Tuesday, August 31

Baking Prowess!

Today, we celebrated teachers' day in school. Students who know that I've a passion for food/ who like to bake gave me handmade goodies as gifts! =) I've never known that my little ones could bake so well! I have loads to learn from them! Here are some photos of their creations:

heart-shaped butter cookie (:

a really nice butterfly-shaped biscuit which unfortunately crumbled on the way home

Cookies with the letters of my name on it! (: Can you see my name?

Cornflake balls - these surely brought back memories of my secondary school days because they were all the rage then!

Star-shaped cookies (:

One big and hearty cookie in a box!

Brownies wrapped up very nicely (:

Oh and this large box of chocolates, which are not handmade but too lovely not to put up!

Thank you everyone who wished me happy teachers' day or gave me a card and/ or present. I appreciate your kind words and affection (: I will continue to put in my best for all of you. Thank you for being such an endearing first batch of students (: You have my love.

Have a good break tomorrow! =) See you on Thursday!

Monday, August 30

Al Borgo

Hello! (:

I decided to post an entry before going back to work! The stretch of road opposite Singapore Chinese Girls' School is fast becoming a pitstop for supermarket-goers as well as those in need of a quick bite! Currently, there's one ice-cream parlour and two restaurants located opposite SCGS and come the end of next month, there'll be a new Macdonalds outlet as well as a Cold Storage! I guess that'll be the new hangout for students studying in schools near that area! (:

Not long ago, we decided to visit Al Borgo, one of the two restaurants located in the above mentioned area. We'd passed by this restaurant many times on our way back from town so we thought we'd give it a try.
Al Borgo is located at the corner of the row of shops and it has a cosy interior.

We ordered soft drinks ($3.90 per can) because it was such a hot day and also because the drinks are relatively cheaper than other restaurants that charge a ridiculous $6 and above for a can/ cup of soft drink!

One thing I absolutely adore about Italian restaurants is that they always serve complimentary bread! These slices of bread were warm and soft but they tasted pretty normal.

Grated cheese for our pasta/ pizza.

REALLY spicy chilli flakes for our pasta/ pizza. The waiter warned us that their chilli flakes were very spicy but I thought he was exaggerating because how spicy could Italian chilli flakes be right? Boy was I wrong! Thankfully I only dipped the edge of my fork into the chilli flakes for tasting instead of sprinkling them all over my pasta/ pizza!

My main dish was spinach ravioli with creamy pumpkin sauce ($19.50), which was mind-blowingly awesome! (: (: (: I simply loved everything about this dish, especially the smooth and thick pumpkin sauce that blended perfectly with the well-cooked ravioli pieces. I would definitely go back to Al Borgo just for this dish!

Jeffrey ordered their ham and mushroom pizza ($19), which was also very well done! The crust of this pizza was slightly more 'doughy' and less 'biscuity' so I liked it a lot!

For dessert, we'd opted for our default-Italian-restaurant-dessert: Tiramisu ($8.50), which turned out to be a slight disappointment because it wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. The sponge layers were soaked in coffee instead of alcohol so there was a distinct lack of bitterness in the dessert. Nevertheless, we managed to finish it because we didn't want such a lovely piece of cake to go to waste.

In contrast, the lava cioccolato/ chocolate lava cake ($9.50) was a complete pleaser because it was warm, luscious and it oozed of pure goodness! We were pretty surprised when we saw the waiter pour some flammable liquid on our little cup of lava cake but the flame soon died off and our dessert sat piping hot in front of us, waiting to be eaten. This is definitely the dessert to order when one dines at Al Borgo!

In short, I think Al Borgo serves good Italian food at reasonable prices and it's definitely a place you want to go with friends because of the relaxed setting and atmosphere. I'll definitely return in the near future! (:

Friday, August 27


Hello! The weekend's finally here! (: (: (: This week's been pretty exhausting because there was quite a lot going on in betweeen lessons but I have learnt much from the various people that I have spoken to and I'm thankful for that (: I realise I like talking to people and listening to them share about their experiences because it gives me a wider perspective and things to think about.

Today, I'd like to share about Barossa, a restaurant bar that's located at Esplanade Mall. I have the impression that the restaurants located along the outdoor area of Esplanade tend to be pretty quiet in the day but they transform into hotspots at night! I guess people generally go out at night to chill instead of doing so in the middle of the day.

