Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Family Day at PSA Holiday Bungalow : Food

Gas grilled

Hubby's grandaunt contributed satay meat (beef & chicken) and she brought along satay sticks, assuming the ladies will sit around and help with skewering the meat, prior to grilling.

As it turns out, everyone was in big-time holiday mood and no one ones to get down to it. So, instead of satay 'panggang' (grilled), it became satay 'goreng' (stir-fried) instead. My BiL used the hot plate at the gas grill for the beef burger patties too.

After a round of these, he later grilled some mushrooms and abalones. Yes, abalones! Apparently, the grandaunt who prepared the satay was given a can of abalones and she didn't know what to do with them. So she marinated them and brought them to the BBQ.

Most of them were curious about the taste because abalones are very uncommon amongst the Malay community. And they are expensive, to boot. So everyone gingerly took a small morsel to taste. They were such a chewy delight!

My mum and I regaled everyone with the tale as to how we got our first taste of premium abalones which cost more that $30 a can. We eventually sliced those expensive seafood and cook them with.... instant noodles. -____-

Charcoal grilled

As with the norm, the chicken wings were pre-cooked (method as mentioned HERE).

Chicken wings & otah

I brought along my favourite item to a BBQ party, namely Nam San's spicy mackerel 'otah' (or otak-otak, for the Malay purists out there). Spiced fish patty wrapped in banana or coconut leaf.

Nam San's otah is wrapped in banana leaf so the the fragrance got infused into the fish meat as it was grilled.

Seems like the 'griller' didn't manage to hold proper control over the BBQ fire. All the banana leaf around my otah got really charred. My grandma-in-law was so disturbed by the sight that she peeled all of them for her beloved family. :)))

Ingredients for Soto & sardine sandwich

For those who prefer something 'lighter', grandma had prepared Soto (Javanese chicken soup), to be eaten with either noodles or 'lontong' (compressed rice cakes).

One of hubby's aunts prepared some toasted sandwiches with sardine fillings.

Oh, there's also some spaghetti bolognaise prepared by yet another one of hubby's aunts. I had some of that and topped it with some grilled mushrooms. Yums! (sorry, by then I was too busy eating to snap any pics. hands were dirty, too :P).

Javanese specialties

You can also call them grandma's specialties, cos' she's darn good at preparing these! Then again, which Javanese granny doesn't prepare good 'sambal goreng', tell me? Not to meantion the easy-peasy 'urap' (also known as 'keluban')?

Even both my own grandmothers can prepare some mean 'sambal goreng' and 'urap'! Not to mention my own mum. It's seriously time for ME to learn!

Those in the unknown, 'sambal goreng' is a mix of various vegetable items like long/french beans, tofu, 'tempe' and sometimes some shrimps and meat or even offals (here, we have the 'babat' - layered beef tripe), fried in chilli paste (with a strong hint of lemongrass and galangal). Here, the bonus ingredient will be the addition of some stinky beans (petai).

'Urap' or 'keluban', meanwhile, is generally a type of salad where veggies like long/french beans, bean sprouts, four-angle beans and young tapioca leaf are blanched and mixed with spiced dessicated coconut (usually with a strong hint of 'kencur' - aromatic ginger).

Salad, Javanese style

One of my favourite salad greens, 'Ulam Raja' (King's salad). Do you know that this leafy delight actually originated from Spain and got distributed over Southeast-Asia through Philippines?

This slightly bitter leaves with a scent that's reminiscent of young mango (really!). Here, it's paired with 'timun kecil' (also known as' timun Padang'). Which is actually some really cute, mini cucumbers.

These greens really complete the savoury food round-up. Nothing like some good fiber, eh? It was such a delight to dip them in 'sambal belacan', together with the sambal goreng, urap satay meat and savoured with a plate of hot, fluffy white rice. Mmmm.....!


One of hubby's aunts made double-chocolate cupcakes. She's really generous with the chocolate chips so there were much chocolatey goodness.

The marshmallows were meant for the kids to grill over the fire but since the BBQ pit is pretty high, they very much enjoy eating them just like that.

There's also a huge bowl of fruit cocktail. I gotta admit that I'm one of those people who take only a bit of the fruit mix and enjoy many rounds of the water (a mix of ice-cold water, diluted syrup from the fruit cocktail and a good squeeze of lime) instead.

So there you have it. Things that you can consider when planning a BBQ, perhaps?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Family Day at PSA Holiday Bungalow

Hubby maternal side of the family are pretty close-knitted and they make it a tradition to hold a 'Family Day' anually. It's a day where everyone will gather, eat and simply have fun like the ones held at J's Wok & Grill, previously.

