of what you will be expecting from them. Big, hearty chops! I can’t really read Japanese. From the Kanji characters, I am guessing that Saboten was opened in Tokyo’s Shinjuku area in 1966. After I wrote this line, I discovered they actually translated it in English too.

From the blur small letterings, I managed to read the following:

Saboten actually meant cactus in Japanese. The shop was named after cactus for their abilities to survival skills. They without water for six months and can grow in any harsh environment. Saboten prided themselves for using only the finest ingredients and the best chef.  

Don't think I can dispute their claims. It does seems like it. Here is why.

To accompany their famous Tonkatsu, they have this home-made vinegary Worcestershire-like sauce which I really like. It cuts the fattiness from the Tonkatsu, I find.

This is perhaps the “Nouvelle” way of eating pork – with mustard! Be warned, japanese mustard is very much stronger than its European cousins, almost like wasabi. They are quite spicy. Dab sparingly.

Apart from the Tokatsu sauce, Saboten also had two more sauces – A soy sauce based sauce which had a hint of orange frangance and the Sesame seeds Mayo dressing.
So what are they for, I heard you ask?

Well, they are for you to accompany their unlimited serving of finely sliced cabbage!

Good things need time to prepare. The tonkatsu does take some time to be served. I like how the restaurant keep  their customers occupied while waiting for their food to be served. Firstly, they satisfied customers’ hunger pangs with mix-your-own salad, perhaps to better whipped up your appetite.

That can probably stalled some time, but they have something else up their sleeves to keep you busy. 

A wooden pestle and ceramic grinder bowl with toasted Sesame seeds.

You are supposed to grin them in circular motion to release the aroma of the sesame seeds. Indeed, just a few grinds, we could smell the sesame seeds, waffling towards us.

As usual, I am not a keen follower of instructions. I wanted to see how fine I can grind those sesame seeds, so went on and one to grind them. My colleague, Mindy frowned at my action, saying that I will get sesame seed oil if I went on further.

We were told to mix the grinded sesame seeds with the tonkatsu Worcestershire-like sauce. The above is my version. Mindy swore that she could taste the sesame seed oil in my version – quite oily she says.

My colleagues “normal” version sauce.
Finally, food is served! Mindy and Celine shared a two-person set. It has a medium sized tonkatsu, two big prawns, pork with cheese and asparagus roll and two prawn and crab coroquette.
Since Saboten is famous for its tonkatsu, I religiously sticked with their chef recommendation and ordered a large size tonkatsu. Without much worry, the tonkatsu came in good size

The cross-section was a good 1 cm thickness. Surprisingly, the Tonkatsu wasn’t greasy at all. It was remarkably moist!

I cannot help but to feel hungry when I was posting the photos online.
The other must-try is their prawn and crab croquette! It was so creamy and light! I did not take photos of their tartar sauce, but it was very nice. I think it is homemade too as the sauce has bits of hard boiled eggs in it.

In case, I did not mention the set comes with unlimited serving of rice and miso soup.


Price is slightly on the high side, but they are giving you unlimited service of rice, cabbage and miso soup which made up a satisfying meal.

Tonkatsu is perfectly fried and the meat is tender and moist. Our favourite is the prawn and crab croquette which tasted so light and creamy.

One important thing to highlight is their services. It is also very well-thought out. The waitresses is always on the prowl, asking whether we need more cabbages, rice or soup. Tea are always topped up without asking and they almost do it with a very pleasant manner. It is quite an experience if only all other Singapore eateries had such services.

While we were there, we noticed a lot of their patrons were Japanese. I supposed they should be quite authentic. 

Must try but go early. They do not entertain pre-booking, so be prepared to queue. 

Friday, May 14, 2010


詞:林夕 曲:謝霆鋒 編曲:梁翹柏

愉快得 知覺麻痺

為甚麼 呵護我
當我痊癒了 可吃甚麼
為甚麼 感動我
等我難習慣 最低痛楚

怕甚麼 怕愛人
扶著情感 得到禮品總會敏感
怕甚麼 怕習慣豁出去愛上他人
但卻不懂去 弄完假再成真

令美點 都掛住你

為甚麼 寵壞我
等我難習慣 半掩被窩

怕甚麼 怕愛人
扶著情感 得到禮品總會敏感
怕甚麼 怕習慣豁出去愛上他人
但卻不懂去 弄完假再成真

怕甚麼 怕被迷魂
扶著情感 得到細心只怕喪心
愛甚麼 愛令我勇於報答太多人
但卻不知道 如何死裡逃生

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Batam Trip – iHotel and Nagoya Hill

Alright, second part of my Batam “adventure”. I will also let the picture do the talking…

Yup. This is the hotel which we stayed in – iHotel. It is quite clean and the amenities are quite good, I must say. However, as with all things with Batam, it is also surrounded by undeveloped plots of land.

The back of hotel is this plot of land with nothing on it which looked rather miserable. It looked like it was caved out from a hill or something. 