In any case, we visited Barossa during the National Day period so they'd a special celebratory menu. Although the variety on the celebratory menu was more limited than their usual, we still managed to find dishes that suited our liking so we decided to dine there (:

The impressive drinks counter which we sat in front of. I'm not a drinker so I don't know much about drinks but I can appreciate a wellstocked/ well-decorated drinks shelf!

For starters, we decided to go for their unique Barossa Salad ($15), which turns out to be one of the best salads I've ever tasted! (: The salad was extremely flavourful and it was also slightly sweeter than usual because there were raisins and other sweet little bits in it which I absolutely love! I think this is a must-try when one goes to Barossa! The explosion of different flavours with every bite will definitely whet your appetite for your main course!

Our first main was crab meat linguine ($22.90), which was slightly spicy but delicious on the whole. I like how their spaghetti wasn't overcooked and maintained its tanginess! We were also served generous portions of crabmeat which made the entire dish really enjoyable (:

Their mushroom and ham pizza ($20) superceded our expectations! The generous amount of toppings on the pizza (including small chunks of cheese) made the entire pizza taste unhealthily wholesome! (: I LOVED IT! Jeffrey also agreed that this was one of the better pizzas that we've tasted so far! We managed to finish all the food on our platters!

Last but not least, we tried their sticky date pudding with vanilla ice cream ($12), which was different from the other stick date puddings that we've tried in that the pudding wasn't too dense, which is good because I didn't think I could handle anything too heavy after ingesting our huge main courses! Like I told my little V1ewp0in7 readers, I like sticky date pudding a lot because it's a combination of a cold and warm dessert! "Go sweet on dates!" (:

Alright I think that's all for now (: I hope that I'll be productive this weekend! Have a great one everybody! (:

Sunday, August 22

Casa Verde

People who know me quite well will know that one of my favourite places in Singapore is the Botanical Gardens. I know that 'nature' to some people doesn't come in the form of pretty and pruned things that grow from the ground but since I've a major soft spot for aesthetic beauty, I'm more than fine with the Botanical Gardens being an overly-commercialized 'natural' park.

Apart from the vending machines and the almost-always deserted food court that sits far away from the main visitor's centre and everything else that's worth looking at in the Botanical Gardens, there really isn't much one can eat or drink unless one is willing to fork out money that is comparable to a decent meal at a normal restaurant.

Out of all the restaurants at the Botanical Gardens, the most prominent would be Casa Verde, probably because it is situated just next to the visitor's centre.

If you were to enter the garden through the entrance along Evans road, you will definitely see Casa Verde once you step into the garden! There's indoor and alfresco seating so you can choose to sit indoors or outdoors depending on the weather/ your preference.

As I'm extremely averse to being bitten by mosquitoes, we chose to sit indoors. This is the walk way that separates the indoor seating area from the alfresco dining area.

The tables and chairs in the restaurant definitely helped to bring out the relaxed garden theme.

Each diner has his/ her own GREEN casa verde table mat! (: Our two table mats are placed in a 'leaf' shape!
Complimentary pita bread with tomato dip. The pita bread was warm, soft and chewy (except for the crusty sides) and we liked it!

We decided to be adventurous that day so we chose to have an antipasto platter ($20) which consisted of parma ham, melon, beef, grilled vegetables, olives and different types of cheese! I'd a hunch before the dish came that I would like the dish and I was right! (: Jeffrey loved the different types of meat too and this helped to whet our appetite for our main course!

We opted to share their Pizza of the Day ($23), which a tomato based pizza with bacon, asparagus, lots of cheese and one sunshine egg in the middle! I think most restaurants serving pizza are going for the thin-crust pizzas these days because we don't seem to get those thick ones anymore. We're not complaining because thin-crust pizzas are less filling so we can eat more of other things! I don't like crusts that are too thin because they taste like biscuit but this was pretty okay (:

For dessert, we chose to have their signature tiramisu ($8), which was much better than expected! I think I like tiramisus with sponge layers that are soaked with some alcohol instead of just coffee. The alcohol gives a slight bitterness to the dessert and it complements the sweetness well.

Finally, we'd a surprise chocolate cake ($8) for Jeffrey! (: I appreciated the waitress' placing of a candle on this cake but we didn't like the fact that she (and a couple of other waitresses) sung a happy belated birthday song for him! Generally, we dislike being so public about our celebrations but it was nice of the staff to wish him a happy belated birthday anyway so thanks!

