Wednesday, 14 September 2016

USA Itinerary (New York) Day 12 - Chelsea Market, High Line Park, Bryant Park

Our Delta flight from Orlando back to New York was delayed. We were not informed till the very last minute, there was little word of apology or any form of communication, and everyone was just sitting around waiting for things to happen. But we got to New York safely and that was all that matters. Stef and King were running late for their Book of Mormon musical so we headed separately after checking into our Airbnb apartment. Our second airbnb apartment was in Upper East Side and was a pretty quaint little place.

Zg and I headed to Chelsea Market for our late lunch/early dinner. I really really liked the place and it was so much fun to just walk around, stop and grab some yummy food, and just soak up the vibe. It reminded me a lot of Pasarbella in Turf City.


We had Lobster Roll at Lobster Place. It was good but I'm going back for another lobster roll at Luke's instead of Lobster Place any day. 



We also had Mokbar Classic Ramen at Mok Bar which served korean ramen. Added a poached egg and it was loveeee. So good. Not as spicy as the ones I had in Korea or Singapore, but it was still really delicious. Maybe I just really missed Asian food at this point in time.



We also had tacos at the No. 1 Tacos and it was SO GOOD. When Zg was queuing for the taco, this friendly guy behind told him that this taco was really the best in New York. Well, we haven't eaten any other taco in New York and cannot be sure whether his claim was true, but it was truly delicious!


It started to rain as we tried to explore High Line Park which made the walk really difficult. Also, it was getting late and the place became really quiet and dark after awhile so we left pretty quickly. What a bummer though, it looked like such a nice interesting place to be.



We took the train to Fifth Avenue for a stroll through Bryant Park and to check out the Rockefeller at night with a row of cherry blossoms. I didn't notice the cherry blossoms the first time I was at Rockefeller on Day 1 of our trip and it was a surprise to see them in full bloom the second time I came around. Just goes to show that sometimes we miss out on the most beautiful things without meaning to. 


We had a lot of fun in Bryant Park. The rain had just stopped and the ground was wet with puddles of rainwater and we were trying to hop around the puddles. We failed and eventually decided to just stomp around and kick water everywhere. There was nobody else in this quiet park, the night was cold, our breaths were warm, and we laughed and giggled into the night. I still remember that night now with so much fondness. 


We wanted to head to a rooftop bar for a drink but we were lazy, and it started to rain again, so we hopped onto a bus and went back to the apartment. 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Chew Kee Soya Sauce Chicken, Chinatown

So this is Amanda's and my favourite lunch spot whenever we cannot decide where to go for lunch. Inevitably, one of us would suggest soya sauce chicken, the other would agree, we would hurry out of the building to catch a bus down, I would search my Notes for the buses that take us there, we reach in a jiffy, shuffle over and try to get the impatient aunties to get us a seat.

When we are in our normal frame of mind, we each order a plate of soya sauce chicken noodle and a dumpling soup.


When we are upset about life and want to stab something, we decide that getting fat is the best way to make ourselves feel better and we will order a half chicken and a dumpling soup. Truth be told, I will never be able to finish my half of the half chicken (i.e. I cannot finish 1/4 chicken). So Amanda has to finish like 3/4 of the half chicken while I do the remaining 1/4. Math ttm.


This soya sauce chicken noodle never fail to make me feel happier. I like the springy noodles with the soya sauce. The chicken is very soft and totally soaks up the sauce. I heard there is another store along the same row. Totally got to check it out soon during the next lunch with Amanda!

8 Upper Cross Street (it is in a corner of the shop house)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

We ain't ever getting older

We ain't ever getting older. 

I don't care if you call me young, immature, or that I clearly cannot comprehend the world. I don't need to comprehend the world. 

I'm still filled with a child-like curiosity about everything. I still wonder why the sky is blue, why moments are fleeting, what is happiness. I still sit down in places with a good view of the bay and marvel at all that beauty. I still stop and stare whenever I see a glorious sunset. Every single time. It does not bore me. 

I still behave ridiculously like myself and I still enjoy my drinks. OK.

I am glad for all these and more. Much much more. 

:)


Friday, 19 August 2016

Tolido's Espresso Nook

With the Entertainer App, I love heading to Tolido's Espresso Nook after our weekly gym sessions because it is near my hood, super convenient, and not that crowded on Sundays. So after being a hamster on the treadmill for a bit, pumping some iron, rolling around on the mat, we shower and make our way to Tolido's rather often. We also found out that they have wifi for those who need to catch up on work! 

The menu. This is an outdated version and I haven't been earnest enough to take pics of the newer menu. But the gist is there. I think?


Here are some of the dishes we tried. We are creatures of habit so we tend to gravitate back to the same items over and over again.

Prawn Laksa Pasta ($16.90). I love laksa pasta! I always say this but I really do love laksa pasta. The thick laksa sauce just goes so well with pasta and fresh crunchy prawns. It can get quite heavy and creamy after a while, so the best thing to do is to share this!


The boyfriend's favourite: Spaghetti Vongole ($16.90). Very fresh clams, al dente pasta, and a very light white wine base.


Flat white because I need my coffee.


Mushroom Aglio Olio with Seafood ($16.90). The seafood was very fresh in this one and the pasta was al dente. But the Aglio Olio style of pasta at Tolido's was a little bland for me and could probably do with more condiments. Good for those with a light palate.


I enjoy being in Tolido's because it feels like part of a neighborhood that I grew up in and am familiar with. I studied in the primary school adjacent to the block where Tolido's is before the school moved to Bendemeer. This hood will always have a fond place in my heart. That said, do come for a laid-back comfortable brunch or lunch over the weekend. This is one of the few cafes where I really feel very comfortable in and can just lounge around for a long while.

463 Crawford Lane
#01-63
9 am to 6:30 pm (closed on Mondays)
66480178

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Sanpoutei, Shaw Centre

The boyfriend and I had been craving for good tsukemen since our return from Japan, the land of wonderful tsukemen. Heard that Sanpouttei does pretty good tsukemen so we dropped by for dinner one evening after shopping in Orchard. Or more accurately, window-shopping in Orchard since we usually just stroll around, check out new shops, but hardly ever buy anything. Shopping is best done online, unless there is a sale!


The thick broth was good, very robust with bits of sardine inside. The noodles were done al dente as well and was delicious when dipped into the broth. I was, however, really quite surprised that there was no char siew in this tsukemen. I guess I should have read the description in detail and stop assuming that tsukemen here will be served like its counterpart in Japan with thick slabs of marbly pork. But still, I was rather disappointed. Even though the bits of sardine in the broth was sweet, I missed having some marbly pork to go with my noodles.

Expectations! When can I finally learn that I am usually disappointed only because I have expectations which are not aligned with reality? That said, the broth here is really good. And I shouldn't be whining because I came back again a few weeks later to have the tsukemen again. Without the pork. ;)

Shaw House
350 Orchard Road
#B1-04/05 
68364644

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

USA Itinerary (Orlando) Day 11 - A horrible experience with Dollar Car Rental but the day was saved by good shopping at premium outlets

We arrived at Port Canaveral in the morning, had breakfast, and disembarked into sunny Orlando. We took forever to reach the Dollar car rental shop because the shuttle service took 45 minutes to arrive. The lady driving the shuttle bus was friendly and nice, but appeared severely overworked, and we were completely clueless as to why the shuttle bus took 45 minutes to get to Port Canaveral from the Dollar shop which was about a 10 minute drive away.

Anyway when we reached the Dollar car rental shop we were in for a rude shock. The queue was omfg long, we waited for an hour before it was our turn, and found out that they did not have the full size car which we reserved (and paid for) prior to our trip!

WTF.

Their attitude was horrible, they were completely unapologetic about the screw up, and absolutely flippant about not being able to provide the car we reserved. Offered an extremely small hatchback and told us in no uncertain terms that it was literally take it or leave it. Amazing. If we were going to settle for any shit car that you are going to provide, what was the whole point of reserving and paying for the vehicle before our trip?! It's like making us pay for a scallop and eventually serving us clams and telling us that it was as good as it gets.

Anyhow, so we managed to squeeze all our luggage into the miserable boot of our small hatchback since we desperately wanted to get moving. We asked for the toll-free package (i.e. we paid a flat fee for tolls and need not go through the toll booths and pay separately) and were told it was included, so in the mess and confusion we left, thinking we are finally done with this horrid place. When we arrived back in Singapore, Zg received a rude shock when Dollar billed him for the tolls PLUS a fine for each toll booth we ostensibly skipped.

WTF AGAIN.

It was quite a large sum and I was so furious, I think I could have hit the roof. We wrote to them and filed so many complaints but Dollar simply ignored every single one of them. So I checked all the consumer tribunals in Orlando (lawyer instinct) which was no good because we were literally miles away. Thankfully social media has no boundary, and after a handful of posts on Dollar's Facebook page they refunded the amount and we only had to pay for the tolls. At least there was some justice there. And thank god we can write in English. I can totally imagine being forced to swallow the fine if there was no way to communicate anything to Dollar.



So after a rocky start, we went to the Orlando Premium Outlets (Vineland Premium Outlet and Orlando International) for some retail therapy where we scooped up some awesome purchases. If you visit the premium outlets in US, do remember to drop by the information center for a booklet of discount vouchers that give further discounts on top of the good prices. Had Five Guys for dinner which was good, but my heart belongs to Shake Shack!


Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9, Day 10.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Meatsmith, Telok Ayer

The first post on Meatsmith is so long overdue that I actually managed to return for a second time.

FIRST TRIP

After a run from the office to Marina Bay and a slow jog/walk back, I replenished my body with all the calories burnt during the run at Meatsmith. Meatsmith was on the Entertainer App so we had 1 for 1 on the mains which was perfect! We ordered some sides and dessert which was honestly way too much for both of us but well, we were greedy. 

Crispy pork rinds. Omg this was so sinful but SO GOOD. Crispy, delicious, not oily, not greasy and so fragrant!


Pulled Pork Sandwich ($17). This was recommended by a friend and I found it good, but not incredible. 


I can't remember what this was called anymore, but I vaguely remember that it tasted pretty much like sausages with salsa on a bed of mash. Good but not fantastic either. 


The Garlic Bread ($6) was very yums! Thick, fragrant and very savoury.


Had the apple crumble for dessert. The apple crumble was very unique because it came like a pastry in a bowl with a thick crust on top and chunks of sweet apple soaked in sweet syrup below. I prefer my apple crumble with crunchier apple bits but Meatsmith's apple crumble came with soft mushy apple slices (which is probably how everybody likes it). It was served very very hot though which meant my ice cream melted extremely quickly. 


SECOND TRIP

I could be dreaming but the menu looks a little different.


Went for the pork rinds again!


1/2 Smoked Chicken ($22). Pretty decent, but still a weak competitor to the ribs.


1/2 Pork Spare Ribs ($25) were absolutely awesome. They were totally fall-off-the-bone tender! Also ordered Cauliflower ($11) which was a delightful mix of grilled cauliflower and Bacon Mac & Cheese ($10). 


A Brownie with Coconut Ice Cream ($8) to end off the meal!



167/168 Telok Ayer Street
+65 6221 2262
Monday to Saturdays: 830 am till late
Closed on Sundays