Saturday, October 22, 2016

SAFRApore II: Brunch and a Double Dates

Cafe Melba

Could sleep in on Saturday since our brunch appointment was at 10:30 AM. Even had a little time to fool around before MoonlightPiggy arrived. Together we took the bus to the Goodman Arts Center where Cafe Melba was located. As we walked in, MoonlightPiggy was nearly decapitate by the parking gantry. Keep an eye out for that. Eunice had also just arrived. I scooped her son up and brought him in. Eunice was surprised that he didn't wail. She said I must have a babysitter's aura. The first thing he noticed was the bouncy castle beside the cafe which he called a swimming pool! Eunice's daughter wasn't so good with strangers. Being the latest addition to the family, it was natural that she was the center of attention. Unfortunately, she shied away from us and would wail pitifully when separated from her mother.

Truffle Fries

KH had the eggs Benedict while I had the potato rosti with corned beef. Standard prices start at SGD16 for vegetarian options while each each meat add-on costs an extra SGD4. Honestly, the rosti was good with cheese, but a bit chewy when cold. My biggest complaint is the poached eggs, all cold and tasteless. Even the yolk was bland.


The kids were getting fidgety and cranky by noon (there's only so much one can do with truffle fries), so we bid Eunice goodbye. The rest of us stayed on to explore the weekend market there. There was a flea market, food market and lifestyle market. MoonlightPiggy got a mini tiffin carrier for herself and an air plant. The kids who were manning the stall were amazing salesmen. I'm sure they'll grow up to be very successful.

Venus Fly Trap

Next we met Justin and his newly-wedded wife, so it was kinda like a double date. We sat down at Social Square by MOF, Waterway Point. Lovely to chat over something sweet. Justin asked something pretty deep: "What's the next step for both of you?". Kinda got us stumped. Something to think about eh?



To keep Sunday morning free, we attended sunset mass at St. Michael's Church. Wasn't a long way from the MRT station. Although it was nestled in a residential area, KH found it with ease. Strange that his built-in GPS works better in Singapore. In terms of architecture, it was a modern church layout with mass celebrated on the second floor, while they had a void deck a cafeteria downstairs. Very HDB right? The distinguishing factors would be the round stained glass windows representing scenes from the stations of the cross and a grotto that featured the statue of a the Welcoming Christ rather than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Michael Archangel

Prayer & Pews

Crucifix and Stained Glass

Immaculate Heart of Jesus

That evening, we had a dinner date with Tater and good friend LL at Platypus, Bugis Junction. We've been hearing about him for long time, only to meet him now. Ordered the course dinner but that was kind of a mistake because everything came at the same time. Not very clever at all. The food didn't leave much of an impression. Halfway through dinner, we were joined by Kidz and Rick, his bestie. Couldn't stay long because KH and Tater needed to get their rest for the big race tomorrow!

Lamb Ragu

Grilled Chicken

Apple Pie

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SAFRApore I: Tok Haji Taxi, Pokemon Paradise & Owl Cafe


Normally, when I had to get to the airport, I would make a call to my regular taxi driver. But he has since moved on to the frozen seafood business, I had to look for alternatives. Not wanting to pay RM100 for his MPV airport limo buddies, I decided to try out, whose ad appeared at the top of the list. Wasn't too sure about their service so I tried doing some research on the Low Yat forums. Found nothing. Risking it, I did the booking anyway via the website. Received a confirmation email but no booking number. They were supposed to call me, but they never did. In the back of mind, I had Uber as a plan B. To my surprise, I was only contacted at 3:00 AM on Friday (nearly 7 hours before my booking time) via What's App and e-mail, two days after I made the booking. Once I confirmed, a taxi driver called me at 9:00 AM. Ad hoc arrangements.


My taxi driver arrived at my front door some 10 minutes late. Did not expect him to be the jubah-serban-beard-manliner type. He introduced himself as Isma, which shouldn't have come as any shock to me. He was an amiable and chatty fella.  Our topics ranged from bribery at PUSPAKOM to the Haj pilgrimage balloting. In a resigned voice, he said he was given a slot in 2051 by Tabung Haji and was skeptical the he'd still be alive by then. Sarcastically, he talked about VIPs who made the trip multiple times and cut queues wondering if they would receive Allah's blessings. Although we started late, we arrived at the airport on time.


