Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kichi Kichi

Went for a meal at the new Kichi Kichi steamboat restaurant in City Square Mall with bff and her family. It's a new concept conveyor belt steamboat place and instead of little dishes of sushi platters, what you get are plates of ingredients for your steamboat. There are two types of seating - one is booth which can seat 6 people if I'm not wrong. Best to check with restaurant when you call to make reservations; and the other is counter seats (my personal favourite). You can cook in your own pot whatever combination of food items you like and not worry about someone else dishing out your favourite food.

It's very bright and clean and there was a large variety of food to pick from. First you choose the stock you want, and next you get to choose two special items from the menu. However, I thought it was really silly as those same items could be found on the conveyor belt. We had an early dinner thus the restaurant was empty. You usually need to make a reservation.

I chose the beef and sliced fish. Both were very good and fresh.

My own pot.

The highly recommended sesame sauce to dip the food in.

Kichi Kichi - City Square Mall

180 Kitchener Road, #02-23/24

Tel : 91701146

Yhing Thai Palace

Just realized I have loads of photos on my iPhone which have not been transferred onto the Mac. They were taken at some of the eating establishments we visited over the past weeks. Yhing Thai Palace was from my birthday dinner with my dad, and I had forgotten about it. However, the photos in the next 3 posts are not very sharp due to them being taken on my phone.

Love the setting of one of my favourite Thai restaurants. I remember patronising them when they had a small shop in Kallang Leisure Park during the old days, way before it was torn down to be built as what it is today. Back when Palm Beach seafood restaurant was their neighbour and the entire mall was always packed with theatre-goers from the nearby Kallang Theatre as well as the football fans from the National Stadium. My father and I are very particular about rice and the feel of it in our mouths. We love them chewy and not mushy or too soft. We like those that you can taste each and every grain. The rice here was of a superior quality and had a lovely fragrance and it was simply special, but we couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. It was our favourite rice as far I knew.

The small portion of green curry chicken which wasn't enough for the 6 of us, thus we ordered a second portion. The serving portions were really small but I didn't complain as we had a very big lunch and I couldn't stuff more food in even if I wanted to.

Sambal long beans with prawns. Delicious!

Ok I have forgotten the name of this fish dish. It comes with a 3-flavour sauce.

Stirfried baby kailan. Princess loves this very simple crunchy dish.

Thai fishcake.

Thai Otah. I've always loved how they serve it.

Red rubies, jackfruit and palm fruit in a coconut base. Nothing special about this. More ice than anything else.

Mango with glutinous rice. We had 2 servings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dear neighbour

Dear upstairs neighbour,

Well, I shouldn't even say 'dear' since you are nowhere near 'dear' to me. It has been over 7yrs since you've moved in and unfortunately, that's how long we've had to put up with the noises you make each and every day, till this day. I honestly cannot comprehend what goes through your tiny brains. You are fully aware that there are people living below you as we have made many visits to your home, each time to shush the kids up. However, you continue to be oblivious to us and go about with nary a care, allowing the kids to jump, run, scream and drop toys countless times a day. My hubby, as you know, is a frequent 'visitor' to your home, not that he likes to do it, but does he have a choice? Why is it that only when you see his face, do you pretend to get the kids to lower down the noise pollution level?

I think you are just a selfish and irresponsible set of parents. And what did you tell the town council guy when he came to visit you regarding this problem? That they are kids and you can't control them??? What sort of parents are you?? I just think you couldn't care less.

Well, I have a right to peace in my own home, not that I get any at all most days. When days are hot and long, and sometimes that gives me a headache as it is, and your child jumps about and runs like an elephant, it compounds my headache and turns it into a migraine with the constant thumping. When your two kids grew up, the noise level dipped just a little, not very much, but just about bearable, who was to know that you would produce another who is now following in the footsteps of her sisters. I also know when your 9 & 11-yr-old girls are home from school as that is when the pounding begins, at 1.30pm each and every day. And really, do they need to scream at the top of their voices every evening while playing? Can't you take them out to the field to let them burn off excess energy??

It used to annoy me till no end when my girl was studying in the afternoon session last year. Where I could have had another hour or more of sleep, I was not allowed that privilege by your 2-yr-old who loved to play with her toys on the bedroom floor at 7am or just before that time each morning. I hate to have disturbed sleep especially when I know I don't need to wake so early. I am a late sleeper and thus would like sufficient rest if I can in the mornings. But then again, your kids are late sleepers too as I often hear sounds at 11plus in the night, or do they sleep at all, since they are up and about by 6am??

Just two weeks ago when my girl was studying for her exams in the afternoon, did your kids not have exams too, or are they simply too smart and do not need to study, because I heard lots of thumping upstairs?

Sometimes I have the urge to call up the police, but I always try to calm myself down. As it is, it's weird bumping into each other in the lifts, and I know you try to avoid us too. But why do you need to even do that in the first place, if all you have to do is try to control the kids? That way you can hold your head up high and we could be friendly neighbours.

I hope and wish and pray that this June holidays will be a peaceful one. Please take them back to India again for the entire month. Last December was bliss, and it did 'sound' weird with the peace and quiet every day. I even thought you had left the neighbourhood, and frankly, I hope for the day when you do.

Your neighbour downstairs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fiesta at school

The secondary school held it's annual fiesta at school yesterday and it was the first time the primary school were invited to take part in it. How exciting!

About a month ago, I received an email asking for volunteer parents to donate baked goods, sweets etc for the stall run by the parent support group. It sounded very exciting and I love 'parties' like these.

I spent an entire day baking, taking a couple hours of rest in-between, and started decorating, packing during the evening, and didn't finish getting them looking pretty and all done till almost 11pm on Thursday. I needed to get them delivered to school between 7-7.30am yesterday. Of course, since I had to send them and the girl to school, it meant I needed to wake at 5.30 to get myself ready. I even told the girl that I was just going to wake her up once and if she didn't wake up and if she gave me problems, I was going to the funfair and leaving her at home. Well, the threat worked! Hehe. We left as planned at 6.35 and were lucky to get a cab immediately as the street was deserted at that time of the morning. We got into school just before 7am and wow, I was really surprised to see that 3/4 of the canteen was packed with girls! Goodness, what time did they all arrive?? Some, like mine, were running around with their friends, some were ordering and having their breakfast in the canteen, and there were also girls jogging on the track. It's nice to see firsthand what happens in school in the mornings as it's a real privilege for me. As my girl goes to school in the school bus and as the school is a fortress (very strict with allowing parents and public in), it was nice to be there to soak it all in.

These brownie cones were my contribution to the PSG (parents support group) stall. I made use of most of my sprinkles and was really happy with the result.

Here they are, all nicely wrapped.

I ran out of cones towards the end and was mad at myself for remembering to buy more butter and chocolate while I was out, but conveniently forgetting the cones, which were not in my thoughts at all. But I love these cups which I finally had a use for. Very pretty vertical lines.

I love this piece of artwork made by a volunteer mum. How artistic she is. In fact, she did all the artwork for our stall. And on top of that, she is a very nice lady. It's my first time meeting her and she left me with a deep impression with her warm and friendly personality. It's people like that who make the world a much nicer place to live in. I met a few mums yesterday and she and another lady left me with very good impressions.

The plan for me wasn't to help at the stall initially, but I did offer to help set up the stall. As I was one of the first few mums there, I helped the nice lady, F, to put up the signs. When she had to leave to help out with teaching the girls life skills, I was left alone to man the stall. Meanwhile, the person-in-charge received a call from the candy floss supplier that he couldn't send any manpower to man the machines. I told her I could stay to help out with the stall if they needed more hands. And that was how I ended up staying there from 7am -5pm and by the end of which, I couldn't feel my feet. There were no seats and the only bench available was always filled with people so between few minutes here and there of stealing a space for my butt, I had to stand majority of the day. I'm so thankful to SS who was there to join in the fun, for offering to send me and the princess home. I could hardly walk to the car. Haha. But I did have a very enjoyable day and would very much like to do it again next time round. :)

The goodies...

My brownies

Some chocolate chip cookies which started off being sold for $2 but later all cookies were slashed down to $1 as we simply had too many of them once more parents started bringing them in.

These got to be the cutest cuppies ever! I bought two of them and packed them up in my bag, but I didn't manage to get to consume them as the ants got to them first and in my bag!! Shucks! I freaked out when I went to check on them as I saw many many creepy crawlies all over the place, and true enough, they had gone into the boxes, so unfortunately I had to throw them out. You know how I am around these pests. So, sad to say, I never got to taste them. :(

I bought a little sheep and chick. What a pity.

I love these little flower cookies and bought 2 packets of them as they were of different colours. A sucker for such cuties I am.

Meringues were very saleable once the kids knew what they were and had tried them out. These were cheap at $1 for 2 packets. Each packet had 3 pieces.

More cupcakes for sale, some healthy quaker bars, quacker mini crisps, and yoghurt sweets ($2 for a big packet) were going for very cheap as they were near their expiry.

These cupcakes, too, were very popular and were the first to be gone.

Most of the volunteer mums at our stall were eating this nasi bryani. It was very popular and was sold out in seconds. I was told it was mutton at first and since I don't eat mutton, decided to give it a miss even though I love briyani. The mum who was eating it tried to convince me to go for it as it didn't have any of the funny taste associated with mutton. We later found out that it was vegetarian, thus mock mutton. I was at the stall in seconds, queuing for a packet to take home for my dinner. The thing with me is that when I am super tired, plus the heat on top of it, I won't have an appetite to eat. The lady who was dishing out these yummies assured me it was fine to keep it till the evening. The briyani was cooked by her elderly mum and the entire dish had a very authentic homecooked flavour. Loved the achar too, which was very fresh.

How could I resist these cuties?? Aren't they too lovely to be eaten? Which is why I have kept them safely away from the princess who has only been given one Pooh so far.

Hubby came home from work with a chicken pie for his dinner as well as for Saturday's lunch. I believe it's from the famous Don's Pie shop. They sell them very cheaply at work when the vendor comes on Fridays.

Forgotten bentos

I had a ton of photos in the camera which were waiting to be transferred to the Mac. I finally have time to sort them out and thus am able to blog again. These two bentos were made over the past two weeks and I had actually forgotten about them. I got the picks I've been longing for and couldn't wait to put them to use. The little girl pick and the musical notes ones were what I wanted very much as they are so super cute. The musical notes range is a little on the expensive side but the quality is really good. In the bento, I had kyuri, strawberry, young corn, an anchor-shaped fish nugget and rice ball covered with sakura denbu and decorated with Hamtaro flakes.

Using my new stainless steel bento (I couldn't find a round one, thus made do with an oval-ish one). I got it at the John Little closing down sale in Orchard Road. In the bento, there is plain rice with fish nuggets, a piece of baked salmon, shredded lettuce, strawberries and dragonfruit. Also using my new picks which were sent over to me by a friend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lei Garden, Orchard

I spent a lovely afternoon with hubby and princess eating and shopping. Hubby took us out to lunch at one of my favourite dim sum restaurants. However, I find that the food isn't fantastic now, and the staff were really pushy. There were like 3 menus to choose from, and the minute we sat down, we were 'pushed' to go for a soup dish. You really need to be very firm in what you want. We opted for the dim sum dishes which was what we were there for in the first place. But before I could even go through the dim sum menu, another lady came along and asked if we wanted to order soup. Again! They tried to 'push' their specialties, set menus etc. It got pretty annoying after a while, and with the princess being a bit hyper, it was getting on my nerves. We stuck to dim sum and 3 dishes from the main menu, and even with those, we were stuffed to the max. Of course dessert was a must.

I don't know what was with the girl yesterday, she was all over the booth seats, couldn't sit still, and I hadn't even given her any sugar! Hubby and I were discussing it later, and realized it could be because exams were over. Kids can't tell you, but I guess they show it through their actions. Their stress has been released so I guess it was a great weight off their minds. Could it be?

Apologies for poor photo quality as photos were taken with my iphone. I don't usually use cameras in restaurants. In order of appearance...

Siew Mai & Har Gow. A must as hubby loves these.

Cheong fun with char siew. Ok, hubby doesn't touch this. He doesn't like tasteless food, which is how he describles cheong fun, chwee kueh, tofu. I loved the cheong fun. It had great skin, not the mushy ones that make you feel sick after polishing off a plate.

Fried radish cake was ordinary.

Baked cod with some bean sauce. Ordered this for the princess to go with her bowl of plain rice. It was lovely and hubby enjoyed this. He had most of it.

A very unusually shaped ham soi kok or fried glutinous rice flour dumplings with meat and mushroom stuffing.

Sweet and sour pork with pineapple. This was well done, and went very well with the rice.

Lovely crunchy broccoli, not overcooked. I asked for oyster sauce but this seems to be the garlic version. Didn't bother to check with server.

Another favourite of mine after ham soi kok is wu kok, fried yam balls with similar stuffing to the former. I felt the stuffing was a bit on the salty side.

Princess wanted to have these. Nice crunchy, addictive fried silver fish. This came too late, at the end of the meal, and was nearly cancelled. I thought we could have done without this dish as we were quite full by then.

Mango pudding which used to be my favourite dessert here. Somehow I had forgotten the taste of this dessert, but something tells me it is not what it used to be. Maybe I am wrong, or my tastebuds have forgotten but this one feels more like a mango mousse. Thousands of bubbles burst on the tongue with each mouthful. It was a delight but I prefer my mango pudding to have more substance.

After lunch, we made our way to Tangs to look for my pot. I was really happy that they were having specials off the Le Creuset range. There wasn't just the buy 1 @ 20%, 2 @ 30% and 3 @ 50% off normal discounts. There was quite a good selection of reduced price items. I couldn't decide between the red oval pot or the pink 24" round one, but when the sales lady said the antique rose colour was a limited edition range from Japan, it kind of decided for me that I would go for that. I love pink, and it's not too girly a pink for a pot, so it was perfect. I'm in love with it! It was originally $568 but marked down to $284. Happiness!