Thursday, December 08, 2011

new blog!

I have started a new blog at

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

what holiday??!


I just have to rant - it's been a month now that Oscar and I have tried to put together a holiday but it's been such a bitch sorting flights, checking hotels and reviews AND trying to get reservations for a bloody room!!!

I thought this was all a thing of the past when I did all my research last night and forced Oscar to sit with me (well actually I took my laptop and sat next to him as he watched EuroSports and kept saying what do you think of this??! Oscar is hopeless at organising things like this but he likes to make the decision and then say - ahhhhhhhhh I made the right choice. Celaka! -_-) Anyway we decided on Discovery Shores in Boracay. The story is..... some woman from that hotel responded to my inquiry with rates and availability for the dates I indicated. I even patiently worked out the flights - right down to the flight number, time, connecting flights to Caticlan, duration of our transit, everything!!!

So when I got in this morning, I wrote this:

Dear XX

Can you please proceed to book the Junior Suite for us. Checking in 30th April, checking out 5th May (5 nights). I would appreciate it if you can send over some suggestions on what we can do whilst we are there.

Also I understand that our transfer from Caticlan Airport is complimentary and arranged by your hotel? Do we need to just provide flight details then?

Please let us know what else you need from our side.


I hit "send" and was very excited to get confirmation lah! You see I asked for rates AND availability on these dates and she wrote back with rates and said they were for these rates mah! Means they HAVE rooms, right? I wrote and gave dates and said please confirm rates and availability because I already know when I want to go right? Anyway here's the response:

Dear Ms. Wong,

I am glad to hear that you opted to stay at Discovery Shores Boracay. However, due to peak season, we are running high on occupancy. I regret to inform you that the next available room that I can offer you is our one bedroom suite premiere which is 22,326.00 nett inclusive of service charge and taxes. This room is available until May 04, from May 04; the next available room would be our two bedroom suite which is 24,766.00 nett, and should you wish to transfer on the said date. About your inquiry, land and boat transfers are included in the rate. We would need your flight details as reference for your pick up time.

If you have any further concerns or for reservations, feel free to contact me. I would be most glad to assist you. Thank you very much


My response:

Dear XX,

I am very disappointed to hear this from you as in my inquiry email I have given the specific dates and you should have informed us about the inavailability when responding to my email instead of sending us a price quotation for every room.

We have spent the whole night working out our holiday last night and your response today has totally turned our holiday around. I do not understand how you'd find a holiday 'memorable" when we have to pack our bags to move in to another room on the last day of our holiday and how you'd find a two bedroom suite suitable.


WAH!! I'M SUPER ANGRY OK!!!! FINALLY......when I have sorted flights on SQ and on Philippines Airlines and worked out our timing and routes and leave and all that, this person comes back and say SORRY NOT AVAILABLE?? Super geram!!! There goes my holiday!!

Then after I forwarded the email to Oscar he writes back and say,

"Why don't you also check langkawi babe. Easier journey and I can take my bike....."

Sorry I can't continue this post as I'm going to proceed to pengsan now.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

more food!

I’m so happy I’ve found a new way to entertain myself. I spend most of my time at work and not knowing the place well yet, I find myself spending a lot of time at home after work just chilling out. The lot at work is a little different from the ones I have worked with for 3 years. In KL it was effortless to have an agenda after work – we just head to La Bodega, our watering hole. At times I’m there 4 times out of 5 working days, just having a drink or two and then head home to have dinner or watch some TV. Or I meet up with the girls for dinner. Or go out with my colleagues for dinner. There was always something to do.

Anyway what I have recently started to do more of – cooking! I have always enjoyed the little cooking I’ve done over the years and have been pretty restricted to the few dishes that I keep cooking over and over again but being here permanently means I have to learn to cook more than what I know........and you know what? I’m starting to get really interested.

Problem is sometimes I don’t know what certain ingredients are called and I still don’t know many cooking techniques. So most of what I do is trial and error. I am rubbish at following recipes for cooking (baking is another story, I used to do a lot of that) so I find myself throwing in whatever I feel should make up the taste....and improvise.

