Noti Restaurant & Bar Dinner Date May 2015 (Short Food Review)

Club Street has always been a beautiful memory as I have spent a good amount of time working there … more than 10 years ago.

Shitz man, this is not good. My memories are starting to span across 2 digits =_=

Obviously, things have changed so much over the years. All the places where I’ve worked at – La Voix, Shi Dong, Las Pampas, Windows on Club Street – have all disappeared and now they are all offices. Still, the magic of Club Street still stands till today – romantic, cosy and homely.

It was easy to find a parking lot on a Monday evening. I took this shot right after I got out of the car. And Noti stands right opposite Liberty House.

It was really dim when we entered the restaurant. But more lights were turned on as the evening turned darker – still pretty dim though. The interior was dark and felt quite serious, not what I had imagined from the photos I saw online. Maybe they were there during lunch, that’s why.

It was a Monday evening, we were the 2nd table seated. But shortly after a big group got seated beside us, and the 1st table decided to change to sit on our other side. To be frank, I wasn’t very comfortable sitting in between 2 groups when the entire restaurant was empty. I understand the fact that it would be easier for the front of house to attend to us when we are seated near one another but still.. there was a lack of privacy – too close!

Then again, maybe Italians are okay with that. *shrugs*

Nice photos draped the wall behind hubby.

Before the other table changed to sit beside us. I would imagine that big groups will enjoy coming here.

Hubby had a pint of Carlsberg ($10).

While I had a glass of their house Chenin Blanc ($10).

We tried their Appetizer of the Day which was not from the normal menu – grilled cheese wrapped in parma ham – there was a name for it which I cannot remember. It came with toasted bread and some rocket salad.

I have to say, after months of eating rocket salad from Google’s cafe, I could taste the distinct freshness in this salad at Noti. It tasted as though it was freshly plucked from Noti’s garden 🙂 Amazing!

Having said that, the rocket salad at Google is okay too, not stale or anything – I eat them with extra virgin olive oil and frankly, ANYTHING with EVOL will taste heavenly 😉

The grilled cheese wrapped with parma ham had to be eaten with the bread to balance out the saltiness – great combination of the sweet toasty bread and squishy savoury cheese.

I had a craving for Aglio Olio after I started watching the Korean drama Pasta – so I had to order Aglio Olio, even though I was really tempted to get their Gnocchi with pesto sauce.

To be honest, I am not an expert in pasta tasting, so my basic standard is-

  • The pasta MUST BE done al dente
  • The pasta CANNOT stick to one another.
  • Every inch of the pasta must glisten with olive oil.

I am glad Noti did it nicely and I liked it a lot 🙂 The flavours successfully seeped into the pasta and every mouthful was bursting with love.

I remember I visited a pasta place in CBD area, named Aglio Olio. And their Aglio Olio was terrible – not al dente, pasta was clumpy. And they dared named themselves Aglio Olio?!

Anyway, I am now very inspired to do up my own Aglio Olio at home!

Hubby ordered Wagyu Burger. He has to have beef when dining out and since there was no steak, this would have to do haha.

It was a really good portion. I had a mouthful of the beef patty – VERY BEEFY TASTE. Duh. I am not a beef person, really..!

It was a short dinner (we were there for only an hour) and we were too full to have any dessert although I was tempted to try their tart with ice cream. I told hubby on the way back – let’s start celebrating monthsaries like those young couples now – and make it a point to have a dinner date at least once a month!

We got home by 8pm and the toddler greeted us happily with hugs and kisses, and promptly held my hand to bring me to the room to get some toys for her, coz she couldn’t reach them. One bossy lady but so cute – all is forgiven!

But seriously – work and family commitments do a really good job of sapping all the positive energy out of us. Like last night, we rushed home after dinner at Noti to take care of the girls. After the girls went to bed, I did some yoga, showered, and went to my elder girl’s room to mark her work (which I had given her), assign some more work for her to do today after she comes home from school. Then I went to the toddler’s room to put on socks for her and said a little prayer for her and the family. By the time I was done, it was 12am.

Praying hard for more strength and wisdom to manage time properly – and hopefully enjoy another good plate of Aglio Olio next monthsary.

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I’m just not good at it

After 35 year of trial and error, I think I am pretty qualified to conclude that I am not good at one thing.

Friendships.

Maybe there is only 24 hours a day and I happen to have a job, 2 kids and a husband to tend to, hence no time to meet up and nurture the friendships.