Kinetic Rain

Check-in didn't take long and we had an hour to spare at Plaza Premium Lounge. This time, we tried the lounge at GATEWAY@KLIA2. In terms of food and cleanliness, it was much better than the lounge at Terminal L. Our flight to Singapore was pretty rocky. Although the seat belt sign had been turned off, I found myself rocking from front to back while pissing. From T1, we took the MRT to Tanah Merah where MoonlighPiggy was waiting for us. Immediately noticed the horrible air quality. Subsequently, we travelled to Paya Lebar where our AirBnB was located. It was located above an old row of shop houses at Tanjong Katong Road. All the doors were secured by access codes with no host. Very self service. Our room was located on the third floor, one of the seven rooms distributed over two floors. Three common bathrooms and a pantry were located on the second floor.

Tg Katong Road


First stop was to visit MoonlightPiggy's mum at Yishun. When I saw the front door, I thought I had arrived at a temple! Very red, very heartland. And I thought the people at Klang were traditional. I was an uninvited guest to dinner. MoonlightPiggy didn't want to tell her lest she cook more than usual, which is usually already too much. Wonder if she suspected who I was. On the dining table was roast duck, sweet and sour fish, broccoli with mock duck, oyster sauce chicken, abacus seeds,  steamed Tofu with minced pork, stir fried eggplant and old cucumber soup. Over dinner, I could see how KH interacted with MoonlighPiggy's mum. He had such a challenging time expressing himself in Mandarin. When dinner was over, we retired to the living room which was heavily decorated with all things symbolic to prosperity and wealth in the Chinese culture. Huat much.

Heartland Singapore

Early Dinner II

Early Dinner I

Wasn't long before MoonlightPiggy and KH were itching to catch Pokemon, so we hunting around the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Yishun Pond. But the hotshot was really at the nearby Yishun Park. A whole lotta people were just loitering there catching Pokemon, some on foot, some on bicycles. Even a couple of police officers came along, which I thought were to disperse the 'illegal assembly', but actually to shoo away some illegal hawkers selling drinks and ice cream there.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Yishun Pond

Pokemon Craze

Once satisfied, we went over to MoonlightPiggy's brand new HDB at Dawson. These new BTO HDBs look like high class condos just that anyone can walk in. MoonlightPiggy's spent a pretty penny on the design and renovations. I nearly choked when I heard the price tag of the Italian coffee table. The end result was a home that looked like an owl-themed Cafe with a very woody feel. Her hubby had a glass-walled study that doubled as a Lego City display. She made us coffee (Owl brand of course) and we stayed around till 9-ish. She brought us up to the sky garden on the 47th floor to look at the hazy city line. Surprised that they decided to mar the design theme with colorful tables and chairs that scream McDonald's.

Neighborhood Art

Sky Roof II

Sky Roof I

Lego City

It had been a long day, but we had one more stop to go-- Tater. Like KH, Tater was in Singapore to run in the SAFRA Army Half Marathon. Earlier in the week, MoonlightPiggy had helped them to pick up the race packs. Took a long cab ride to Intercontinental Hotel, Bugis where we bumped into ZR at the lounge. Spent about half an hour at Tater's hotel room figuring out some logistics for the race day. And Tater passed us some lovely home-baked soft chocolate chip cookies and caramel scones.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Back at the AirBnB, we nearly collapsed on bed without showering. But somehow we found the energy to shower and wash off a day's worth of grime. Although both of us said that we were tired, we still found reserves to skank. Hopefully my moans didn't bother the neighbours. But we didn't care, they were noisy b*tches anyway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wet Market After Hours

Market After Hours

Sunday's lunch was a continuation of Saturday's dinner. A DAP stalwart had invited the bunch of us over to her food stall at the Old Klang Road wet market (3 1/2 mile). At that time of day, the hustle and bustle of the market had died down and stalls were being shuttered. It was only us and the cleaners. The nice lady bid us to sit while she doled out dish after dish of goodies. We digged in to fried glass noodles, fried yellow noodles, Singapore style kway teow, sambal petai, Teochew porridge and stir-fried clams. After the food had been polished off, mangosteens and duku were served. If not for the stuffy conditions, the lunch party would have lasted longer.