I would love to return to Casa Verde in the day to try their breakfast/ brunch dishes! Casa Verde's usually packed in the day on weekends (especially during late morning and early afternoon) so be sure to make a reservation if you're heading down on a weekend for lunch.

Alright that's all for now! Have a great week ahead! (:

Thursday, August 19

Man Fu Yuan

The weekend is ALMOST here! I've been staying back in school later than usual this week so I think I'll leave earlier tomorrow to prepare for my test on Saturday! There's a lot to cover and I hope that I will be able to do some revision so that I won't fare too badly. We'll see how things go tomorrow.

Today, a good friend of mine who has recently settled down in a new college halfway across the world (you know who you are!) sent me an email and she reminded me to update my blog! Since I'm waiting for a reader to finish loading on my computer, I decided that I'll do a short entry on one of the best Chinese restaurants that I've been to in a while.

A month or so ago, Jeffrey, Joanne and I decided to meet up for dinner at Man Fu Yuan because we seldom have Chinese food together. Initially, I was pretty hesitant about having a Chinese meal with only two companions because for one, we would not be able to order as large an array of dishes as we would like and secondly, we may not be able to finish the food that we ordered! Thankfully, the attentive waitress helped us gauge how much food to order to make sure that we didn't end up over-ordering! (:

Man Fu Yuan's menu is a thick and well-bounded book with pages of detailed information about each dish as well as some accompanying photos. We were spoilt for choice and because my knowledge of Chinese food is severely limited, I'd to depend a lot on Joanne and the kind waitress to recommend dishes! Eventually, we settled on four dishes which proved to be just about the right amount because we'd sufficient variety but the portion-sizes were slightly overwhelming for three people. I think it would have been perfect if there were four of us!

The highlight of the night was the Man Fu Yuan Cold Dish ($38) which comprised of peking duck, fried prawns with wasabi sauce, jellyfish and fried egg with some other condiment. Frankly speaking, I've never had such thick and fresh jellyfish slices before and those on this plate really blew me away! I loved their jelly fish! The wasabi sauce on the prawns were a little too domineering but the duck and egg dish was great! (: I would highly recommend this dish to anyone who wish to have a taste of four yummy Chinese goodies all at once!

The waitress recommended asparagus with bamboo piths ($22) for our vegetable dish and it was a hit with us! I personally like asparagus but I didn't expect the asparagus to be so thick! I think I prefer those with medium-thickness! The most fascinating thing about this dish is probably the bamboo pith, which was thin, soft and relatively tasteless on its own. However, because the bamboo piths and asparagus were soaked in herbal soup/ sauce, the bamboo piths absorbed some of the soup/ sauce and gave additional flavour to the asaparagus shoots! (: I loved this 'healthy' combination!

The bean curd with prawns ($24) was pretty normal but because I'm quite a fan of beancurd/ tofu, this dish sat well with me.

Last but not least, we ordered a huge plate of braised ee fu noodles ($22) to share and the waitresses actually helped us to separate the noodles into smaller bowls for us. The noodles were honestly one of the better ee fu noodles that I've tasted because it wasn't overly fried nor was it too dry. The noodles still retained its tangy texture and it wasn't too salty on the whole. I was glad we chose to have noodles instead of fried rice/ plain rice! (:
By the time we finished these four dishes, we raised the white flag and said no to dessert! It's rare for me to give dessert a miss so I'm pretty sure I'll go back again some time in the near future to have another meal, or at least try their dessert(s)!
In short, Man Fu Yuan is one of the better Chinese restaurants that I've been to, not only in terms of range and quality of food, but also because of the friendly staff and customer-friendly ambience (: I would certainly love to go back for another visit in future!
Alright, that's all for now (: Have a good weekend everyone! (:

Monday, August 16


On days like today, I plough through the back log of photos that I've yet to post, hoping that I'll take to a particular batch of photos and indulge in them a little, let my soul sink into the sinfulness and be rinsed of all the bothersome things that are clogging my mind, my heart, my life.

Applebees is definitely one of the few (expensive) fastfood restaurants that one should visit when one wants a thoroughly enjoyable reverse-detox eat-your-heart-out session. Not only do they serve a wide variety of western comfort food, their portions are also HUGE. Even the hungriest person would feel satiated after a full meal (starters + mains + dessert) at Applebees.