This time, my bro-in-law managed to rent his company's holiday bungalow at 118 Pasir Ris Road (yes, close to home!). And they really mean 'bungalow'. Pretty impressive, I say. It seems like PSA does make an effort to provide good facilities for their staff. Even their holiday bungalow at Bintan Lagoon Resort was the biggest one, The Angsoka.

The Bungalow

On the left is the verandah, where we arrange all the food spread.

Here's a link that shows the front facade of the bungalow. The bungalow fronted the small road, with the bus stop nearby and then it's already Pasir Ris Beach Park, with the large children playground. The bicycle rental kiosk is also nearby.

The Bungalow

The compound on the side, which includes the outdoor BBQ pit (follow the smoke).

The Living Area

Large living area. On the left are doors that lead directly in from the car porch. The dining area is on the elevated level, further up.

On the right is the open staircase (such a nightmare when we have toddlers around!) leading to the 4 bedrooms upstairs and on the left is the door into the kitchen (you can see the kitchen windows in the distance, on the far left).

The Living Area

The TV & stereo system. Behind the TV is the recreation room which also hold the karaoke system.

Beyond the doorway on the left, the steps lead up to the ground-floor bathroom and a 'Mahjong' (Chinese version of free Solitaire) room on the left.

The Dining Area

Located on an elevated level (probably due to the uneven ground), with a massive double-volume space. The min. 10-seating round dining table comes complete with a 'lazy Susan'.

The doorway on the right leads into the kitchen.


Upon entering the kitchen. 3-hob cooking stove and a 2-basin sink. Kitchen utensils, crockery, cook wares are all provided. However, for Muslims, I'd advise you bring your own pots & pans or some 'Sabun Sertu' to cleanse them prior to cooking.


There's also a large fridge and an island counter.

The door on the right leads out to the outdoor wash area (for cleaning of large pots) and for ease of disposing rubbish without have to pass through the house interiors.

The windows on the left looks out into the car porch. I love this kitchen. Big & airy!

The 2nd Storey

Looking up at the upper level corridor from the dining area.

There are 4 massive bedrooms up there (no, I didn't take any pics of the rooms). And a bathroom on each side of the corridor. They also provide large sofa beds alongside the regular beds. Enough rooms for big-time sleepovers!

The Recreation Room

A hit with the kids. Especially when my BiL installed the Nintendo Wii.

At night, the adults utilised the karaoke machine. No worries, the room seemed to be sound-proof!

The Recreation Room

Good way to watch over the kids when the adults are busy manning the BBQ outside.

The outdoor BBQ pits

2 large charcoal pits. This comes with a built-in sink, even!

The 'Indoor' Griller

On top of the outdoor grill, they also provide a gas griller that comes with a hotplate. I guess it works as a back-up plan for barbecuing during rainy weather.

This reminds me a lot of the famed show by Robert Rainford- License to Grill. He usually had a couple of these gas grillers at his home, by the pool.


Wow, that's quite a handful of pics that I've uploaded just showing the bungalow alone. Guess the food pics gonna come in another post. Till then!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I bloghop a lot. And most of the blogs I hopped into are food blogs. And no, they aren't incidental clicks. In fact, I bookmarked them.

The downside of regular food-blog hopping is that you end up craving for a certain something after seeing or reading about it. Funny thing is, you can read on a lot of foods, yet when something (totally random) hit the spot, you end up hankering for that particular one.

Never mind the fact that they may not be easy to acquire. O___o

Anyway.. I was trying hard to recall just what was it that made me want to eat Cereal Prawns so much. After almost a week of salivating at the thought of eating this, I eventually dragged 3 guys to Changi Village to have this. My brother, my hubby & my son.

My mission that night: EAT CEREAL PRAWNS!

I initially planned to head to East Coast Lagoon Food Centre but decided against it. Heading there on Sun evening will mean at least 1/2hr of waiting for car park lot and another 1/2hr of waiting for a seat.

So Changi Village it was. I had wanted to dine at 89.7 Supper Club but somehow or rather, we ended up at Ah Nam BBQ Seafood instead. Good, though. The dinner crowd has subsided and there's ample dining space.

Cereal prawns

Ahh... finally!

Fresh tiger prawns costed in corn flour and deep fried before being tossed into butter fried with curry leaves, chili padi, egg and NESTUM.. etc.

Har Cheong Kai

Deep-fried chicken marinated in shrimp-paste. Awesome stuff!

I had initially wanted to order the Honey Chicken but decide to try these instead. Something more saltish and savoury. AND definitely crispy!

A hit with the 3 guys. Which guy doesn't love their fried chicken anyway??

My foodie colleague told me that
using ONLY the 'winglet' (chicken wing sans tip) is the best way to prepare Har Cheong Kai. Whoa, thumbs up here!

Kangkong Belacan

My must-have vegetable dish at 'zhi char' eateries.

Ah Nam's version is a favourite of mine, although the spiciness isn't always consistent.