However, then a short walk down the paved path, it will lead us to our only entertainment source…
*drum roll, please…*

Out of nowhere, a modern building named “Nagoya Hill” sprang out yet again among another plot of undeveloped land.

I must say the mall design still looked modern. Don’t you think it looked like Bugis Junction? Toilets are usable. There are also lot of stores and eateries…
I guess their clothing collections are not what Singaporeans would have like, but people go batam for a reason. That is to buy daily necessity such as soap, sanitary pads, toothpaste and toothbrushes at incredible prices.

I can’t help but to feel slightly gloomy at the look of the Christmas Tree decoration.
Despite the magnificent size, sponge lining supposedly to be snow are tear anyhow and placed randomly on the tree. It just looked like it could be improved further…

While the back of the hotel look bare, the front is surprising good. Paved roads with neat trees and shrubs are decoration.

At least some parts of Batam looked very developed. Yup, there is the prominent sign of A&W. 

Ok, iHotel had a very nice pool I must say. I can’t swim sadly, but my friends did. I did walk around in the baby pool though, splashing around.

Ok. Here is me, doing a bit of “sun tanning” while reading a book. This is how obsessed I am with study… I brought a course reading book to holiday to get a headstart. To think, I still missed the A by two marks… Mr Arty One…

Yes, laugh your head off. I have not only covered my legs with towel, but also my arms and head. There is a saying in Chinese - 一白遮三丑, which meant pale-coloured skin will hide one’s flaws.  Already flawed, I must preserved whatever I have to look presentable at the very least. Keeping myself as pale as possible is the minimum I can do to myself. (I must say I am getting darker though…)


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fight Unhealthy Obsession With Another Obsession

I need a change of routine. I am too stressed out. I think I am developing an unhealthy obsession with studies that it affects my emotional well-being. My face break-out recently. I never had that before throughout my life. It has always been smooth and clear. I am not sure how to salvage it.

School also devastated me recently that I could not bring myself to be happy. I shall not detailed what had happened as I am still sore to write about it. I just want to say – hesitation is one’s biggest obstacles to success…All topics are equal, but some are more equal than others. Take it by all means, but make sure you have got what it takes to develop it (which I seriously doubt so). I am trying very hard to convince myself that it was God’s will and that it might not be that bad afterall. (Praying hard and key word is “convince”…)

I want to break-free! I need to transfer some of that obsession to something else. Influenced by the TV show – Escape to River Cottage by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall , I tried my hands at gardening. For the benefit of those who do not know who he is, watch the video below. My brother and I are currently quite “obsessed” with the show “Escape to River Cottage” and “River Cottage Autumn”, which are showing on Asian Food Channel.

Not that I have a garden (I wished I had), but I am keen to grow some herbs outside the corridor. I had ginger and pandan leaves growing now. They hardly need any effort from us, just water regularly and occasionally top up some soil, mother nature just take care of everything else. They have grown so well.

Recently, I also planted some tomatoes, dill, chilli from seeds and they sprouted days ago. I was so delighted seeing those little pair of leaves appearing from the soil. They have made my day~! I haven’t been so happy. I hope they will grow into mature plants.

However, I need to remind my mum to be gentle when watering them. Not that I want to complaint, but she often drowned the seedlings with water-fall like motion of rice water. Which seedlings can survive that kind of tsunami?

Encouraged by the growth of young seedlings, I sowed corn, chives, sweet marjoram, garlic and Japanese cucumber yesterday. I hope to see shoots soon.

If only they allow us to rear chicken in HDB, I would have got myself some chicks. For now, I guess I have to work harder or to secure a windfall from Singapore Tote Board, so that I can buy a piece of land somewhere remotely in Singapore to fulfill my farming dreams.

In the meantime, I shall continue with my “Always look on the bright side of life” therapy. My dear friend send me the lyrics to encourage me earlier on. It was exactly how I felt – life just bullying me again…

Can’t help to go into school mode after watching this video. There is reference of Christ in the video. There are “cross” which we often associate with Christ. Secondly, those people are posed in the crucifiction position. Although they are dressed in various style, but they all look like various incarnation of Jesus. It is almost like Jesus preaching to you to look on the bright side, I must say. Instead of feeling pity for them, there is a sense of magnificent and peace when the camera pan to show the row of crosses on the plain.

Lyrics of Always Look on The Bright Side of Life

Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say.

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a wistle!
And this'll help things turn out for the best...

(the music fades into the song)
...always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life…

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten!
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing,
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle -- that's the thing!

And... always look on the bright side of life...
Come on!
(other start to join in)
Always look on the bright side of life...

For life is quite absurd,
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow!
Forget about your sin -- give the audience a grin,
Enjoy it -- it's the last chance anyhow!

So always look on the bright side of death!
Just before you draw your terminal breath.

Life's a piece of shit,
When you look at it.
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true,
You'll see it's all a show,
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you!

