Month: February 2010

Joo Seng Teochew Porridge

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Received an impromptu dinner date with my brother at Upper Bukit Timah and I thought that we would be going to the Bukit Timah Food Centre (Mien!) but unknowingly, he has already ‘choped’ a table at Joo Seng Teochew Porridge located at Cheong Chin Nam Road (where Al Ameem is).

I’m not really a fan of Teochew Porridge but I was left with little choice as Mum was craving for it while
sis-in-law had two wisdom teeth extracted two days before and porridge was all that she could
eat.

As soon as the rice is cooked, the porridge was scooped and served thus, the physical shape of the grains is still there (as shown above) which is a typical characteristic of Teochew Porridge.

If you have been following my blog, you would have known that I don’t like my porridge this way. I preferred my porridge smooth and flavorful, with the grains ‘flowered’ like those Cantonese Porridge.

Here’s a list of the dishes we ordered.

Fried Pomfret
Cod Fish (steak)
Braised Duck
Fried Spareribs
Braised Innards (pork) with Taupok
Bittergourd
Kailan
‘Hairy’ Gourd
Egg Tofu

As these dishes were prepared as accompaniment to plain porridge, they were a little on the salty side so go easy on the sauces. My brother and sis-in-law has been here a couple of times but it was the first for my parents and I.

My favorite are the Braised Duck, Cod Fish, Braised Innards and the ‘Hairy’ Gourd.


No bone was left unturned


We were half expecting the bill to be around S$50 but it turns out to be S$70 exactly.

A little pricey for Teochew Porridge but it’s expected since we ordered fish (Fried Pomfret and Cod Fish) and meat (Braised Duck) which were the more expensive items.

My Verdict:

Joo Seng Teochew Porridge
16 Cheong Chin Nam Road
Singapore 599740

Alice In Wonderland

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Being a fan of Tim Burton, there is no reason for me to skip his latest collaboration with Disney.

Google-ing results reveal that this movie will not be a straight adaptation of the original novel written by Lewis Carroll.

Instead, this will be Alice’s second visit to the Wonderland, who, as the years gone by, has completely forgotten about her previous encounter down the rabbit hole 10 years ago.

And Alice’s return raises some hope for the inhabitants of Wonderland because this time, she have to free her friends from the evil reign of The Red Queen!

Which character do I like best?

Do I still have to spell it out?

It has got to be the Cheshire Cat!

When I read the book years ago, I was intrigued by that strange cat with the big eyes. Grinning from ear-to-ear, this cat has the ability to appear and disappear at whim. Sometimes, the body would disappear, leaving the head visible while at times, the whole cat would disappear, leaving only a grin behind in mid-air.

Whenever people mention “Alice in Wonderland”, the character that first comes to mind is not Alice, but the Cheshire Cat. This is how deep the impression the Cheshire Cat has on me.





Catch Alice in Wonderland Movie
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March 2010
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Malacca Trip Day Two Part Four

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(a continuation from my Malacca Trip Day Two Part 3…)

At last, we have come to the last installment of my Malacca trip.

That’s a bit long for a two days one night trip, I must say.

Anyway, after boarding the coach at Mahkota Parade, we are finally leaving Malacca and headed for dinner at Kulai.

With nothing to do on a long journey, I nodded off like most of the people on board who got tired of chatting with their neighbors and karaoke-ing.

We must have traveled for quite a while when the coach came to a stop.

“What’s going on? Why are we stopping by the roadside? Are we there already?”

It’s for this!


Delicious yellow fruit!

The smell of the durians have aroused every senses in us! Everyone felt tired no more instantly!


Why spend thousands on gym packages when you can train your chest opening durians?


After durians, we were on the road again


It didn’t take me long to realize what a bad idea it was to have durians on a long journey

I smelled durian farts and we are all trapped in the coach! Cannot open windows somemore! *fan for air*

After more hours of traveling (I’ve lost track of time) on the endless highway, we finally reached Kulai!

Dinner was at this double-storey building and we climbed the stairs to the second floor. The room wasn’t that big but the deco was nice and cosy.


I loved the wallpaper!

Very classy, very elegant! I like!


Must.resist.sharksfin


Chants: Sharksfin is cruel


This is nice but the sauce is barely enough


Very fatty but very nice!

I don’t usually eat fatty meat but this one just melt in your mouth…


I think this is Lemon Chicken


This is uber nice!

The knotty thingy is Fu Chok! Anyone know the recipe or the name of this dish?


The dishes


After dinner, it’s time to hit the road again

This time, we are headed for the immigration checkpoint.


The sky is turning dark


Singapore!

Thank goodness traffic was smooth and we managed to clear the custom without a hitch!

I’m glad to be able to spend quality time with Mum but at the same time, I’m not very happy with the itinerary.

How could I tell people that I have been to Malacca when I have not tasted Chicken Rice Balls or even visited Christchurch? (I have to make my own way there but I still didn’t get to see the Stadhuys and St Paul’s hill due to the lack of time)

It’s like going to China without seeing the Great Wall and leaving England without taking a picture with the Big Ben!

