Monday, February 28, 2011

Wendy's @ NEX

Glutton's meal

My first time at Wendy's. Maybe you can see that, from the way I ordered a lot cos' I want to try this and that.

I ordered the baked potato because I thought that it can replace the fries if I just top-up the price difference. Little do I know that the bake potato order will be on top of the regular combo purchase. Pfft..!

Tray in the foreground was mine. Yeap, I got myself the frosty strawberry shake. On my colleague's tray in the background, you can see her coke float. Ahh, guess we just can't resist a lil' indulgence, can we?

Beverage that also works as dessert... Why not?

Broccoli and Cheese Potato

Ahh... Baked potato and cheese. Nothing can go wrong there, can it? I love my veggies so I thought having a lil' bit of broccoli will be nice.

Honestly, at one point, I got a bit apprehensive. How would a fast food outlet serve broccoli? Maybe it's those 'freeze-dried' one that they soak in hot water prior to serving (ala instant noodles)??

Ok, fine. So the broccoli look and taste normal. No instant stuff, there. Geez, can't believe I can be THAT paranoid.

Sour Cream and Chives Potato

There's just something about that sour cream. I We think that it taste a lil' weird. Tastes more like.. yoghurt?

Cheesy Potato

Hmm.. aptly ordered by another colleague who loves her cheese. Does that look sinful enough to you..?

1/2 pound double burger

My order. Took the 2 layers of meat because I thought that the square meat patties looked a lil' on the thin side. Come to think of it, this will be the same amount of beef one gets with McD's Double Quarter Pounder order. I guess the square patty's bigger than the round one, that's why.

Not at juicy as maybe the Whopper or Carl's Jr. But good enough, I guess. Love those buns, though.

Shrimp Fillet Sandwich

My colleague's order. She let me have a bite. There were large, if not whole pieces of shrimps inside that patty. Not bad actually. But I think that this wouldn't be a good idea if you're really ravenous. Seems like it's on the small side.

When I think shrimp sandwich, my mind flew to the one sold at Popeye's. Somehow, I much prefer that one. Despite costing much more.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Reminds me and taste a lil' like McD's chicken McSpicy (now, what's with all these McD comparisons?!). Nice to see they have varieties, other than beef and just chicken. There's a fish burger/sandwich, too.

I'll only go to Wendy's when I come by. Won't really go all the way for it.

PS: We eventually doggy-bag the fries. Bad idea. The taste (and texture) got from bad to worse as time pass!

Swensen's @ Marina Square

Since the bosses were away on holiday, my colleagues and I decide to travel a little 'further' and explore other eats, rather than the ones we are used to around our workplace. We decide to utilise the Circle MRT line and head to Marina Square.

When we were given the menu, the server informed us that there's a lunchtime promo where we're entitled to either free side dishes, drinks or ice-cream with any mains order.

We had assumed that they'll only serve us a small portion of ice-cream, like they always did for their lunchtime promos. Since we prefer plain water, we decide that having the sides for free will be worth it. So all of us opt to have free side dishes.

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

Never tried this before. Chewy sticks of mozzarella that's coated with bread crumbs and deep fried. Oh yeah. Nice.

Deep-Fried Mushrooms

Deep-fried breadcrumbed shitake mushrooms. Nothing can go wrong with these. Especially when served piping hot.

Rodeo Wings

I may like my sauces but the sauce for this one seem too overwhelming. Plus the tomato accent seem a tad strong.

Honestly, I prefer the Buffalo wings from Breeks, anytime. At least those have a tinge of spiciness in them.

Breaded Chicken Meuniere

A colleague's order. The chicken looked like it was in the fryer for too long...

Fish & Chips

Another colleague's order. A perennial favourite.

Beef Goulash with Potato

Tired of the same old stuff, I chose to get something different than the usual mains and pastas. This goulash was ooookayyy... lah. Nothing to shout about.

Seemed pre-made and heated up upon order. The meat was way too soft, evidence of soaking in gravy for too long. Well, I don't expect there to be a chef that can whip up a goulash so quickly... And at least that mashed potato go well with the gravy.

I honestly prefer those Lamb Shank & Oxtail Stew from Secret Recipe.

We were too full for anything else but thought that it'll be soo wrong to leave Swensens without having any ice-cream. So I suggest the Chocolate Cookies & Cream mudpie for us to share. I was expecting the one I had previously, which was pretty big and would be substantial for us to share.