Last night’s dinner turned out well again (thank God!) and Oscar enjoyed it so much he was scraping off the sauce! Hehe

We had Watercress Soup, Siew Pak Choy annnnddddddd ......... Char Siew!! Yes I had cravings for Char Siew (not the icky red and overly sweet ones you find in Food Courts!) Oscar loved the meal last night and he even offered to wash up!!

Bear in mind that I don’t follow any “recipes” so I’m sure there are better ways to cook it but here’s my version of last night’s dinner. I only remembered to take photos half way through it so it's all half eaten already hahaha and Oscar likes the Char Siew Sauce so we scraped everything out of the pan and decided to drown the Char Siew. -_-


What I used: (bear in mind this is only for 2)
5 pieces pork bone (you can use pork ribs, chicken cage, chicken bones...whatever lah)
1 small piece pork belly
10 red dates
Wolfberries (Kei Chi in Chinese, I didn’t measure – I just put some in)
1 pkt watercress
½ piece of dried squid (sotong)

What I did:
1) Bring water to boil in pot
2) Put in pork bone & dried squid. Boil for ½ hour
3) Put in red dates, wolfberries, pork belly, watercress
4) Boil for another 45 minutes. Ready!

I always like soup that has been boiled for hours. Reminds me of my grandma who used charcoal and a claypot to boil soup for over 10 hours. Super yummy!


What I used:
I pkt Siew Pak Choy (I separated the stalks and leaves)
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I loooove plenty of garlic in my veggies though)
4 slices ginger
1 tbsp light soya sauce
5 tbsp Hua Diao Jiu / Shaoxing Wine
Dash of white pepper
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Maggi Ikan Bilis Stock

What I did:
1) Heat oil in work, fry garlic and ginger until fragrant
2) Add in the stalks
3) Add in soya sauce, hua diao jiu & ikan bilis stock
4) Add in the leafy parts
5) Add pepper and salt

Reason why I separated the stalks is because they take a longer time to cook and I don’t like the leafy bits over cooked.


What I used:
2 pieces pork belly (I picked the ones that were not overly fat)
4 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Char Siew Sauce
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tbsp Hua Diao Jiu
½ tbsp Oyster Sauce
½ tbsp Light Soya Sauce
Some honey for glazing

What I did:
1) Marinate the pork belly with the char siew sauce, hua diao jiu, oyster sauce and light soys sauce. Make sure the marinade evenly covers the pork. Put in the garlic. Leave for at least 2 hours (or overnight!)
2) Heat pan in very low fire (there is high sugar content in the char siew sauce so if fire is high it will burn too quickly)
3) Put pork in pan and cover
4) Turn over after 10 minutes and cover. Let the other side cook for another 10 minutes
5) When the pork is cooked and the sauce turns sticky, glaze the pork with some honey
6) Increase fire to medium but you will have to keep turning it to prevent it from turning into charcoal!
7) When it’s ready slice the char siew and spread the remaining sauce over

Oscar being Oscar, his accompanying drink for this meal was.....



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

pork meatballs spaghetti

Being away from home means I am deprived of home cooked food. It’s true when they say that you don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it!! So mum – when I’m back in March, all I want to do is eat at home every single day!

So.....I resorted to the next best thing – cooking!! Thankfully Oscar loves Chinese food and I have always rather enjoyed cooking (I just don’t cook in KL because I have my mum to do that! Hehe). I picked up cooking whilst I was studying in Perth. I remember ButtercupTjin and I buying all the ingredients from the Asian store and when it came to us cooking for the first time, we were both crouching next to the bag of rice we bought, armed with a rice cooker and looked at each other and said “I hope you know what you’re doing!” hahaha!! ButtercupTjin said “How would I know, I have a maid at home” in which I replied “How would I know either, I have a mum who’s a good cook!”.

I made a long distance call to mum to ask her how to cook rice.

And that was how I started cooking!!

