Month: March 2010

Adapted book covers

Have you stepped into a bookstore recently? There are no originals anymore… well at least there are no books that aren’t made into a motion picture or west end play anymore. Okay, I am exaggerating. But go into a bookstore today and tell me if you don’t see actors/actresses on book covers.

I remember when I lost my copy of Girl, Interrupted. It is of a beautiful blue and grey colour. Then few years later, when the screenplay devastatingly undermined the original novel, now all you see is Ryder’s eyes. It was a sad day.

Original cover of Girl, Interrupted

Maybe I am being traditional. But I like my books without splashes of hollywood. People can buy the actual posters, no?

Restaurantweek: Dine and dazed at CM-PB

I admit that I only signed up for because we have ran out of dining ideas. Organised by DiningCity, a select list of restaurants offer set meals at a discount. Good way to sample the menu and the chef’s taste, I say.

The idea is to visit an outlet that fits our general dining preference i.e. non-pretensious, sensible food, and reasonable prices. That way, if we do like the place, it will be a regular haunt. This round, we went for CM-PB.

Described as a trendy wining and dining at Dempsey where in the kitchen East meets West, it is a restaurant, a cafe, and also a bar with live bands. It is just too confusing for me. Almost like the owner is not sure what (else) will work in Dempsey, so why not include everything! With sino-lanterns hanging over the bar, jeans/shorts-clad staff serving delicately placed food, and a genre of music that I cannot recognize, it hurts to dine indoors. The outdoor seating area is very appealing, in that respect.

Back to the food. The menu was fixed for the event. Oh apparently photography1 was not allowed.

First up – Prawn and Butternut Soup. My initial reaction was – is that bubbles?! I might have squealed a little too loud but seriously, bubbles in a creamy soup? More like a broth, the thin soup was overwhelmed by the taste of prawns. You don’t taste anything other than that of prawn shells and salt. Bread was good. Well.

Creamy prawn and butternut pumpkin soup serve with warm toast

Being named after the restaurant, I had high hopes for the Contemporary Melting-Pot and Bar Salad. Again, the dressing was way too salty. Fresh seafood and crunchy leaves, granted. The Bonito flakes was an oddity for me. If the chef is trying to infuse some Japanese sense into the salad, he does not have to. Looks pretty though.

Prawn. Fresh Salmon. Crab Meat. Salmon Roe. San Marzano Tomato. Citrus Soy Olive Oil Dressing and Bonito Flakes

Normally, I like my cod steamed. The tiny portion of battered cod did not taste too bad! Finally something that was not salty. The cod maintained the distinctive taste and the crispy chips was well-seasoned. The salad dressing was too salty (erm yes) and wet. Wasabi mayonnaise was a very nice touch. It added a surprisingly and refreshing taste to the plate of fried food.

Kronenbourg Beer battered Black Cod. Chips. Mesclun Salad. Wasabi Tobiko Mayonaise

The Wagyu beef burger was the better entrée on the menu. Of course, I don’t know anything about beef but this was moist and surprisingly less gamey than expected. Foie gras was well seasoned and very tender. Thankfully, they did caramelise those onions, unlike those served to Paul. Thoroughly savoured.

Foie Gras. Homemade Wagyu Beef Patty. Caramerlized Onions. American Straight Cut Fries and Mesculun Salad

Ahh the close of the meal was a standard cheesecake with strawberry compote. Nothing exceptional. I did appreciate that it was not too sweet. The pastry chef, I noticed, was indecisive. The plating was different for different tables. Just a side observation.

Homemade Oven Baked Cheese Cake. Grand Manier Strawberry Compote

In all. Spending slightly more than S$100 for two persons was not at all disappointing. Though I would have preferred for a more conservative use of salt2, the overall dining experience was nice. The service was swift3 and always with a smile. I will return for a simple meal and relax over a pot of tea. Yes it is a bar but the frozen margarita served that night was a sham(e).

  1. Sneaked photos with trusty Xperia X1 []
  2. Dining partner thought it was fine []
  3. Part of me wondered if they were trying to turn the tables []

For commuters on WinMo: SBS Bus Guide

If you are like me, i.e. does not care about driving, have an unhealthy distaste for cab fares, and using a Windows Mobile phone, you will surely appreciate this nifty little application.

The SBS Bus Guide WinMo app is based on the iPhone’s. And the UI is sweet! It is versatile – you can search by road name, bus number, and bus stop number. You can preset your favourite (or regularly used) bus stops for easy search. You can use GPS to search for nearby stops. Well et cetera. Even though it doesn’t appear to be, it fits WVGA 800×480 beautifully. It does not yet support SMRT routes.

Query & Nearby / pictures from owner

I don’t wish to enter into the debate of mobile phone platforms. Had enough of it for the weekend. I am just pleased that I can be as updated as WiFi/3G takes me.

I won’t be an alcoholic

I have alcohol flush reaction. After two sips of wine, my neck will be blotching. Soon, the capillaries in my arms, eyes, and face will be fully dilated, my pulse will be racing, and every single pore will exhale alcoholic scent. And that happens after just 1 glass of smooth port.

Now that you know a random fact about me, you can understand why it would upset me when a research claims that women who drink moderately less likely to gain weight. Of course, the research is really linking alcohol intake with food consumption. People who drink more, eat less, and hence lose weight. Hmm. Misleading and convoluting statement aside, I am not pleased that I cannot make use of this piece of research as a reason to indulge in the grape-y drinks.

Cab drivers need to stop asking if I am drunk. I will stick to tap water.

If only the food is as charming as the setting

You know when you get a food-related craving, you cannot stop thinking/obsessing about it until you have sliced it and consumed it whole? Last week, it was all about Churros. For that, we decided to seek out a spanish eatery. A quick search brought us to My Little Spanish Place.

Before I move on, you probably should know that the picture of the receipt is the only image I have for this food review1. Nonsense, I know.

Nestled in the prime residential district, the restaurant breathes of homely charm on the outside. As for the interior, if you ask me, it is tad overly made-up. The compact space seats about 35-40 covers. Some of the patrons were seated dangerously close to another table and some cannot move out of their seats unless 10 others move too. Speaking of seats, I like my chairs deep with arm rests. Unfortunately, the reserved table came with seats that aren’t.

Once we had established that they do serve Churros, we proceeded with the meal order. The same waiter proactively alerted that paellas will take approximately 45 minutes to prepare. Simply put – order some tapas and wait or fill up on appetizers alone. Of course, we chose the glutton way.

TapasServing of bread came with olive and paprika spread. Tasty but not warm enough. Suspect it is the way it is served. Croquestas are creamy and rich. The mysterious filling is something we rather not know about. Albondigas have a good moist blend of lean and fat. Oh dear me! Good temperature too.

DrinksSan Miguel and Red Wine Sangria are pretty normal. Nothing exceptional.

Paella Mixta – It probably did take 45 minutes but we did not keep track. When it did arrive, the surprised look on our faces must be priceless. It was not moist. It was not bubbling with the warm spanish spirit. It was regular dry baked rice in a pan, topped with 4 pieces of overcooked prawns. We finished it still. It was decent for a rice dish.

Desserts – Another disappointment. Churros were very hard; sprinkled with non-existent cinnamon and granular sugar instead of powered. Chocolate sauce earned some brownie points but not enough to redeem the reputation of the chef who butchered this traditional snack. PX with ice cream should only be ventured if you like really sweet ice cream.

In all, it was a pleasant dinner spent in a pretty restaurant. It was bustling with customers and the mood was pretty nice. If you do want to visit, make a reservation and be ready to wait during service. I will only go back for a simple drink and hot snacks. Oh in all, we spent SGD101.75 inclusive.

Sidetrack. Do not watch F Word Season 5 if you have very little self restraint. Now we lust for Greek.

  1. For pictures, read this review []