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Chinese

Mummy’s 51st Birthday Celebration at Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant (Marriott Hotel)

By | Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Life | No Comments

It’s hard for me to come to reality with this but my mum just turned 51 in May this year.

FIFTY. ONE.

10 years ago, the 20-year old me very much wanted to just move out and get her out of my hair hahaha. (Don’t we all!)

But fast-foward ten years, after the younger, rebellious me have grown up and gotten married and moved super far away, I wish my parents stayed closer to me (or me to them) so that I could spend more time with them. The weekly dinners we’d have before my brother enlisted in the army have become lesser and lesser, but my heart is always in Eunos Crescent.

I miss my mum’s cooking loads (all mums should cook because there’s no food like home cooked food) but it just isn’t fair to make her slave over the stove on her birthday, so we made plans to head out for a little family dinner with her loved ones, and we chose the famed Wan Hao restaurant in Marriott Hotel, Singapore!

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{ Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant } 
320 Orchard Road | Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, Singapore 238865
Website | TripAdvisor | Tel: +65 6831 4605

Wan Hao serves excellent Cantonese cuisine (you know it’s famous when your mum makes a remark about how nice the food is etc etc when you mention that you’ve made a booking at Wan Hao) and has been around since 1995 – that’s 20 years this 2015, and to celebrate their 20th Anniversary, they’ve specially put together a menu featuring the best Signature dishes of all time, with 20 of the most popular and award-winning a la carte dishes from 1995!

We got ourselves a little room so that we could get some privacy!

:D that's part of my chinese name!

:D that’s part of my Chinese name!

寿桃! The folks at Wan Hao realized that it was a birthday celebration and we were all treated to a round of longevity buns!

寿桃!
The kind staff at Wan Hao realized that it was a birthday celebration and we were all treated to a round of longevity buns!

I don’t know about you, but it’s my family thing to make everyone at the table have at least a bite of it for good luck. I love 寿桃s and can finish the entire plate by myself no problem! Hahaha.

The first dish, was Crispy Suckling Pig with Prawn Paste ($30). The sweet sauce dip it came with was perfect pairing with the crispy pig's skin and savoury prawn paste which was cooked as one.

The first proper dish, was Crispy Suckling Pig with Prawn Paste ($30).

One would have thought that this dish of Crispy Suckling Pig would be frightfully oily, but it was not – instead, it was an extremely well balanced dish, with skin and a bit of fat atop prawn paste which was melded together as a bite sized piece.

The sweet sauce dip it came with was perfect pairing with the crispy pig's skin, which was cooked together with the savoury prwan paste.

The sweet sauce dip it came with went absolutely well with it – it was so good, I couldn’t stop popping piece after piece into my mouth!

Then came the Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup with Assorted Seafood, which won compliments from everyone at the table!

Then came the Double-boiled Winter Melon Soup with Assorted Seafood, which won compliments from everyone at the table!

My entire family LOVES soup – every lunch or dinner will definitely have a soup dish and this was hands down the best soup we’ve had in a very long time! The light yet flavourful broth almost had me asking for seconds – the winter melon and seafood were cut up to bite-sized portions (very welcomed as we had a kid in our group) and it was DELICIOUS.

Yum - Pan-Fried Fresh Scallop, Shrimp Paste & Broccoli with Spicy Szechuan Sauce!

Yum – Pan-Fried Fresh Scallop, Shrimp Paste & Broccoli with Spicy
Szechuan Sauce came with huge, WHOLE scallops and was one of the star dishes of the night!

The spicy Szechuan sauce complemented the fresh scallops really well, and the generous portions kept my parents (and I) happy!

Braised Asparagus, Fresh Crab Meat & Crab Roe with Egg White Sauce

Braised Asparagus, Fresh Crab Meat & Crab Roe with Egg White Sauce

If I had a plate of white rice, I would be scooping this onto my plate and finishing every morsel of rice with this! I love crabs, and the accompanying asparagus was the perfect companion to balance out this very savoury mix with crab roe!

This last dish was so adorable that I couldn't stop taking pictures of it!

This last dish was so adorable that I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it!

This beauty that came wrapped in a lotus leaf was none other than the Wok-Fried Lotus Leaf Rice & Waxed Meat!