We visited Applebees on a weekend, hence we didn't get to try their lunch promotions, which apparently is value-for-money. Nevertheless, our experience there convinced us that this IS the place to go in future if we an overdose of above-average western food.

Since I've misplaced our receipt and I can't find the Applebees menu online, I can only rely on my memory of the dishes that we had sans the fancy names and prices. For starters, we had a platter of different items, namely: nachos with spinach and cheese dip, cheese sticks with tomato dip and prawns! Honestly we didn't expect the portions to be so big! We could hardly finish our food! I thought the spinach and cheese dip was extremely good! (: I loved dipping my nachos, cheesesticks and even prawns into it! Yumyum.

This is a close up photo of the prawns. I think the prawns are honey-glazed prawns if I'm not wrong. They were surprisingly fresh and succulent! I seldom have honey-glazed prawns and I thought that this certainly superceded my expectations.

For mains, we ordered a burger to share! I think this is the beef burger with fried onion shreds which, in my opinion, were the highlight of the dish! The staright cut fries are also very yummy (: Loved having them with the spinach-cheese dip!

Last but not least, we ordered their signature dessert - pecan brownie with vanilla icecream! (: In Jeffrey's words, it was 'like the Applebees version of Swensens' apple crumble' because it came on a hot plate as well! Come to think of it, it DOES resemble Swensens' apple/ banana crumble with icecream, which may explain why I loved it so much! I usually do not eat nuts but this particular brownie didn't taste too bad with nuts. The brownie was denser than I'd expected, which also means that it's chokful of flavour! It's a definite must-try for dessert monsters.

Alright it's time for me to go back to work now. I hope that everyone'll have a pleasant week ahead! Take care! (:

Wednesday, August 11

National Day Cookout

Hello! (:

My siblings and I had a red-and-white themed cook-out on National Day to celebrate the nation's 45th birthday! (: My sister, Nette, is the resident head chef so she planned the menu and was in charge of most of the cooking! I'm usually in charge of logistics, which means I'm the one buying the ingredients, the one arranging transport and doing the packing up of left-overs.

We decided to start cooking a little earlier this time because we've learnt from previous experiences that we tend to overestimate our abilities to produce cooked food in a short span of time and since we wanted to watch the parade on tv while eating our food, we'd to start earlier!

We managed to get everything around/ slightly after 6 so we didn't miss much of the parade! (: This is the cluttered coffee table with our starters and mains.

Toasted pita bread which tasted good on its own but it tasted even better with home-made hummus (photo below)!

A bowl of extra cherry tomatoes on the left and a container of hummus on the right! Nette's hummus turned out to be extremely scrumptious! (: I loved the rough texture and the taste! We dipped our pita bread into the hummus and consumed it happily!

This is probably our least red-and-white dish because it has quite a lot of green but you can't really see the green because cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and smoked salmon are sitting atop the bed of green lettuce! This was our attempt to have some vegetables in our meal!

We also had cold tomato soup (on the extreme right) for starters but that wasn't very well received. I guess people generally prefer warm soup! For our mains, we had risotto (on bottom left) that is mixed with some red wine for colour. My friend told me that the risotto wouldn't turn out red and she was right! It looks more like purple. The risotto tasted good too! (:

To accompany our plain risotto, Nette cooked 6 slices of pan-fried fish fillet, one for each of us. I think she has mastered the art of cooking fish fillets because they usually taste great!

We bought two bottles of sparkling red grape juice for drinks instead of having the usual soft drinks! We tend to buy sparkling juice for celebratory occassions and this certainly called for one!

Because certain fussy eaters in our family don't consume fruits, they refused to eat the strawberry shortcake that Nette made so Nette has to come up with non-fruity desserts for them!

This was her 'failed milk pudding' that didn't harden! Think we need to try another recipe in future.

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Initially, Nette wanted to make the cream cheese frosting on her own but I bought the wrong cream cheese (bought the ready made cream instead of the fresh one) so I saved her some work. The ready made cream cheese were a little too sweet for most people but I kind of liked it!

Last but not least, this is a shot of her strawberry shortcake! (: It tastes much better than it looks! There are still two slices left in the fridge and I'm thinking of having one later!

I felt contented after having this meal with my siblings (: Maybe we should consider have more themed-cookouts! (: Alright that's enough for my midweek ramble, off to the shower! Have a great week ahead everyone! (: