Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gourmet groceries

Strange how preparation for the Christmas feast starts a month in advance. As I accompanied my mom grocery shopping for special ingredients through a series of upmarket gourmet grocers and the usual mega marts. We ended up placing orders for the ham, turkey and other Xmas stuff instead of cooking it from scratch. Not before I scored these goodies from ThosB. White truffle olive oil and fresh foiegras pate that will probably be finished before the feasting begins.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Vegetable Flower Arrangement

Made from 2 packs of French Beans. Another use for farm-fresh produce if you are not a great cook or can't find any great recipes for them.

Moomba Tuckshop

A discreet hole-in-the-wall that serves up fresh sandwiches to the Shenton Way crowd. It's actually quite hard to find, hidden behind a swarm of bikes and smokers by the river. I don't come here often as it's located quite a distance from my office. Unless, I happen to have banking stuff to do. Then I have to make a little detour to grab lunch.

The food is so good that you usually cannot get a seat. Freshly peeled blue swimmer crab with wakame and tobiko on freshly baked olive bread, roasted chicken pasta salad and a rose cream pie. A welcome alternative to O'Brien's or Delifrance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The White Rabbit

Picture of my Blackforest Mojito. Since I am on leave tomorrow, I wanted to have dinner a little further away from office. The newly opened White Rabbit is perfectly located at Dempsey Hill, a retreat in the middle of nowhere. It felt strange to be drinking alcohol in a converted church. But, the cocktail menu is much lauded and we had to try several items on it. The staff are very attentive and helpful. Even offering to help us call cabs for the trip home. A far cry from the early reviews of this place.
Serving Steak Tartare as a starter is brilliant as I never finish it as a main course. It came with thin crisp Melba toasts and 2 hidden quail eggs perfectly cooked with the yolks still runny. We also had their signature dish black truffle Mac & Cheese, a nice twist to the usual Mac & Cheese. Be careful, their side order of Mac & Cheese is completely different from the signature main course. Finishing off the meal with several more cocktails and a Baked Alaska, as their signature dessert Mars Bar Souffle takes too long to prepare (20 mins wait).

Definitely coming back here again. But, leave the car at home and just call a cab.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Lights

Christmas light-up in town. All those sweets and candies with big blue bows.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Christmas Shopping - Done!

Completed my Christmas shopping in record time (just 1 shopping trip). Now I can spend my weekends avoiding the holiday crowd.

Training - part 2

Getting progressively more difficult, as is with any course. Still easier than Prince2 though.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Birthday

Slept in coz I was working late last night and woke up to have lunch with my mom at Charcoal (same building where she works). No brainer right? I haven't been there yet and the reviews seem pretty decent. Pictures of our desserts on the right. Fruit flan and coffee.

We had a little time to kill before picking up my cake, so we took a ride on the Singapore flyer. The picture shows the view from the top. Hmm... wonder what's going on at the floating platform? A celebrity football match, maybe?

Then the cake. Mint choc fudge ice-cream with vanilla cake and biscuit crust, topped with white & dark chocolate daisies. My 2 nephews helped me put the candles in.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prank Calls

We have had quite a few prank callers at work lately. They are really from external headhunters trying to get a feel of the organization. Asking about people, job scope, email addresses and hand phone numbers. So much so, my colleagues have started an email chain of our latest experiences. Just today, I received one from an Indian company wanting to outsource their Ops (as if). And asked me if I was the team manager looking to jump ship. If they wanted to outsource their Ops, why would they ask me to move over to their company at the same time??

Anyways, I reached home in time to receive my first birthday greetings this year.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Avenue Q

I finally caught the highly publicised and much touted Muppet musical. Apart from the initial shock of rudeness from cute fuzzy wuzzies, the simple storyline and lack of sophistication in props and lighting comes across as children's theatre. For the adult audience that grew up watching Muppets, there is novelty value in seeing these lovable puppets be as lewd and crude as real people are.

Al though, it was good for whiling away 2 hours, I always feel theatre has to be more entertaining and larger than life than say ... going to the movies. For one, tickets cost more and it's held in a more formal setting where no food and drinks are allowed. I have a feeling the new James Bond movie will be more entertaining than this.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Industry Training Course

First day of a long industry course my company is sponsoring me for. Not too bad, the first few tests were relatively easy. I had expected it to be a lot more difficult given my last training course was PRINCE2, that required a lot of reading & industry experience for the exam essays. At least 3 more papers to go before I become certified. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Club 21 Sale

Today is the members only pre-sale event. Still, the crowds were out in full force at the F1 Pit Building. Can you imagine the kind of sale that takes up half a floor? This annual event usually throws up a good bargain (my colleague got a Balanciega motorcycle bag @ 80% discount in 2006). This year is no exception as I took a day off to be amongst the early few at the sale.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Leaf Pies

My colleague in Japan gave our department 2 boxes of Leaf Pies. Handmade, preservative free pastries from West Confectionery in Ginza Japan. It owes it yumminess to mountain milk from the Tohoku area. The pastry is folded into 256 layers by hand and shaped into a Leaf. No wonder it tastes like freshly baked french pastry.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White Truffle Season

Tis the season for foodies to unite in search of goodies. No it is not Christmas. It's just Autumn, the time Chinese have their Hairy Crabs for the creamy egg custard like roe and Italians seek out white truffles in their pastas, pizzas and soups.
Not a foodie by nature, I only know it's white truffle season when the restaurants start serving it. The simple spaghetti carbonara at La Strada is tossed in truffle butter with truffle shavings on top (along with the parmesan, egg confit & spanish ham) giving it a rich boost of flavour. The taste still lingers in my mind. After reading the Sunday Times article on the new Les Amis chef, I made a trip down to savour the steak frites infused with truffle. The coffee is also served with a white truffle & chocolate macaroon that's absolutely out of this world. I even heard the group next to me persuade the maitre'd for seconds (the macaroon comes with the coffee and is not on the menu).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Currently Reading

I finished reading "Bringing Home the Birkin" over the weekend. I think it was the bright orange cover that attracted my attention to begin with. It's lighthearted and funny with pretty pictures of the bags and places the author has mentioned in the book. I never thought I would read a book that teaches people how to shop. And at Hermes! Now I feel like taking a vacation in Madrid.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bon Voyage Bro!

My brother leaves today for his 1 year posting in Hong Kong.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

JewelFest 08

As usual, I had to pop by the tent to have a look see. Some gorgeous rings (I have to many) and necklaces (out of my budget). I was surprised to see many Halloween worthy pieces like the black diamond spider and cobwebs necklace and another necklace with rows of coral beads carved (like a pumpkin) into skulls. Hellmuth's signature croc-embossed gold & diamond necklace (price unavailable) made me want to hand over what remains of my life savings and I really liked Tianpo's Venusa Sautoir which is entirely detachable into multiple pieces.

This year's star attractions are highly unusual. Faberge World Wildlife Fund Egg with an orang utan within was beautifully crafted. There was also the Mouawad Victoria's Secret diamond encrusted Christmas lingerie that made SooKee's diamond encrusted jewellery box look tame. Goldheart had some unusual pieces (a purple gold hair clip) in their Orient Bliss collection.

As for wearable, VOI jewellery and Baerjewels ultra sleek jewellery made me take a second look. I would have bought me some if not for the current economic state. Lee Hwa had some nice everyday pieces in Lace Reverie & Palais Princess. Surprisingly, I walked out of the tent empty-handed.