This beauty that came wrapped in a lotus leaf was none other than the Wok-Fried Lotus Leaf Rice & Waxed Meat!

My aunt was asking me why I chose this dish because we were really full towards the end of the 5-course dinner – but my parents took a bite and no one had questions anymore. Even I was rendered speechless by how good this dish tasted! It’s really just simple fried rice with waxed meat – but the aromatic fragrance emitting from every bite just makes you want to dig in for more. The portion was really just right for us to finish the meal with, and I would really recommend that you try this at least once! It’s really different from all the wok-fried lotus leaf rice I’ve had!

Happy, fully faces after our meal! I'm so glad that my parents loved the dinner and agreed with my choice of restaurant! It's really hard to impress my dad and thankfully Wan Hao's dishes more than met his standards!

Happy, fully faces after our meal! I’m so glad that my parents loved the dinner and agreed with my choice of restaurant! It’s really hard to impress my dad and thankfully Wan Hao’s dishes more than met his standards!

The 3 generations of ladies in the family! Missing my other 2 baby cousins who had school the next day and had to miss this wonderful meal.

The 3 generations of ladies in the family! Missing my other 2 baby cousins who had school the next day and had to miss this wonderful meal.

LOVE.  Missing my little brother who unfortunately had to fulfil his duty as a soldier.

LOVE.
Missing my little brother who unfortunately had to fulfil his duty as a soldier.

Happy birthday Mummy!!!! We love you!!!

Happy birthday Mummy!!!! We love you!!!

Psst, Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant’s having their 20th Anniversary celebrations till 31st July 2015, and you can still try out the dishes I’ve mentioned in this post! Plus, dine on Mondays and enjoy special prices! Please call Wan Hao at +65 6831 4605 to check for promotions and for reservations! 

Travel: Penang Foodie Trip 2014, Day 2

By | Asia, Chinese, Food, Life, Travel | No Comments

Part of a 3 post series:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Day 2’s plan was pretty simple and worked out once e had went through the check list of things to do left after day one – and because our hotel’s in a pretty good location, it was decided that we will wake up and get our asses to the cafe once it opens – at 8am.

As you can imagine, with me around… that didn’t really go as intended hahaha. We arrived at 830am approx after a 5minute walk, and was greeted by a sight of a full cafe – but still we managed to get seats quickly because someone was leaving, whew!

(P.S. – To save y’all the trouble cos this is one super duper long post, the list of places we went to for day 2’s at the end of the post!) 

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Toh Soon Cafe (多春茶座)

Toh Soon Cafe’s located in a narrow alleyway, and all clad in green, along with a pretty old looking hand painted signboard. I really loved looking at all these hand painted signboards when I was in Penang!

They open at 8am and closes at about 630pm – a pretty long working day, I must say! But we can have toast any time, I don’t really care! :D

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I didn’t see it, but I was told by Trish’s BF that they cooked their toast below O_O and that egg maker looks familiar. Like that I just buy that and make my eggs can already hor?

What was on the menu

What was on the menu – various kinds of bread and I regret not trying egg on toast!

Penangites eat their eggs with light soy sauce, and in Toh Soon we were served this in a glass cup which made slurping it up all the easier!

Penangites eat their eggs with light soy sauce, and in Toh Soon we were served this in a glass cup which made slurping it up all the easier!

TOAST! I love Toast, and this cafe does it really well!

TOAST! I love Toast, and this cafe does it really well! Lightly toasted with just the right amount of kaya inside. Yums.

Peanut toast, and whole wheat bread toast. And kopi.

Peanut toast, and wholemeal bread toast. And kopi.

A table of food! I loved the barley here too - you can chew on the barley bits!

A table of food! I loved the barley here too – you can chew on the barley bits, which I loved! We paid a total of about $22.50 RM at this place for quite a bit of food, which was still really reasonable considering that we had quite a bit of food! 3 toasts, 5 drinks, a packet of nasi lemak, one curry puff…

Toh Soon Cafe's located right beyond this sign (I'm standing at where the cafe is). It's not hard to miss but it's in an alleyway so it might not be immediately obvious.

Toh Soon Cafe’s located right beyond this sign (I’m standing at where the cafe is). It’s not hard to miss but it’s in an alleyway so it might not be immediately obvious.

This cafe was one of the must tries on the list too, but we didn't have space for this...

This cafe was one of the must tries on the list too, but we didn’t have space for this…

Or so we thought. Barely 20 steps and 10 minutes later (stopped by a convenience store to get Pi Pa Gao lol), we later decided to stop by the Kheng Pin Kedai Kopi Cafe which was super near the hotel and nibble some more. o_o;;;

I enjoyed the cafe's Luo Han Guo drink immensely! It had jelly bits inside which was really welcomed. It was sweet, refreshing and the abundance of longans in the drink were a great plus!

I enjoyed the cafe’s Luo Han Guo drink immensely! It had jelly bits inside which was really welcomed. It was sweet, refreshing and the abundance of longans in the drink were a great plus!

Lor Bak in Penang, aka 五香 / Ngoh Heong in Singapore!

Lor Bak in Penang, aka 五香 / Ngoh Heong in Singapore!

Uncle frying Lor bak... The cafe's famous for the Lor Bak I heard, and the boys really liked it. They even ordered a second plate which they finished with no regrets.

Uncle frying Lor bak… The cafe’s famous for the Lor Bak I heard, and the boys really liked it. They even ordered a second plate which they finished with no regrets.

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Travel: Penang Foodie Trip 2014 (And some other touristy things) Day 1

By | Asia, Chinese, Food, Travel | 35 Comments

** NOTE: REALLY LENGTHY POST! **

Part of a 3 post series:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So just last weekend, the husband and I + another couple made our way to Penang for a foodie trip! I was really looking super forward to it – all the cheap and good local food *rubs hands* and since I’ve started to eat spicy food I’ve been more appreciative of local fare and the timing couldn’t be better! (Till I fell sick, that is.)

Okay, some tips for you!

I made 3 mistakes before going on the trip:

1. Not booking the flights early enough 

We paid like, $100 more per couple because we booked 1 week later (which was about 3 weeks before we left). So, book like at least a month earlier, or watch out for good deals!

I’m glad we booked our flight with AirAsia (everyone thought I was asking them to book AirAsia because of the Nasi Lemak hahahaha) because it departed and arrived on time – which was most important for me. I HATE waiting and delays.

(p.s. AirAsia’s having a DBS promo from now till 29th July! $50 (one-way) all in fare to Penang. Fly by 31st Oct. DAMN.)

2. Bad choice of hotel

It was slightly cheaper than some others in the area and also the proximity to places with food good was a plus, but getting served terrible initial service just left me a really bad impression on all of us. Asking us to wait 30mins for the rooms to be ready (check in time was 2pm, we arrived at 2:50pm) was fine – what was not fine, was that they had the cheek to tell me this ridiculous line: “1 room = 30 mins. 2 rooms = 2 x 30 minutes” when we went back to ask about the room after 30 mins. WTF.

And in the end, my room had stained sheets, a stray hair on it (I have blonde hair and that black curly strand surely wasn’t mine) AND a dirty bath mat. BAD HOTEL. We just wanted to take a nap before we continued with our food hunt but because of this we had to wait listlessly around the lobby.

Maybe we should leave a comment about this hotel on tripadvisor because I’m really unhappy with my experience. *arrows husband*

3. Falling sick before my trip

Not that we could control that, but on hindsight I should have taken extra care of myself so that I could enjoy my trip. My entire trip was all about poisoning myself with heaty food and then trying to counter it with lozenges, pi pa gao and cooling drinks. SIGHHHH.

Anyway, that all being said, I had quite a bit of fun! I was amazed at how soundly I slept (and how early each night too) and how much I managed to eat without landing myself in hospital given the condition of my health, heh.

A few things you’ll want to ask me cos I had these questions too:

Transport? 

You can walk, take buses (they actually have hop on / off bus trails) or you can be like us lazy folks and hire a driver for RM250 / day (really great rate we got!) or RM30-80 an hour. Our driver is female, and she does this on a freelance basis so to avoid her getting spammed, email me if you’d like to get her contact details!

Footwear? Clothes? 

Slippers are fine but it was rainy and there were puddles everywhere so I was happy to have worn my slip ons. Temperature’s like Singapore so just wear whatever you would if you’re headed out for a long time. Don’t expect to duck into a shopping centre when you feel hot. SUNSCREEN IS A MUST. I took Heliocare oral pills every 4 hours, and also applied sunblock / reapplied my bb cushion (with high SPF) every 4 hours. Kiasu, Kiasi.

How much money to change? 

A meal in Penang typically costs RM$2.5 – RM5.5 for a plate or bowl of anything. Drinks are even cheaper! It came up to less than RM10 for the 4 of us for drinks. We changed $400 SGD (250RM was for the driver) and still had PLENTY left over even after buying snacks and kopi. I didn’t buy anything at the ONLY mall we went to.

Flight to Penang took approx 1hr 20 mins via AirAsia, and thankfully we experienced no delays at all so we arrived on time and it was instantly agreed upon that we should all just head straight to get some food before checking in at the hotel!

Okay la, enough rambling. Now let’s go to the food!

First stop:

{ Sunshine Market Food Court at Bayan Baru }

Opens: 8am – 11pm (but stalls have their own opening hours) 
Address: Kompleks Sri Selera, Jalan Mayang Pasir 3, Jalan Mayang Pasir 1, Bayan Baru, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Recommended: Refer to foursquare list (but there are so many recommendations (conflicting ones too) that it’s best you just TRY.

Tom Yum Bee Hoon! I quite liked it despite my sore throat. Then again I've been on a spicy food addiction recently...

Tom Yum Bee Hoon! I quite liked it despite my sore throat. Then again I’ve been on a spicy food addiction recently…

Orr lua! They liked the egg but I didn't hear "WAH!" from them (I don't take oysters so I can't comment on this)

Orr lua! They liked the egg but I didn’t hear “WAH!” from them (I don’t take oysters so I can’t comment on this)

Jawa mee (aka Penang's Mee Rebus). It looks good, but that's about it.

Jawa mee (aka Penang’s Mee Rebus). It looks good, but that’s about it.

Tom Yum Fried Rice - It's like claypot tom yum rice served on a plate - the "claypot" taste is really strong and it kind of took away all the tom yum taste for me.

Tom Yum Fried Rice – It’s like claypot tom yum rice served on a plate – the “claypot” taste is really strong and it kind of took away all the tom yum taste for me.

My girlfriend Trisha is a noodle addict like me hahaha and she saw someone order it and tailed the auntie back to the stall to order a plate of their wanton mee. Here they serve it with soy sauce and I think it wasn't too bad, but nothing spectacular either.

My girlfriend Trisha is a noodle addict like me hahaha and she saw someone order it and tailed the auntie back to the stall to order a plate of their wanton mee it looks like wanton mee, but it’s actually maggie mee in sauce with fried fish. Here they serve it with soy sauce and I think it wasn’t too bad, but nothing spectacular either.

MUAH CHEE WAS THE BEST, PLEASE BUY THIS.

But THIS…  THE MUAH CHEE WAS THE BEST, PLEASE BUY THIS. SOFT. FRAGRANT. Practically melts in your mouth (if you take a piece that is small enough, haha). Oh my god I’ve never tasted muah chee this good before. And I thought the muahchee I had when I was a kid was good enough. This one comes with shallots which was weird to me but tastes SOOOOO good you’ll be surprised!

Thank you Casey for being so persistent on buying the Muah Chee even though the uncle was having his lunch break hahaha. I miss it already because I know I’ll never find something like THAT in Singapore!

Now we all needed to walk it all off before having dinner and the guide took us around Penang to the famous touristy spots (aka Wall mural spots lol) so that I could take some photos and admire the art!

George Town, the capital state of Penang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site - "officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia" - Read more about George Town on Wikipedia.

George Town, the capital state of Penang, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – “officially recognised as having a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia” – Read more about George Town on Wikipedia.

I enjoyed looking at these old buildings, hand painted signboards, aged walls and the blue sky behind these beautiful buildings without a skyscraper in sight. But oh yeah it WAS hot.

I enjoyed looking at these old buildings, hand painted signboards, aged walls and the blue sky behind these beautiful buildings without a skyscraper in sight. But oh yeah it WAS hot.

Penang, like Singapore - is a multinational country. The road signs are mostly in Malay, but you'll be surprised that the Chinese Penangites speak Hokkien! Their Hokkien is a little different from Singapore's though - it's interesting to read the differences (I wiki-ed cos I couldn't comprehend some of their hokkien)

Penang, like Singapore – is a multinational country. The road signs are mostly in Malay, but you’ll be surprised that the Chinese Penangites speak Hokkien! Their Hokkien is a little different from Singapore’s though – it’s interesting to read about the differences (I wiki-ed cos I couldn’t comprehend some of their hokkien)

About Penang Street Art


There’s a great deal of street art in Penang and I think it’s really good for tourism and business – plenty of stalls around there to quench your thirst should you feel parched while walking around to take photos – whether its good food or not is another thing though, haha.

When you arrive at the airport (which is small, but clean and new, btw) you can grab brochures at the departure gates for maps, food recommendations and there’s a map with a list of street art for you to check off! The most famous ones are the Motorcyle and Kite ones by the fantastic Ernest Zacharevic (facebook, website)  – some of the others, as a reader highlighted to me on dayre.me (thank you, @szemin!) are imitation art, but in my honest opinion, they’re really good too!

Alternatively, you can read up about the various street art here or just look around on Penang Global Tourism’s facebook page.

We started off at one end of Gat Lebuh Chulia and found some gems in an alleyway! 

You can spot minions from Despicable Me everywhere - they're drawn in all sorts of situations and costumes!

You can spot minions from Despicable Me everywhere – they’re drawn in all sorts of situations and costumes!

The minion painting was located right at a warehouse and even at the doors there were plenty of scribblings and some very interesting Chinese words which elicited a chuckle from me when I read them both (one on each door).

The minion painting was located right at a warehouse and even at the doors there were plenty of scribblings and some very interesting Chinese words which elicited a chuckle from me when I read them both (one on each door).

And this was my first "realistic" wall art. It might look creepy but I think there was plenty of effort put into this! This isn't by Earnest but an imitation - nonetheless, well executed and admired by many!

And this was my first “realistic” wall art. It might look creepy but I think there was plenty of effort put into this! This isn’t by Earnest but an imitation – nonetheless, well executed and admired by many!

This was painted by a local artist, Louis Gan. It's also full of effort and it must be hard to work on a scale like this but still get all the proportions right!

This was painted by a local artist, Louis Gan. It’s also full of effort and it must be hard to work on a scale like this, given the height of the mural!

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"The cats walking for animal awareness mural is the 8th of 11 murals created for the 101 Lost Kittens project, to generate greater awareness of stray animals."

“The cats walking for animal awareness mural is the 8th of 11 murals created for the 101 Lost Kittens project, to generate greater awareness of stray animals.”

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Down this abandoned alleyway you'll find even more street art, but the more notable piece is the Bruce Lee one!

Down this abandoned alleyway you’ll find even more street art, but the more notable piece is the Bruce Lee one!

""Bruce Lee" is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang for the 101 Lost Kittens project."

“”Bruce Lee” is one of the murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, in George Town, Penang for the 101 Lost Kittens project.”

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This one's an original Ernest Zacharevic!

This one’s an original Ernest Zacharevic!

And so is this more famous one!

And so is this more famous one!

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Random Weekends

By | Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Japanese, Life, Randoms | 2 Comments

The month passed by in a flash… O_O;

{ Bro’s birthday at Jumbo Seafood, East Coast }

Shark's fin with crab meat, yum!

Shark’s fin with crab meat, yum!

Bamboo Clams :p

Bamboo Clams, my fave!

Jumbo's Mee Goreng - this was alright.

Jumbo’s Mee Goreng – this was alright.

Cod fish, Baby Kailan

Cod fish, Baby Kailan

Deer Venison. I didn't like this one at all.

Deer Venison. I didn’t like this one at all. Tasted really gamey… pass.

Boiled Prawns!

Boiled Prawns!

Jumbo's Chilli Crab & Mantou - yeah I know about them losing to Gordon Ramsay hahaha. But that's okay, I still enjoy it! I have an insane love for seafood. Seafood over poultry anytime please.

Jumbo’s Chilli Crab & Mantou – yeah I know about them losing to Gordon Ramsay hahaha. But that’s okay, I still enjoy it! I have an insane love for seafood. Seafood over poultry anytime please.