And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the bright side of life

*Feeling better already…


Friday, May 7, 2010

Divorce for Dummies (?!)

I used to think that Librarians are strict and bored. Turn out, they can be humourous as well.
I saw this book on the recommendation shelf at the library and I let out a laugh. Hmm, Divorce for Dummies… I never know the Dummies series had this title too. Do people really read them? What would your wife/hubby think if they find you reading this book?
||| WTF, would be my reaction. Seriously, if my partner needs to get tips from this book, we are better off to divorce. (Nope, no such luck. I still need to find one first.)
For those who need a tip, I had once read in the papers that when those super-rich wanted a divorce, they don’t go to a family law lawyer. Instead, they will sought an accounting lawyer so as to better calculate how much assets they can laid their hands on from their partners.
It seems to make more sense to use an accounting lawyer than reading the dummies version.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Picture speaks a thousand words – part 2

I will write about this recently opened tea shop which served delicious iced-tea in a later post.

However before that, I just want to continue this “Picture speaks a thousand words” series. Every picture transmit meaning, or so I learnt.

When I saw this drink, I was immediately reminded of someone who was once so close but yet now so far.

We have not seen her for a long time. It almost led us to suspect that she is hiding from us. 

Cold are the days without you around…

Loyang Tua Pek Gong Temple

Yes, I know, I know… I have written about Loyang Tua Pek Gong Temple before. The other time, it was my brother who visited the place. One fine day last year, I finally found an opportunity to visit the temple with my family.
I should have posted them early, but I have been busy. Anyway , better late than never. Here are the photos:
Loyang Tua Pek Gong temple is obviously located at Loyang. Where is that, I hear some of you all asked. Well, it is at the extreme east side of Singapore near Pasir Ris. Not sure if you can take MRT, but there is a bus stop, located not far away from the temple which make that place quite accessible.
A bit lame, but Judy Garland followed the Yellow Brick Road to reach land of Oz. You, on the other hand, can followed the yellow flagged pathway which will leads you to the famed temple!

Still worry that you might missed the flagged pathway and got lost. That is mission impossible… The temple can be easily seen on the left of the pathway. 
After a good five minute walk, I reached the temple. The first thing that catches your eye would be the stone wall side profile of the temple.

It was 2009 when I visit the place – the year of Ox. Maybe that is why there is this huge copper statue of Ox resting at the pond.

At the entrance, we were greeted by this two story high pagoda-like structure. It is actually a furnace for devotees to burn their incense papers in.
A bit of explanation for those who do not know – Other than praying with Joss Stick, many Chinese religions like Taoism had the practise of burning incense paper. Incense paper comes in various colours, sizes and patterns, but printed with charms-like wording. It is believed that one will received blessing when the papers are burned. It is almost like an purifying act that fire will rid bad luck for whoever that is praying. 
At last, the beautiful signboard which read “Loyang Da Po Gong” or “Loyang Tua Pek Gong” as pronounce in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect.
I think many young people may find Chinese praying rituals a bit daunting. It seems like there are many rules to adhere to and can be quite a handful for people who have never done it before.
Well, to help more people understand the intricacies of Chinese praying rituals, Loyang Tua Pak Gong came up with a very good solution. They categorised each items with numbers i.e. which item make a complete set with which item. They even labeled which deity you can pray to with the set of items.
I explained before. Many traditional Chinese buildings are often decorated with mythical creatures like Dragon, Qilin, Bats. These mythical creatures have auspicious connotations. By decorating objects and buildings with the creatures, Chinese believed that having them they will be blessed. The above is a metal incense burner which is decorated with a dragon sculpture. 
A Taoist temple. The place also hosts a few deities. As with all things, there are protocol order of which deity one should pray before the other. Sound quite confusing right? Fret not, innovative Loyang Tua Pek Gong foresee the potential problem, thus they come up with this little name plate to tell you at this “station”, which god deity you are praying to and how many joss stick to use.
Now now, praying is much simpler and less confusing already isn’t it?
Back view of the incense burner

Actually, Loyang Tua Pek Gong temple is famous for granting devotees with winning 4D numbers. In this picture, we see another ox statue with miniature 11 other zodiac animals. Those numbers scribbling are not vandalism, but devotees’ 4D numbers. They are scribbled there in hope that deity will bless the numbers and grant them a fortune.
Another one of the number blessing station. This time in form of a golden ingot.
Interestingly, Loyang Tua Pek Gong had a food station. They provide free vegetarian food for all. I had a serving too. Bee Hoon and Curry vegetables, taste ok.

We often read news of religious conflict in many countries. In Singapore, we are fortunate that people in a way understand each other’s religion practises and remained tolerant. Here in the temple, there is actually a small Hindu temple

Like the one at Waterloo Street, there is no restriction as to who can enter the Hindu temple. As long as one wishes to make a prayer, he/she can just enter the temple and pray (without footwear).

So if you happened to be at the East area next time, do drop by and visit the temple.