Onion-chilli Omelette

Another hit with the guys. It's bad enough that I made them eat the cereal prawns with me, so I ordered their favourite food item to make it up to them.

But seriously, omelette…? When dining out?? Pfft.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Obolo again

Been in my photostream for sometime now (my photos got stored in my Flickr whenever I send them on Instagram; current mode of choice to share my food pics).

These. are. too. gorgeous. to. not. share!

My female boss and her dessert spending spree. Luckily this time, she's wise enough to buy petit four portions from Obolo. Only that we cant really share and simply choose which one to savour…

Mousses & Creams

Comes in single-portion sized plastic cups, known as 'dessert shooters'. The names of these shooters could be any of these. I have no idea which is which. I only had one of them.

Summer Berries, Caprice, Desire, Mango Mascarpone, Rouge and Amore.

Go to their website to see more.

Teeny-tiny cakes

(top, from left) New York Cheese, Noisette, Lemon Meringue Tart
(bottom, from left) Salted-Caramel Chocolate Tart, Le Cassis, Mango Passion Cheese

A box of 6 petit-fours costs $15.90 (there's a discount on their website now).


I think this could be the name of the dessert shooter I chose. I remember the taste of dark chocolate + bits of sour berries.

...And those teeny-tiny gold nuggets are sugary bits; perhaps to offset the sourness from the raspberries?

(extracted from the Obolo website):
Amore – 68% dark chocolate mousse encased fresh raspberry jewels

Salted-Caramel Chocolate Tart

Initially thought this to be the Noisette, their most popular cake. Then I realised that this is actually a tart (love the crunchy, buttery base!).

There's actually salted caramel cream sandwiched between heavenly dark chocolate ganache. The sweetish-salty caramel + dark chocolate? What an explosion of flavours! Eversince my encounter with the salt caramel, I've always been so fond of this flavour!

Mango Passion Cheesecake

The name says it all. Tangy tones, courtesy of the passion fruit. Other than that, I can't differentiate between the flavours of the 2 fruits. But really, really nice!


Entry on my 1st visit to their previous location HERE (warning: poor quality handphone pics!).

Thursday, February 02, 2012

MFM - Lobster Buddy Platter

One Monday, I was walking past Manhattan Fish Market at White Sands Mall when I saw the poster for their Christmas promo. Did a double take (it's already January, mind you). Lobster! Lobster platter for two - going at $49.90!

Immediately thought of my cousin Imah (also known as 'Tim' in the previous post), the lady who loves her crustaceans. Besides, I still owe her a birthday treat. This would have been perfect!

Immediately contacted her and she got another one of our cousin to come along. The very next day, we were dining at the branch in Marina Square.

My cousin and I were game enough to try out this still lingering Christmas Promo - Christmas Catch, where for $5, we can get 1 Crab Bisque & 1 Holly Berry drink. For only $9, we can get the above x2 !

Birthday girl meanwhile, was wary about things that appear strange to her, so she gave that a pass.

Holly Berry

A mocktail that's a concoction of Passion Fruit, Orange & Cranberry syrup with soda water. Sweet, tangy and really refreshing!

Crab Bisque

I've tried Lobster Bisque at Eatzi Restaurant and this one here taste similar. Well, we can have Prawn Bisque for all we know and it's gonna taste similar. All these crustacean-based soups tend to taste the same.

But delicious, nonetheless.

Fried Country Mushrooms

Never fail to order this whenever we're here. Juicy mushrooms coated in crispy batter. Dipped in garlic-herb sauce.

Prawns being flamed

Ordered this especially for my crustacean-loving birthday girl.

Manhattan Flaming Prawns

Tiger prawns topped with the sweetish-cream, which got charred and caramelised when torched.

Served with chips.

Such indulgence, this one!

Lobster! Being Flamed!

I love my food to have charred bits! The longer they torch it, the better!

Lobster Buddy Meal

A wee bit similar to their Manhattan Flaming Seafood Platter, with the prawns + fish replaced with the lobster itself. Includes their signature garlic-herb mussels with their creamy sauce, crispy fried calamari, blanched veggies, garlic-herb rice and chips.


And why… how can we forget the highlight of our meal? The Lobster itself!

Although I was slightly disappointed that this wasn't the ACTUAL lobster. You know, the one with those huge claws/pincers? This was actually a spiny lobster (actual name, btw).

But hey, with this price, why am I even complaining? Beside, it does taste good!

Totally dig the 'Special Christmas Stuffing' - some sweetish, creamy mix of diced veggies like carrots, onions & capsicums. Well, it's pretty obvious isn't it? The stuffing works to 'plump' the lobster up, to make it appear bigger than it actually was.