I would love to visit Malacca again for their Chicken Rice Balls and the Cendol from Dessert 88 at Jonker Street. I also hope to return with a better camera so I could snap better pictures of the architecture especially the Orangutan House which I failed to locate.

And with that, I conclude the end of my two days and one night trip to Malacca.

Movie: 72 Tenants Of Prosperity *Spoilers Alert*

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The House of 72 Tenants (1973)
(Source)

I’ve watched the original House of 72 Tenants starring Hu Ching (胡锦) as the landlady and Lydia Sum (沈殿霞) as the Shanghainese washer lady numerous times on cable.

A 1973 production, this movie was a big hit then because it reflected the current situation (eg, corrupted Government) of Hong Kong at that time, thus striking a chord with the audience, especially those from the lower end of society.

However, you would be pleased to know that 72 Tenants of Prosperity is NOT an exact replica of the House of 72 Tenants. Directed by Eric Tsang, new elements and unexpected surprises have been added along the way.


Here are some scenes from the original film that you can expect to see in the new remake.


This scene in the new movie was played by Lydia Sum’s daughter, Joyce Cheng


The unreasonable landlady. The new role was played by Charmaine Sheh


Firemen asking for bribes before turning on the hose

The 72 Tenants of Prosperity would be better if shown in Cantonese because the effects of the jokes are lost in translation.

For example, you’ll only get the Try Your Best” joke if you watch it in Cantonese but nonetheless, it will still let you leave the theater laughing.

My Verdict:



Gong Xi Huat Cai!

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How is your preparation for the Chinese New Year coming along?

Luckily for us, we started Spring Cleaning early this year. We spread the chores
over the span of several weekends so it wasn’t really a chore to us.

There is no point pushing everything off till the last minute because we still have to do it in the end and not to mention that it’s hard work having to finish off everything at one shot.

Recently, my Dad was diagnosed with diabetes but thank God his was just a minor one. No medication needed but he has to watch his diet to keep his condition under control


As a result, we didn’t buy a lot of festive goodies this year
due to health reasons

That means, n
o Pineapple Tarts, no Bah Kwa and no tainted Melon Seeds from China

Except for our salary,
everything else is going up which includes our glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure

Therefore, go easy on those Bah Kwa and soft drinks, will you?

Afterall, health is wealth, right?

Now, what is Chinese New Year without walking through the sights, the sounds, and the smells of Chinatown? I believe it’s the only way to fully immerse oneself in the festive mood!



Happy Chinese New Year!


Pearl’s Center, the tallest landmark in Chinatown

Come to think of it, whose idea was it to paint Pearl Center with red, yellow and green? It’s so painful to the eyes…

You can find this stall selling waxed items at the Chinatown New Year Bazaar every year without fail. They are almost like the anchor tenant!


You can find waxed-anything here…


From Lup Cheong (Waxed Sausages)…


…to Waxed Duck and Fish


Okay, maybe NOT everything


What do you call 佛手瓜 in English?

Buddha’s Hand Gourd? 有点牵强吧?哈哈哈!


Kumquats

It’s a family tradition to place a pair of Kumquats beside the pillow for good luck.


Quachees


Accessories for you to hang on the Pussy Willow

Somehow, I feel I’ve just said a dirty word.


Customized car plates!


I loved these little tigers!

I find them very adorable but didn’t buy any because I have no use for them. But still, I took a picture to serve as a momento. I even had a name for my imaginary friend – 虎儿!


What are these?


They sprout!


Festive red everywhere!


Couplets


Trishaw outside the Chinatown Heritage Centre


People queuing up for Bah Kwa outside Lim Chee Guan


Even foreign workers are queuing!


I think they were under orders from their boss to queue for the BBQ pork.

Here’s wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Are you ready for…

The Annual Interrogation-tion-tion-tion-tion
*echo*




Malacca Trip Day Two Part 3

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(a continuation from my Malacca Trip Day Two Part 2…)

My heart sank like the Titanic after learning that we will not be visiting anymore historical places!

How can this be happening to me? This is totally NOT the historical tour I was looking for!


Image from Google

As reality sets in, I began frowning all the way from Restoran Hikeng.

While we were nearing Mahkota Parade, the coach suddenly cruised past the Dutch Square and the Maritime Museum!

“Noooooooooooooooooo…” I screamed silently as they faded out of sight.

So near yet so far!

I can’t just sit by and do nothing?

Think! I must THINK!

And so, a plan was conceived…

After alighting the coach at Mahkota Parade, the guide told us that we have two hours to shop and we are to gather at the main entrance by that time.

My plan is this: While the group is shopping at Mahkota Parade, I shall take the time slot to visit the Christ Church instead.

All I have to do is to return to Mahkota Parade before the two hours are up and meet up with the rest of the tour group at the entrance. I informed my horrified Mum of my impromptu plan and left her in the care of her colleagues while I retraced my steps to the Dutch Square alone.


The route I took


I walked along Jalan Merdeka towards Jalan Quayside and as I turned the corner, a magnificent view of the ‘Flora De La Mar‘, a Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of
Malacca in the 16th Century
came into view.