Glass Noodles


Flat Rice Noodles

In the evening, went out to Taman Bukit Jalil with the tribe. Little Monster was quick to show off the pair blue Adidas sports shoes that his mother had just bought for him that afternoon (the kid has fat feet, so its hard to find a suitable pair). Judging by how much he ran, the shoes were a good fit. On the contrary, Big Monster didn't have much stamina that day. Just after a couple of trips and the kids were already familiar with the routes around the park. A good way to teach them some navigational skills. An hour there was enough to tire the kids out as they had used up a lot of their energy at MegaKids in the afternoon. So cute to see the little one all flushed, sweaty and dazed. I also fulfilled my fitness quota for the day and spotted enough eye candy in skanky pants (gomenasai, no pics!).

Pre-Wedding Photography

Went home to shower then drove to MaisonSK for a home cooked dinner of soup and stewed sea cucumber. If that wasn't enough, we followed through with Pu Er, apples and chorizo. Guess I run to eat.

Stewed Sea Cucumber

Pu Er Tea

Fruits, Tomatoes and Chorizo

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sweaty Salmon and Lotsa Lees

Salmon Nigiri Sushi

Woke up on Saturday morning with a huge fog in my head. My first muddled thought was that I was late for work. The night before, I had been dreaming about being harassed by marauding Pokemon. I was running up and down. Damn tiring. I have no idea why I was subjected to such a dream because I didn't even install the game! Went to the market in that blur sotong mode as mum didn't want to miss a third week of marketing.


In the afternoon, had a lunch appointment with Gratitude at Jyu Raku, SS15. Our original plan was to eat at Mitasu, but they were fully-booked. Hoped for last minute cancellations but there were none. Drove there with SK in my Iswara Skyline which felt like a moving sauna. The air-conditioning had been on the blink for months but it was never a concern because I only drive it early in the morning and late in the evening for my work commute. When we arrived at the restaurant, I was ready for a wet T-shirt contest!

Sashimi Salad

The food at Jyu Raku was quite good. SK and I shared a selection of sashimi salad (they mixed in fried salmon skin and ikura for a variety of textures), salmon sushi, and assorted yakitori. Would definitely revisit the restaurant. Most of the time, we chatted about recent developments in family matters. Drama never ends.


Nearby was a cafe that Gratitude had been wanting to introduce us to called 95 Degres Art Cafe, just 3 degrees from the famous boy band group of the 1990s. The cafe is located in the busy commercial area where traffic and parking can drive a man nuts. Located on the second floor, right above Watsons, the owner did a great job decorating the place. In my opinion, it was very cozy, with art adorning nearly every wall and corner. Even the smoking area looked great. The lemon cheese tart was yummy but I wasn't crazy about their signature watermelon cake.


Six Items

In the evening, mum and I had a free dinner at Thean Hou Temple, Robson Heights. The United Lee's Association of Selangor and KL were celebrating their 68th anniversary and we managed to get free tickets to the dinner. Boils down to PR between Chinese associations where they 'give face' to each other by buying tickets for functions and dinners. We arrived a little early so we could do a little camwhoring, taking pictures among the statues of the Chinese zodiac and Yue Lao. The organizing committee actually placed a lion dance troupe at the entrance to welcome guests.

Outer Temple

Yue Lao

Sunset II


Inner Temple

Tardiness was absent during the anniversary celebrations with everything starting on time. The arrival of guests was slotted at 7:00 PM and they actually had non-stop performances right up till 8:00 PM when the VIPs walked in to officiate the occasion. Food was promptly served after that. Following the recent trend, a caterer from Sekinchan was used. Each guest was given an Indocafe goodie bag and there was a free flow of Budweiser! Guess that means the two Malaysian bosses for that brand are Lees.

Gu Zheng

Performances continued with lots of singing and dancing. Typical getai fare. Halfway through, they streamed the Olympics Men's Singles Badminton Finals. Because reception in the hall was horrible, they had to pull a long AV cable from the entrance right up to the projector. Although that kinda disrupted the attention of the guests, I guess they had to do it since it was Lee at the finals (although as we all know he lost to Chen Long). At the end of the night, I was glad that I did not have the Japanese buffet at Mitasu for lunch!

I Hate Myself For Loving You