Dad & Mum <3

Dad & Mum <3

The little bro turns 23, and that's my grandma between me and my mum!

The little bro turns 23, and that’s my grandma between me and my mum!

{ i-Weekly’s Beauty HQ at Hotel Re! }

Had the honor of being Larry’s demo model for i-Weekly’s Beauty HQ event, where he was also the speaker and spoke about taking care of your skin for all ages. And and and… Ann Kok was a guest speaker too!! Guess who had the privilege of meeting her?! XD

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Sadly the pic’s a little pixelated cos it was kindda dark (backlight bah). Still. That woman doesn’t look like she’s aged in any bit. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to them… “I’ve watched your shows when I was young!” – sounds like I’m saying they’re old. But really, to look like this at her age, wah!

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{ Benefit’s Porefessional Summit }

Yina and I were invited to become Spygals for Benefit’s Porefessional Summit, and to also perform makeovers on 2 fans! This was my second time putting on makeup for someone and I was feeling really lost… for all of 5 minutes. Thankfully my makeover model had great skin, was young and nice features to begin with XD

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Gosh I can’t believe Phoebe is 10 WHOLE YEARS younger than I am. Please vote for #TeamEvonneandYina!!!

There were also 2 flash mob performances right outside Tangs…

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And part of the flash mob were these really adorable Vespa scooters with sidecars, decorated with Benefit’s stickers! They came rolling in fetching the (model) spy gals in the side cars!

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Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to act pretty on the scooter, along with the SpyGal’s Porefessional Kit!

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{ Special Purchase Offer – COMPLIMENTARY BROW WAXING! }

If you’ve missed out the chance to take part in the event, fret not!

Benefit’s giving our readers special benefits – For the month of August, with the purchase of any Benefit Products from either Sephora Ngee Ann City (Taka) or Robinson’s at Raffles City, you’ll be entitled to a complimentary brow waxing service/voucher!

Terms & Conditions apply:

  • Complimentary brow vouchers are redeemable with any purchase of Benefit product (no minimum purchase)
  • Readers need to quote your respective names to our Beauty Advisors on duty, i.e., “SpyGal Renee” or “SpyGal Evonne”, etc, to redeem the voucher
  • Appointment booking for the complimentary brow service is necessary, and only valid at Robinsons Raffles City or Sephora Ngee Ann City
  • Voucher redemption is valid from 1 August 2013 onwards at selected counters only
  • While stocks last only

And right after the event, I rushed off to attend a wedding dinner – congrats on your matrimonial union, Wendy & Vincent! Many happy travels ahead for you guys as Mr & Mrs Ow! ; D

It was one of the funnest wedding I’ve ever been to – the entire table kept ourselves entertained so well, and I’m grateful for the friendships made during my time on LiveJournal – I love all of you!

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And thanks to my photographer friends on the same table too, hahaha. Especially Ron for this OOTD shot – I’m wearing H&M (dress), Jeffrey Campbell (Heels) & TheVelvetDolls (Box Clutch Bag).

{ Love Bonito’s Sale @ Novotel Clarke Quay }

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The girls and I trooped down to LB’s sale at Novotel and shopped to our hearts’ delight! Wished I went on the first day though, all the nicer designs were all snapped up : ( I left with 2 dresses which fit me very well, whee! Thanks Rach for the invite ; D And also to my girls for such a fun day out!

I’m missing the the fruit loaf from Linger Fingers which was free for us to sample over at the LB sale! *hungry now*

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The initial plan was to head over to TFBB for brunch, but alas, it was full and SO VERY HOT that afternoon, so we shelved that crazy idea (TFBB only has outdoor dining tables, no air-conditoning and the heat was unbearable) and headed over to Marutama instead!

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Yum, that was Estrella’s Teriyaki Chicken don for just $9 SGD!

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The rest of us ordered the Zenbu Nose, which was everything in a bowl – Char Siew, Kakuni, Tamago (they make the best!), Seaweed & Spring Onion! Obviously my order was done without spring onions, haha but it tasted really really good.

I must say, Marutama’s standards have improved by leap and bounds – I’ve stopped coming for quite a while because it was just too salty and gave me a headache whenever I ate it. But I actually went there twice in a week because it was just so delicious again suddenly! I think it was even better than my first time to Marutama.

Random Rambling…

My weekends have been getting progressively happier because… my skin is finally turning better! I have plagued by pimply skin again recently, it was the worst in my few years – the pimples just.. popped out. and wouldn’t stop popping all over my face! I had no idea why this happened and it was really depressing (Yes Yina, I finally know how you feel!) It was so bad that the make up artists (Larry Yeo, and Karen from Shiseido) who had worked on me previously when my skin was better all commented “以前不是这样的…” T________T I know, I tell that to myself too.

After a few weeks of trying to let it heal by itself (to no avail, obviously), I went to an aesthetic doctor I trust (from word of mouth, not sponsored or anything), and was prescribed some antibiotics instead of hormone pills as I have plans to conceive, and also went for a facial at his clinic. Main reason I went to him was because he’s a doctor – I feel… safer. That, and the fact that he has two dips in Dermatology! After reading Bunbun’s article I’m sure everyone’s a little warier of where they go to for facials. I must admit, extraction was never been this painful before.. but that’s also because my face was really clogged up this time round, nothing to do with the therapist’s skills (they are wonderful, by the way!) :'( owch! But the pain was worth it, as within 2 weeks of medication + after that facial, my skin’s condition really took a turn for the better! My friends could tell, and I was SO happy. It was much less oilier, my pimples flattened, reduced, and I’m just left with pigmentation to fight – no problem there with great concealers!

I’m now on a second round of antibiotics, as the doctor thinks my skin can be even better… and I’m really hoping that I’ll have Jayne Tham / Shiberty kind of flawless skin soon! *sparkles all around* I’ve reduced my skincare as well, to simple stuff – still using bifesta make up remover / shu uemura for heavier make up, fancl washing powder, kiehl’s calendula toner, and endocare gelcream. Plus eye cream from Lancome! ; ) I’m looking forward to testing out new products when my skin problems are much more settled.

The condition of your skin can really affect you in so many ways. I was feeling down for quite a while as I didn’t really enjoy taking FOTDs and then having to filter or edit the pimples out massively… and also with such clogged skin the makeup just didn’t sit right on my skin anymore and I felt like my reviews were all affected – sometimes it wasn’t the product not working, but my skin acting up. So now that my skin is better… Beware guys, incoming face parade! XD

Okay sorry for the looooong rambling. It just feels good to have better skin and know what it’s recovering, you know?!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! ; ) I’m gonna have a great week ahead, with lotsa time for myself as there are lesser events these 2 weeks. I’m really psyched to get the chance to meet Anna Sui in person later on!

Mom’s Birthday Lunch at Min Jiang One-North

By | Birthdays, Chinese, Food, Life | 2 Comments

Sometimes it can be quite a task to bring my parents somewhere new for lunch – other than getting them to agree to it, I have to make separate calls to my parents, then organize with my brother, and then the most difficult task is trying to tell my Mum (who is a directional idiot, sorry mom haha) and Dad (who speaks only Mandarin) how to get to the location.

Surprisingly though, it was pretty easy this time round because my brother’s a rather proficient driver by now. Phew! Although I had to get calls from both my dad and mum asking me where it is… “Har? Simi? Buona Vista ah?”

Okay directions aside. Parking at Min Jiang @ One North is quite limited, so you’ll have to (or rather, I did) valet my car for $4 in the afternoon (supposedly $6 at night). We visited on a Sunday, and the place was pretty quiet – not too packed, nor noisy – makes a very good and comfortable place for business meetings or huge family gatherings. The restaurant, a two-storey colonial bungalow, is mainly black & white with a touch of bronze, decorated by celebrated architect and interior designer, Ernesto Bedmar (view his works here). They supposedly have an al fresco area, but I didn’t walk around much to explore – the only other thing I noticed was that the toilet is unisex, haha.

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My first experience with Min Jiang was at my deaer friend Anne’s 21st Birthday Party which was at least 8 years back… which was more like an engagement party than a birthday lunch, hahaha. Back then I did not appreciate food that much and I barely remembered anything about the food – that was at Min Jiang’s Goodwood Park Hotel branch, and I also recall that Anne’s family loved going back there for celebrations so I would assume that this place’s food is really good!