To cut the story short Tjin and I had many funny incidents with cooking which I shall not mention here but “invented” many dishes – Spaghetti ala MichTjin, Nasi Goreng Sambal ala MichTjin, Black Pepper Chicken ala MichTjin, Hokkien Mee ala MichTjin and the list goes on. I must say by the time we left Perth we perfected most of these dishes (by our own standards lah!).....hahaha

When I lived in Johannesburg I cooked a lot as well, mainly because it wasn’t very safe to go out at night and it was quite expensive to eat out. My flatmate at that time, Viv, loved it! We had Bak Kut Teh, Ayam Masak Merah, Chicken Rendang, Nasi Lemak etc in South Africa – in the middle of the frigging cold winter. When you’re that far away from home, even OldTown White Coffee is nice as the smell of it reminds you of home. So imagine being in Africa, 2 celcius when you get back from work and have Bak Kut Teh for dinner. Yummm!

I have cooked up a few meals in Singapore but again, I’m rubbish at taking photos. By the time I remember dinner is usually in our tummies already :-(

However, there was one dish which I was really happy about as it was the first time for me cooking it and mostly from scratch! No recipes, just a lot of “agak-ism” and thankfully it turned out well!! I planned on cooking Lamb Meatballs in Tomato base Spaghetti but when I turned up at FairPrice they had run out of minced lamb so I bought minced pork instead.

Most of the ingredients were again measured using my grandma’s famous “agak-ism” metrics so .... just agak-agak lah ya!



What I used:
Minced Pork (you can replace with minced lamb)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Scallions, chopped (I guess this depends on how much you like the taste of scallions)
1 medium sized onion, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp cornflour
Dash of Salt
Dash of grounded black pepper
Dash of paprika

What I did:
1) Mix all ingredients
2) Roll into medium sized balls (don’t make them too big or it will be difficult to get the middle part cooked)
3) Fry in pan
4) Cool on paper towels (I don’t like them oily!)

What I used:
Chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 large onion, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 large tomatoes (you can replace with canned diced tomatoes)
1 can tomato paste
1 can button mushrooms (depending on preference, I’m not a huge mushroom fan so I use less)
Fresh Parsley
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Olive oil for frying
Vermicelli Pasta (I prefer this as it’s thinner than Spaghetti – cooks faster)

Preparing the Tomatoes:
1) Boil water in pot
2) Cut the bottom of the tomatoes – I just made a cross mark
3) Immerse tomatoes in the boiling water (maybe half a minute)
4) Let it cool (I just ran it over tap water)
5) Peel the skin off with a small knife
6) Dice

What I did:
1) Heat some olive oil on pan
2) Sautee onion, garlic and mushroom on low heat
3) Add chicken pieces on medium heat – cook until it’s no longer pinkish
4) Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar and spices to taste (I prefer adding a little of everything first, taste it later and then top up to taste)
5) Mix together, simmer over medium low heat for about 30 minutes – actually when the diced tomatoes look like spaghetti sauce it’s done

Whilst waiting for the sauce to cook:
1) Boil the Vermicelli Pasta, add in a little salt
2) When it’s ready, toss it with olive oil

Top the pasta with the sauce and meatballs and serve hot.

I will take photos next time lor but it turned out very well. Oscar loved it which means it was quite good lah, considering he is a snob when it comes to non-chinese food!

Monday, February 16, 2009

life in singapore

Singapore has been home to me for the past nearly one month and I must say I’m starting to adjust to the lifestyle here though still massively missing my family, dogs, friends, god daughter, food etc in KL.

Though everyone keeps telling me that Singapore is a VERY small place, I am still stuck in the little girl in big city syndrome (for now). I am still discovering places and restaurants (mostly) but am still not satisfied with the knowledge I have (or the lack of it) of shopping places in Singapore. In KL / PJ I know exactly where to go to get what I want and know my way around almost every major shopping mall. I know where to park, where the shops are, how to plan my shopping....and most importantly, I can DRIVE myself there. Honestly I don’t know what a luxury driving is until I got here. I am not referring to the morning and after office hour jams but more of the weekend shopping driving and driving myself around to run errands kind of driving.

Over in Singapore whenever I don’t have Oscar with me I have to take the CAB. Before you think I’m being atas or uppity-markety and all that, let me just say that the nearest MRT station to my place is about 25 – 30 minutes walk (in slippers, may I add) and the nearest bus stop is around 20 minutes walk (in slippers too). So it’s virtually impossible to get real public transport – just about the only thing I hate about where I am living!! So I have to resort to taking cabs – it costs me roughly SGD12 to get to work (when Oscar can’t drop me) with the stupid ERPs and about SGD9 to get back from work. But the beauty of it all is, I am actually early every morning and it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work. On days where Oscar does drop me at the other end of the road (it’s easier for me to turn back to his direction which is the total opposite of where I work), I get a very relaxing walk by the river along Boat Quay, and it takes me about 6 minutes to get to my building.

This was taken at about 8am


looking back at the famous stretch on boat quay

my office at the bank of china building, which is next to the fullerton hotel

Oscar and I have spent a fair bit of time happily exploring the restaurants around Muhammed Sultan, which is within walking distance to our place though we have vowed to cut down considerably as it is NOT a cheap way to feed ourselves!!! Hence he is subjected to my cooking (which he says he likes – I’m not sure if it’s because it’s really home-cooked food that he misses or it’s the fact that he doesn’t need to pay crazy amount of money to feed us... hehe). It’s quite nice to chill out in front of the TV with a bottle of wine and chilling out at home sometimes, as Oscar likes to call “normal things normal people do at normal times”. Doing all these little things together is bringing us closer together as we both know how precious these moments are, especially when we were deprived of doing all the “normal everyday stuff” two years ago. Plus, it helps that we have a pretty good view of Singapore from our place...

view from our place

muhammad sultan at the foreground and part of Spore behind it

Oscar’s been really sweet, taking me around to various places in Singapore for food and wine – this is one thing we definitely have in common – we’re both foodies!!! I think I will do some justice and try to document these trips so I can at least remember where he takes me. I do remember a few though...

I absolutely loved L’Angelus, the French restaurant at Club Street. I will remember to document my next visit there as the food was absolutely excellent. I had the best Duck Confit (sorry I don’t remember the exact name of this dish – but it was a damn good duck confit lah!) and the Escargots were simply heavenly. I have always felt a bit icky about eating snails and my few past attempts at eating GARDEN SNAILS were not very pleasant so I politely declined when this arrived. After some coaxing and his “mmmmm......this is sooooo sure you don’t want to try?” I agreed to try the sauce. And then I thought if the sauce was that good the damn snail can’t be that bad. And I ended up finishing half of it! I can’t remember what wine we had but it was so good we ended up having 2 bottles. See lah, this is why I need to start taking photos!

Another place I liked was Picotin at the Turf Club Road. We went there for brunch one Sunday and I ordered the wild mushroom soup and the pan seared scallops. YUMMY!!! Oscar had a rabbit leg which I refused to try because I cannot get over the fact that he’s eating what was once a fluffy white bunny. Yes that’s just me being very food-naive but hey I got over the snails thing maybe one day I will have one small nibble of the poor bunny rabbit. In some yummy sauce (I know because I dipped the chips into the sauce – but I DID NOT eat the bunny).

There’s this other place near our house called Boomerang – an Australian restaurant by Robertson Quay that serves Fish & Chips like the ones I used to get at Freemantle in Perth. I have tried nothing else on the menu so I can’t comment but have been there at least 4 times for Fish & Chips (such a nostalgic feeling) and shared a couple of bottles of Sauvignon Blanc (which is like our favourite type of wine to order) and copious amounts of Victoria Bitter.

Would write more but am going to head home now.....more to come!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

my first time

The Prodigy took my convert virginity.

Yes I know it does sound embarrassing but in 28 years of my life I have not been to a single concert (I blame this on my once over protective parents). But better late than never and I’ve been told that I’m lucky it wasn’t someone like Tommy Page or Chris Cuevas 18 years ago!! Which I think is quite true because 18 years ago I wouldn’t be able to go to a concert feeling chilled out and relaxed after a couple of alcoholic drinks. I also wouldn’t like to dig out photos of me at one of these concerts wearing over sized T-shirts (or God forbid a bright yellow and red BeeDees’s Tshirt!!), carrot cut jeans and high cut sneakers from LA Gear. Ugghhhhhhhh!!!! What were we thinking??!

Anyway back to the concert.

Oscar and I, anticipating the heat and sweat at Fort Canning Park decided to dress down and comfortable. He had on a T-shirt, lazy shorts and trainers and claimed that he was a 30 something year old wanna be 18 years old. But being the boy he is, he didn’t care and went like that anyway. But with his experience with outdoor concerts in London and him knowing that there was going to be some serious moshing at a Prodigy concert, he actually took the effort to put his brand new Blackberry (my Valentine gift to him – yeah I know, so romantic. Not!) in a zip lock bag and my phone and camera in another. I thought that was really cute. :-)

I went in a oversized top, short skirt and trainers. We walked all the way to Clarke Quay and met his mates JimJam and Huges at the Bungy Bar which is like the bar right next to the Ultimate Bungy at Clarke Quay! Haha sorry, I had a giggle that day cause I was asking Oscar what name they will change to if they took away the Ultimate Bungy and replaced it with a Trishaw Station or something.

So we shared a pasta and some chicken wings and had a couple of beers before we all proceeded to walk up to Fort Canning Park.

We arrived just as they came in a Bentley – I got a photo of the car but it wasn’t a very clear photo of the passengers. Damn. We got our paper bangle entrance thingy myjiggy and went in. The stage was set up at the bottom of a little hill and there were people scattered all over the hill (which was great because someone short like me can still see the stage from behind, from the higher part of the hill). The weather was perfect – breezy and not too humid. However I might as well have been in London or was like a huge gwailo gathering and I felt like a minority. In Singapore!!

The guys made a beeline to one of the tents where they served candy floss and slurpees. NOT!!! Beer again lah, what else. After queuing up for about half an hour, we managed to get a beer and a Vodka Red Bull each. Oscar’s reasoning is that we have two hands each so might as well make use of both. -_-

The band only came on around 10ish and the crowd went crazy. Everyone seemed to be really comfortable moshing and pogo-ing ........ I think we were all born with this ability because somehow I found myself jumping and throwing my hands everywhere like the rest of them. Oscar and Huges went a little crazy jumping up and down behind me and kept calling their mate in London to force him to listen to The Prodigy at 2pm London time. Boys!!

I look around and see some girls standing awkwardly in tight dresses, chunky jewellery and 3 - 4 inch STILETTOS and cannot help but to secretly bitch laugh inside. I mean, I am vain and love my heels and all that but when you see FORT CANNING PARK printed in bold on the tickets, you’d at least have some brains to make sure your shoes don’t dig up little holes on the ground you walk on right? It’s seriously not a place to stand and look good and hope someone else will check you out cause the men (who became boys) that night were there for one reason – The Prodigy. If they wanted to chill out and spend the evening checking chicks on stilts they’d probably do it in the comfort of one of the bars or clubs along Clarke Quay don’t you think?? Anyway to the girls on super killer heels at FORT CANNING PARK, I respect you for the trouble you had to go through to hike all the way up to the top of the park and hill but honestly you looked very out of place. I bet you also had to bin your heels by the time you got back. * sigh* I hate seeing good shoes go to waste like that.

When the whole thing ended again we walked pass the same Bentley who was taking them out. We then hiked all the way down the hill and headed to Crazy Elephants for some Stellas. I think ever since moving to Singapore I’ve been drinking more beer and wine than water. Bad bad bad bad!!!

I was absolutely bushed by the time we had our lamb kebabs. I crashed when I got home. Fantastic night!! I was no longer a concert virgin!!!

Now I just need to convince Oscar to take me to Jason Mraz.....Rod Stewart.....Duffy......and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Michael Buble and Il Divo makes an appearance in Sin City again.

I am now officially grown up as I have crossed off possibly the last thing I should have done in my teens. :-)

P/s - Photos to come soon!!