After digging though the stuffing we found a substantially-sized lobster meat inside. Well, all I can say is that a lobster is pretty much an over-sized prawn. Well, some prawns even taste sweeter. Ho-hum.

I wished they had provided the tools meant for foraging the meat at the various nook & cranny of the shell. Like the one during my honeymoon dinner. I even discovered a pretty decent amount of meat inside the antennae!


We left the restaurant feeling really full. However, when with my cousins, I'm always up with crazy ideas. And they'll always agree.

I suggested getting desserts, namely ice-cream. Of course, they agree.

Looked through he store directory and hurried to Andersen's of Denmark before they close for the day. Ordered the Sundae Basket; which allowed for 3 scoops of ice-cream, giving each of us a choice. Birthday gal chose mint, another one chose banana crumble and I chose Belgian chocolate. Whipped cream & choc. fudge topping comes free. :)


Took the sundae all the way to 'the steps' outside Marina Square and relished our ice-cream there, while enjoying night views of the MBS to the left and got a pleasant surprise when we saw laser shows. Also enjoyed views of the Esplanade and the nicely-lit CBD in the distance.

What a great way to end the night… In the middle of a work week.


As I was raving about MFM, my colleague was apprehensive. Her previous experience at the branch in Bedok Point was less-than-savoury.

I've only eaten at 3 branches and all are in town - Central Mall, Marina Square and the flagship branch at Plaza Singapura. All my experiences have been great! Be it the service or the food.

I enjoyed dining at the Marina branch. In fact, that night, the service had been so good that I left a hefty tip. Staff were attentive, met to our requests swiftly, accommodating and polite. And it was a pretty busy night.

Having worked in the F&B line before, I'm pretty sensitive and more appreciative of good service. If they worked hard, they definitely deserve a tip. Please don't count on the service charge as tips for the staff. That charge actually go into the company's coffers.

Please, be nice, where possible and let them know that they're doing a good job. It's not easy working in that line, believe me. :)))

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Tim's advanced bdae surprise

I wouldn't know what to say about my cousin Tim (short for FaTIMah), if she hadn't already sniffed at the birthday surprise in the works.

I mean, the 4 of us who brought the cake just can't be any less discreet!

What more, after the movie, we walked all the way from Rex Theatre to PoMo, some good 10mins walk. With a cake box. a couple of days from her actual birthday.

Like… DUH!


We were in search of a pretty 'discreet' place to celebrate and hangout. And it seem that the corner of Pomo that's neighbouring SOTA was the best that our tired legs could bring us to.

So I guess, this dear cousin of mine was just trying to accomodate us when she chose to visit the toilet when we more or less settled on the location.

As we scrambled to open up the box and poke the candle onto the cake, we found out that we don't have a lighter… o___O
And in that chaos, we didn't realise that Tim was already out of the toilet and she could clearly see what we're up to, from the glass panels...

Well, we tried.. Really! LOL.

We still push the cake towards her and yelled, "SURPRISE!" anyway.


That. is. a. superb. chocolate. cake.

The cake

Initially, early that evening, I met 3 of my other cousins at Dhoby Ghaut, with the intention of purchasing a cake for the advanced birthday surprise.

We ended up getting lost in Plaza Singapura before being smart enough to source the directory for any cake shop. We head for Emicakes at Basement 2 (where it's a food haven!).

Saw in the exterior display, the numerous cute little cakes and settled for the very chocolate-y choice - Pure Addiction in 600gm.

When we went in to make payment, we saw numerous varieties of flavoured mousse in cute little transparent cups (known as 'Delights'). Can't resist buying. My cousin got delirious when we're told that we can get an extra one free if we buy 5.

Meaning that we'll be buying a total number of SIX cups of mousse. On top of the 600gm chocolate cake.

Lesson learnt: Never buy food before having a proper meal. Your hunger just drive you to make impulsive decisions!

D24 Durian delight

Seeing that only 1 cousin doesn't fancy durian, I decide to take 2 of this so that there'll be enough to go around.

Besides, Emicakes is known for their durian varieties, aren't they?

Oreo delight

Besides these 2, we also purchased Tiramisu, Ultimate Brownie, Mango and Brownie Cheese Delights.

Thing is, we bought this before our dinner. And the movie. >___<

More than 2 hrs later, the mousse already turned lukewarm. And everyone knows that mousse is best eaten cold. But we walloped them, anyway.

Desserts on the stairs

We sat on the stairs leading to the basement carpark. Thankfully, peeps chose to access through the lifts instead, so our 'desserts rendezvous' remain uninterrupted.

Even the security guards patrolling nearby looked at us in amusement and ignored our antics.

Sigh, it's only with them that we can do crazy stuff and walked away unharmed, yet happier. They never fail to lift my spirits and it's just great to meet up with them on a Friday and unwind.

The quote below can never be sooo right!