Min Jiang serves Chinese / Cantonese food, and you can expect to find Dim Sum on the menu as well. The branch at One-North is pretty new, and I was pretty happy that they have a branch so near where I’m living now so that I don’t need to fight traffic and spend an exorbitant amount on parking in town.

Because this place is more like Chinese fine dining – the simple lunch (about 6 dishes + desserts) cost the 5 of us $448+, so that works out to about $89+ per person? You can view their full menu with the prices here.

Min Jiang @ One-North
5 Rochester Park
Tel: 67740122
Opening Hours:
Lunch: 11am – 2pm
Dinner: 6pm – 1030pm

The Food

Chinese/Cantonese Cuisine

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Their Legendary Wood-fired Crispy & Juicy Beijing Duck costs $90 for a whole duck, or $45 for half. We took the whole duck and had them cook the remaining meat with rice (fried rice).

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They slice the duck differently here, so you get more meat than skin.

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The skin is a little thicker than usual, but still very much delicious to me. They are served in dim sum steamers. We received two trays which was more than enough.

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They also offer a second style of having your Peking Duck – you either pick the usual with sweet sauce and cucumber, or this one above is the Si Chuan style, with White Carrots and 泡菜.

From the official press release:

“Unlike other Chinese restaurants, Min Jiang at One-North serves its Beijing duck at the table in three ways – the skin from the neck is accompanied by granulated sugar; while the rest of the skin and meat are served in two styles – combined with leek, cucumber and sweet sauce and wrapped in a plain flour pancake; as well as combined with Tientsin cabbage, radish, garlic paste and sweet sauce and wrapped in a plain flour pancake.”

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You can choose to wrap yourself, or have the server wrap it up for you – my dad commented that the Si Chuan style wasn’t was pretty refreshing for a change!

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Like most Chinese restaurants, you can choose to have your prawns cooked any way you want and we had them boiled, aka 白蒸. They have live prawns, so it was good – always better than frozen ones. These were sweet and delicious and were served with two dips – the usual one with soy sauce and a sweet chilli (the chicken rice kind).

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Like the prawns, the fishes could be cooked any style you wanted and we picked the Soon Hock, cooked 港蒸 (hk style). While the fish was fresh and it was well-cooked, I am still not a big fan of fish so I took very little of it.

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Sweet & Sour Pork, aka 咕噜肉 was not too bad! Crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside. But to be honest, if you were to put me in Paradise Inn and eat this I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. My taste not sooo refined la, haha.

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干煸四季豆 String Beans with Minced Pork – was okay, but I still prefer the ones I had in Hong Kong. (Oh man I miss that stall so. I believe I still remember how to walk there even though I’ve forgotten the restaurant name, lol)

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Min Jiang’s Famed Lobster Noodles ($20 per person) – was looking forward to this the most, actually! We skipped the rice and had this instead. The lobster was fresh and meat was tasty – the noodles portion was pretty small, so this wasn’t too much at all. I liked it, but not so much the choice of noodles – somehow it tasted a little siap siap to me.

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I had the Hashima with red dates, a favorite of mine for dessert. My brother picked Durian Pudding, which he loved (my family love durians!).

The price tag is a little high for me to dine here on a regular basis, I’d admit, but it was nice trying out this place at least once (I’ve been meaning to visit since I knew they have a branch in Rochester) and the quietly tucked away corner saved me from headaches I usually get at busy and boisterous restaurants.

Lunch was peaceful and enjoyable – We chatted happily about many different things over lunch and had a few good laughs. I loved the ambiance of this place, the servers were attentive and polite (with the exception of one very sour-faced auntie) and they could have better photo taking skills but knowing how to use the camera isn’t a requirement lah, hahaha.

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Ever since I got married and moved to the other end of the island, the time our family spends together have been progressively lesser – but the love isn’t any less, and I’m glad that I have such a loving and understanding family.

I think for my parents, there’s nothing better than seeing your kids grow up well and fine… and for me, I’m very happy to see my parents still so much in love, and most of all, chubby but healthy, wahhahahaa.

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The weekend we had lunch was my Mum’s lunar birthday, and today’s her actual birth date, 28th May.

Happy 49th, Mummy! We love you ; D

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