However, when it arrived, it the size was like 1/2 the width of THAT one I had previously. It was like how a whole pie was poorly divided out and the last slice end up being a pathetic remnant, with bits dropping off the edges, even. Eugh!

It's true isn't it, if I say that our food experience really depends on the food handler?

When we walked out of the restaurant, we came upon the poster advertising the lunch-time promotion. We didn't notice it when we arrive because we came from the other side.

As it turn out, the free ice-cream is actually the sundae itself. The regular stuff, not the small scoop, like we had envisioned! Waargh! I should have asked!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gold Coast : Home-cooked part II



boiled egg sambal
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

My mum prepared some rice porridge for my 13 month-old son and also set aside a small amount of white rice for breakfast.

These boiled eggs sambal (chili paste) was a dish meant to be eaten with the white rice.

cheesy tuna toasts
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

On the left, we re-use left over french toast from the previous breakfast and also white bread, spread some tuna on them, sprinkle some cheese and grill them.



For the life of me, I can't recall what we have for breakfast that day. Somehow, no one took pics, even.


Spices & herbs

Just some stuff we bought at the supermarket. We also bought ground ginger and chili that come in tubes (ala facial wash). Very cool, I'd say.

And contrary to popular belief, we CAN get chili sauce in their supermarkets. We bought Indofood 'Very Hot' chili sauce, even.


(clockwise from top) Salad, cream sauce & boiled pasta.

We finished up the remaining ditalini pasta from the day before and add on a new type of pasta that we also bought out of curiousity, mezzi rigatoni.

Creamy ditalini & mezzi rigatoni pasta

At the end of the day, we prefer the ditalini pasta over the mezzi rigatoni. Maybe because of its much chewy texture.

We didn't use even a bit of salt for this. Most of the ingredients used here are already salty on their own. The cured meats, the cheeses...

Tangy salad
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

My mum's special salad. Eversince I got married and moved in with my in-laws, I never got to have this again.

Coriander, sliced onions, red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Surprisingly, she can't find lemons so she bought pineapple instead.

Awesome stuff!



Woke up to find these on the table...

Choose your fave egg style
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

My mum must have been eager to finish up the eggs we bought. Each one of us got an egg, we just need to choose which one.

I took the sunny-side up.

'Indomie' Goreng
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

Bought these at the supermarket a few days back.

Even this instant noodle taste light, even with seasonings. We have to add some chili sauce for more taste. What's up with the Aussies, eh?


Fried chicken
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Bought this chicken at Mt. Lebanon Deli.

Marinated it the night before with ginger & chili paste (from the tubes), garlic and salt.

Chicken soup
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

My mum cooked this. Very refreshing, especially since we were so exhausted from all that shopping.

She used the potatoes that we bought there. And garnished with lotsa parsley. Really delish!

Very cheesy salad
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Since it's our last night, we need to finish off the cheese we've bought. So I dump them into this salad.

Salad greens with tomatoes and red bell pepper. Cheddar, Parmesan and feta cheese. Seasoned with extra hot chili sauce and black pepper.

Desserts - fresh fruits
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

My mum was delirious when she saw fresh figs being sold there. Also got some rock melons and papaya to help with her.. erm.. bowel movements.

The figs were surprisingly, not as sweet as I want it to be. Those tiny seeds that seem crunchy in the dried ones, were surprisingly soft here (looks a lot like 'alien bits', if you ask me).

Desserts - Krispy Kreme donuts!
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Ahh... how can I resist, when I pass by their shop everytime I'm at Pacific Fair shopping mall...?

My chance to have them fresh! I almost went bonkers trying to choose only 6 pcs out of the many many varieties in the display.

(from top left) Choc Raspberry, Strawberries & Creme, Choc Custard Filled, Cinnamon and a pair of their famous Original Glazed. All are good! The raspberry jam rocks. So does the custard. My fave is still the original.

I saw their Glazed Devil's Food (mudcake) doughnut on their website. How come I didn't see it there?!



We shopped at Pacific Fair mall the day before. When my mum told me that we've ran out of bread for breakfast, I had a tough time choosing from the array of generic breads in the supermarket. All their breads have at least 20 slices and each of their slices are ticker than ours here. And bigger too. Plus the 5 of us will only eat that for breakfast before flying off in the afternoon.

It was then I remembered the freshly baked breads that I've been eyeing since day one, in one of the bakeries there. Immediately rushed there and saw, to my delight, poppy seed buns. We can't get those in Singapore!

I bought a bag with 2 sesame and 2 poppy seed buns and add on another 2 poppy seed buns. We can have 1 bun each and another 1 to spare!

(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

We need to finish off the food in the fridge so we pan-fry the remaining seasoned meats. We also caramelise some onions. Toast the buns with some cheese, put the meats, onions, some greens and drizzle some chili sauce.

Great stuff!

What's the deal with them poppy seeds again? I can't figure out what the taste was. I mopped up the fallen seeds at the bottom of the bag and I don't taste anything. Pfft!

And so we've come to the end of my Gold Coast food adventures (yeah right!). It's been really nice, reminiscing good memories as I type my entries.

Next up... back to Singapore food!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gold Coast : Home-cooked part I

I really hope that this is my last post on Gold Coast. However, seeing the many pictures I had for this topic, I think that I've gotta divide this post into 2 parts.

Until I complete my Gold Coast posts, I can't proceed with my post GC - Singapore eats.

Anyway I shall give a few facts on this place. Since it's summer there, the daylight is longer. By longer, I mean that it START early, not END later. Like how the sun rise by ard 5am or so. By 5.30am, it's so bright that we keep mistaking it for 8.30am.

So imagine what time the Subuh (pre-dawn) prayer was. Well, it started at ard 3.15 am and syuruk was before 5am O_o.

And the best part: Activities and opening hours starts as per normal. Like 9am for shops and 10-11am for theme parks. Even for our day tour, they only fetch us at 8am. So we have pretty long mornings to spare, there.



breakfast with a seaview

This has got to be life, man! There were many, many times that I wished I live there. Because of views like this.

In fact, we even stumbled upon a Singaporean who now resides there. Maybe she also fell in love with this place and decide to pack her bags and leave Singapore for GC, permanently. Cool or what?!

breakfast with a seaview

We started grocery-shopping in the supermarket on the first day itself. I planned on buying cereals for breakfast on the next day, since I thought that we may not have sufficient time to prepare any; for we have to leave early for the day tour.

Then again, that was before we discover the (very) early sunrise.

Anyway, check out the different varieties of Kellogg's cornflakes that they sell there! All of them are very high in fiber, seeing that most have dried fruits and various bran in them. Very healthy, eh?

Talk about healthy, are Aussies generally very health-conscious folks? Going by the amount of soy milk, low fat dairy, the enormous varieties of healthy food stuff and how their packaged/bottled drinks are generally less sweet.


chicken & mushroom
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Honestly speaking, eating out in Gold Coast can be an expensive affair, no joke! That's why, it's a pretty good idea to rent an apartment, buy your own groceries and cook for yourself, whenever possible.

After the tour van dropped us off that afternoon, we rest awhile and head to another shopping centre to do more grocery shopping.

We decide to make use of the leftover Nando's chicken, shred the meat and stir-fry with some mushroom and make our own kebabs with the Lebanese flat bread I bought from Woolworth's supermarket.

Also added some cheese (get those with non-animal rennet) and these:

fresh salad greens
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

some over the sweetest cherry tomatoes evar!
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)



Ok, it's indeed a blessing to have my mum around. Being the mother that she is, she can't help tinkering around in the kitchen.

She's used to staying awake after her Subuh prayers so she got down to preparing breakfast during the time when the rest of us got back to snoozing. Poor her.

Breakfast for day 3, she prepared fried rice (we bought a 1kg pack of Thai fragrant rice the day before) and french toast.

Sorry, no pics. Too hungry, we were.

After our visit to Paradise Country, we decide to look for the Halal deli located nearby, at Mermaid Waters.

Mt. Lebanon Deli

Mt. Lebanon signage
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

This place was listed online, as selling 'meats'. Turns, this place is more of a grocery store than a butchery.

The only meats the sell are fresh chicken, mediterranean-style sausages and smoked meats. Well, better than nothing, I guess. Anyway, in case you really want Halal meats there, you can always go to:

Assim’s Halal Meats
37 Beale St, Southport 4215
07 5531 4016

Mt. Lebanon also sell fresh cheese (both Aussie & Mediterranean ones), Turkish pastries & desserts like Baklava, Boreks etc.

My mum hauled pastas, olive oils, olives, sea salt, parmesan and cottage cheeses, canned tomatoes etc. Some were for us in the apartment and some, to bring back to Singapore.

We also went to a mini mart, a few doors down and bought some fresh veggies like these hee-yuge red bell peppers and coriander.


For dinner that evening, we had every intention to cook creamy pasta, but we forgot to buy cream, of all things. Slight change of plans. We opened up the jar of Mediterranean chili paste with red bell peppers, some of the seasoned meats and pasta we just bought and cooked up a storm.

tomato fried pasta
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

We used ditalini/canneroni pasta for this. Having never seen this pasta before, we got curious and bought it to try.

I just found out that this pasta is most often used in soups but it taste good when fried, too. Slightly chewy because the tubes are slightly thicker than your regular penne.

So there, home-cooked food galore (Gold Coast style). Still have posts of 3 more days of cooking to go. Hope I get it over and done soon!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gold Coast : The Tandoori Place

We set aside our 6th day in Gold Coast for some R & R. Planning only shopping and a visit to the Q1 Tower's SkyPoint Observation Deck.

Q1 Tower

It was past noon by the time we were done "ohh and ahh-ing" at the Q1 Tower. Really, really famished.

We already spotted the signage to The Tandoori Place, indicating that their entrance is located along another street. This restaurant was in our Halal-food list so it got us pretty excited.

Other Halal eats

Saw the Halal symbol from far so we crossed over to take a look. Located across from Q1 Tower, along Surfers Paradise Boulevard. Yes, you read right. In a church building.

On the left is Santoshi India House. They sell stuff from spices & groceries to jewellery to DVDs. They also have a fast food section that reminds me of Komalas. But that shop carried a heavy incense scent, which was quite a turn off. And the food don't look too appetising then (lunch hour was over).

Their website HERE.

On the right is Ballady, a small eatery selling mid-eastern cuisine but it was already closed for lunch when we went in (staff were already lazing around).

Yet another kebab joint

Stumbled into yet another kebab shop which also sell seafood items like seafood basket and fish & chips. Located on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Laycock Street.

All these eateries are like 5 mins away from Q1 Tower.

(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Seems like this restaurant is located within a service apartments block. AEGEAN Building.


Interior - main dining hall

The interior seem quite lavish. In fact when I see the decor, I was like, "Oh oh, this is gonna be costly.."

The whole restaurant have split levels. The entrance + a small, cosy dining area on top. There was a display corner with all their awards and accolades and I saw a framed Halal logo, supposedly given to them by a Muslim travel agency.

Then we come down to the main dining area with its grand, double-volume space where we had a view of a small waterfall outside; also where the bar is located. You might get taken aback with their extensive liquor collection but I guess it's the norm here, considering they need to accommodate the local crowd.

Another much lower level is where the kitchen + service area is, the washrooms and also a private dining area.

Plain Naan ~$2.95 Garlic Naan ~$3.50
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Knowing how filling North Indian cuisine can be, the ladies opt for naans (tandoori bread) while my colleague order a single serving of white rice for her spouse.

Plain and garlic naans for variety. And they came very warm, fresh out of the tandoor (cylindrical clay oven). Fluffy and soft.

Cheese Naan ~ $4.25
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Sri)

"...Naan stuffed with mozzarella cheese and touch of spices..."

Another colleague ordered this. Looks enticing, eh?

Palak Paneer ~ $15.95

"...homemade cottage cheese cooked with spinach and spices..."

Eversince my first time tasting this dish, it's an almost 'must-have' whenever I dine at a North Indian restaurant.

The cottage cheese kinda' vary with the various restaurants since it's usually homemade. Some can be hard and very much like chinese tofu. Some can be soft and chewy and some is somewhere in between. This one was much like the latter.

The spinach gravy was done nicely here too. Strongly spiced. Can hardly go wrong with this dish, I guess.

Beef Korma ~ $16.95

"...delicately flavoured boneless beef enriched with a mild aromatic creamy sauce..."

My mum ask for a 'milder' dish since most of the dishes tend to be heavy on the spice and maybe heat. This korma is very, very creamy and rich tasting. The thick sauce was superb when paired with the naan.

This must have been my first time ordering beef in an Indian restaurant.

Dhingri Mattar ~ $15.95

"...sliced mushrooms and garden peas cooked in special sauce..."

I want another vegetable dish because I deem the cottage cheese to be more of 'protein'. Scanned though the menu and only this dish caught my eye.

Mushrooms... More protein. *gah!*

Guess, we're relying on the spinach gravy and peas to be more 'veggie'. And the gravy here seemed to be tomato-based, anyway. Yummy, nonetheless.

Chicken Tikka Masala ~ $17.95

"...tender chicken breast roasted in tandoor and cooked in a special gravy..."

When I first tried this dish at an Indian restaurant in Bangkok (of all cities), it was kinda like 'love at first taste' (corny, I know). Must have been the smoky aroma from the chicken tikka that pair really well with the spicy tomato-based gravy.

All in all, the food's pretty good, actually. Not as heavily spiced like the Northern Indian food here in S'pore. Maybe it's to suit the tastebuds of the Australian crowd.

The bill eventually came up to a little over AUD100 for the 5 of us. Not that too expensive, actually. Especially for a place with such a setting.

We were so full that we're glad that the plan after that was to go shopping. Maybe can help burn off the calories from all that rich cream and spices!

Their website HERE

The Tandoori Place
30 Laycock street,
AEGEAN Building ,
Surfers Paradise. (Opposite Legend Hotel)
phone: 07 5538 0808

(There are many other branches. Go to their website to check.)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gold Coast : Sea World

Went to Sea World on our 5th day at Gold Coast. As you can see, the sky was almost cloudless. Imagine the heat coming through!

Dolphin Lagoon

There used to be 3 Halal-certified establishments in Sea World alone. Somehow, the park went through a re-vamp and I can no longer find 2 of those restaurants.

The Paradise Room Restaurant was located near the main entrance and it seemed to offer international buffet (gotta be pricey!). Now it's no longer there. Tucked away behind the Monorail station, used to be the Broadwater Café. No longer there, too. These 2 names also disappear from the 'Dining' listings in their official website.

The Plaza
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

Thankfully, Plaza Food Court is still around. The location is pretty centralised in the park, at the Plaza.

This is a fast food outlet so expect stuff like burgers and fries chips. At least that is considered affordable... Oh, you can't imagine how expensive the food there is.

What we ordered

Sri's fish & chips

The rest of us ordered this

This may be Sea World and they have dolphins here. Contrary to the design of the wrapper, we were NOT eating dolphin burgers. Fish burger, yes. Dolphin, no.

And dolphin is not a fish, even.

The pretty big burger
(pic courtesy of my colleague, Roza)

The pretty sizable fish fillet came sandwiched between pretty big & soft buns, with lettuce, tomato and tartare sauce. Good thing it's that big. Cos' even these burgers aren't cheap.

It felt weird to have no sauce to dip the chips into. So I went in and recce the various sauces they have. There were ketchup, BBQ and tartare. Nope, no chilli. They came in pretty small containers and cost 65cts each. Oh, heck!

I got the BBQ and tartare anyway. I'm someone who needs her sauce!

A tale of 2 souvenir flasks

While at Movie World, I was determined to get myself this souvenir flask to bring back to Singapore and use it at my office.

Filled it up with Sprite and was told that I can also bring it to Sea World and refill for only $2.95 (the flask cost $5). I was excited at the thought and imagined bringing that flask along when I head to Sea World the very next day.

Until my son saw it and insist on playing with it. Thankfully it's already empty. So I let him be. Then he threw it to the ground. It was fine until my mum saw water dripping from the bottom corner. Oops.

He then played with the straw. Only until I'm back at the apartment did I realise that he no longer have the straw in his hand. Pfft!

When my mum bought my fish burger at Plaza Food Court in Sea World, she surprised me by buying another flask. :))) And I made sure it stayed out of my son's sight, this time.

And when I refilled it with 'Lift' (really great-tasting carbonated Lemonade) at the drinks kiosk, I saw this cool-looking strap meant to hold the flask and I bought it, so that I don't have to carry the flask around in my hand.

I guess you already figure out what happened, huh?

Yeap, somehow the bl**** strap gave way and my dear flask dropped to the ground. This time the water didn't just drip out of the crack. It literally GUSHED out of the HOLE! Huhu...

Eventually didn't bother to bring this back to Singapore. Firstly, they're broken. 1 without a straw, even. Secondly, I can't find the space for them in my luggage! Pfft...!

And please, don't let me tell you the story about the 2 scoops of ice-cream... :'(