Majestic looking ship!


It is a Maritime Museum showcasing Malacca’s history as a trading hub


It’s an exact replica of the real thing at 34m  high, 36m long and 8m wide

An
entrance fee of RM2 applies and I would love to go in for a look but
due to time constraints, I had to go off in search of the Christ Church first.

A walk further up brings me to this newly constructed watermill.



The Malacca Malay Sultanate Water Mill located beside the Malacca River


I can’t find any info on this
watermill except that “it used to fuel Malacca’s booming port
trade”



This watermill is a replica and no longer functioning


Newly constructed and it’s not working already?


The Santiago Bastion

Built by the Portuguese in 1512, the Fort was thought to have been destroyed by the British so that it could no longer be
utilized to the advantage of any of its rivals.


The Bastion was part of a larger fortress, the A Famosa

However, this portion of the wall was unearthed in 2006 during the construction of the Taming Sari Revolving Tower (another website said it was Dataran Palahwan) which prompted the authorities to start a rescue excavation.


After following the map for 30 minutes, I finally arrived at the Dutch Square!


Was this the Mousedeer that inspired Malacca its’ name?

One theory how Malacca got it’s name was that one day, Parameswara witnessed a white Mousedeer outwitting his hunting dog, sending the dog plunging into the river. He sees this as a good omen of the weak overcoming the powerful (remember how he was on the run from the Majapahit Kingdom and Siam?) therefore naming it thus.


A windmill – to commemorate the Dutch’s presence in Malacca?

I was attracted by this huge banner which was screaming for attention shamelessly.



Erm… People returned to China already and it’s still hanging there?


Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower

This clock tower was
built by Tan Jiak Kim in 1886 in memory of his father, Tan Beng Swee.
You may or may not have heard of Tan Beng Swee but surely his father Tan Kim Seng, the Philantropist rings a bell?



The Queen Victoria Fountain

This fountain was built by the British but funded by local Chinese to celebrate the anniversary of Queen
Victoria’s Coronation.

Now, behind this fountain stood the famous…

CHRIST CHURCH

*starts playing dramatic music*


YAY! YAY! YAY!

I have finally found the Church I have been thinking about for the past 17 years and I cannot believe that I am staring at it straight in the flesh brick! Unfortunately, the Church is closed to tourists on Sundays so I was unable to see the legendary roof beams that was “carved from a single tree trunk and constructed without joints.”

The Church was constructed by the Dutch in 1741 and is recognized as the oldest functioning Protestant Church in Malaysia though it was once converted for Anglican use by the British.


The bazaar beside Christ Church

I was thrilled that my wish of visiting the Christ Church was finally fulfilled but due to the lack of time, I was unable to visit St Francis Church as well as the Stadthuys.

It was time to bade farewell to the Dutch Square for I have to meet up with my Mum and the rest of the tour group at Mahkota Parade.

I found her waiting anxiously for me at the entrance who was worried sick about me and I felt remorseful for causing her distress.

Sorry, Mum!

Look out for my Malacca Trip Day Two Part 4: The Final Chapter!


Malacca Trip Day Two Part 2

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(a continuation from my Malacca Trip Day Two Part 1…)

After leaving the Sam Po Kong Temple and Hang Li Poh Well, the coach brought us to a Laughing Buddha Temple an hours’ drive away. We were there  for quite long as some people wanted their fortunes told while some prayed for (money) luck.
 
I was getting edgy because time is running out and I wanted to visit more places yet here we are wasting precious time.

We finally left the Laughing Buddha Temple and headed for lunch at Restoran Hikeng.


Lunch was here at Restoran Hikeng


Mixed Platter


Can’t remember what this is…


Pork something


Egg Tofu with Oyster Sauce


Fish Maw Soup with Fishball


Steamed Garoupa


The four heavenly kings – Aubergine, Okra, Winged Beans and Petai


Lemon Chicken

As a standard routine, I would always visit the washroom after a meal to empty my bladder.

On that fateful day, poor me did not expect what awaits inside the washroom. The moment I pushed open the door, I was greeted by a scene of epic proportions which I thought I could only find in a disaster movie!

The toilet bowl was choked to the brim and the slightest ripple would cause the water to overflow. Worst of all, there were lots and lots and lots and lots of yellow “submarines” in it!

You gotta believe me, at that point of time, I was fearing that this would happen…


Run for your lives!

I back out of the washroom slowly, not daring to make any sudden movements which might cause that ripple to occur!

I returned to the table, traumatized and trying hard to erase that horrendous scene from my memory.

So, after lunch, we boarded the coach and was told that the itinerary for the remainder of the day will be shopping at Makhota Parade followed by dinner at Kulai and then straight to the second link.

WHAT?

We came all the way to this historical place rich with heritage and we are leaving without visiting the Farmosa, Christchurch and Stadthuys?

How can?

This is totally NOT the kind of historical cum heritage tour I was expecting!

Malacca Trip Day Two Part 3 coming up next!

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FIRST COMMENTOR: KELVIN