Maybe I am fucked up and friends just left me for this reason.

Maybe I have had problematic friends who were as fucked up as me hence we just couldn’t stand each other.

I have always believed that it’s the 2nd reason why a couple of my friendships failed. I am not sure I have blogged about this before (I think I have, it’s on my mind all the time) so if you are seeing repeated stuff, just close the page.

When I was younger, I was quite an opinionated bitch. I always thought that my thinking is by default the best, the wisest, the most logical. I was also very jealous of friends who were popular among guys, and I would do things to make them feel not as good as they really deserved.

When a friend started a relationship with a guy whom I did not think highly of, I would start dissuading her to break up with him, I would tell her things like “he’s not going to give you happiness, you are capable of finding someone 100 times better!”. I guess she just couldn’t stand me anymore and stopped contacting me altogether.

Or when a friend got into a relationship with someone who’s rich, who loves her for who she is and not what she has gone through. I got really indignant coz I thought she did not deserve all this because of a 101 reasons I thought of. Things got out of hand thereafter and we stopped talking.

At that time I did not realize that a friend is supposed to support, not judge. I did not realize that it was their own life (owned by God really), not mine.

Ah the things I have done. I cannot imagine how consumed I was with myself in the past. It was all about me.

These happened maybe in my mid to late twenties. As I look back, I feel disgusted at myself. Maybe this is why I find it hard to befriend another now. I try to keep a safe distance with everyone. I don’t say a lot because I fear saying the wrong things, I would mask my anxiety with lame jokes and very general comments so I don’t appear as though I am telling them what to do.

It’s gotten so hard that I have sort of given up on friendships altogether. Save for the few longtime friends (less than 5 of them), I have stopped trying to be friendly to other people I am not super close to (it’s tiring and feels fake) and stopped trying to deepen any friendship (maybe friendships will naturally deepen if they click, right?). These few longtime friends – from different phases of my life (they don’t know one another in fact LOL) – are people whom I don’t meet up very much (mostly because I am not free to meet), but we stay in contact a lot via whatsapp and online chat. I would share with them whatever’s happening in my life, and I feel safe sharing with them.

They have no idea how thankful I am for them – they keep me believing that I am not that bad after all.

As how Admiral Lee Soon Shin put it in Gu Family Book:

“A man needs a friend to share goals with…

A woman to share his heart with…

A nation to serve with all his heart.

That’s the best life one can live.” 

To make it sound more applicable to women, here goes:

“A woman needs a friend to share dreams with…

A man to share her heart with…

A family to serve with all her heart.. / A nation to serve with all her heart (for the more ambitious and capable ladies out there!)

That’s best life a woman can live.”

I am truly sorry for the wrongs I have done in the past. But now, I am contented with the life God has blessed me with so much undeserved grace.

Mid May 2015 – Reflective

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A colleague asked me yesterday “What’s your passion” while we chatted randomly over lunch.

My swift reply after a split nano-second –  “I have been asking myself the same question for the past 10 years.”

And so from yesterday until now, I have been rather melancholy and thoughtful about my past 10 years. I wonder what would become of me if I were a decisive young lady who knew exactly what I wanted 10 years ago, instead of the people-pleasing, attention-seeking wanderer who just went with the flow.

My early twenties was a messy phase where I drowned myself in cigarettes and alcohol, while my late twenties was a stressful period with a young kid and overwhelming financial commitments, with many ups and downs. Early thirties seemed to be better even with a 2nd child, then I was hit with a back injury last year, which set me back BY A LOT physically, not mentioning the 2 cm I lost in height.

Life is a surprise, always. As Forrest Gump puts it very very appropriately.

I feel old after the back injury. I totally feel like I am 35 (previously I still thought I was in top form) and I am now ultra-sensitive to every little ache in my body and joints. I now eat supplements on a regular basis to keep my bones/ joints/ metabolism/ weight/ sugar levels at a healthy level. I do yoga at least 3-4 times a week to keep my body flexible. Crazy huh. Paranoid huh.

Well, i guess i am doing it all because I have young children and aging parents to look after. I need to feel healthier and stronger desperately so as to feel more assured that they are in good hands (i.e. my hands). It’s really stressful how life can take sudden turns and twists, and now I am doing whatever I can to minimize that. In fact, I am still awfully sore and bitter over that fateful fall. It should not have happened at all if I had never taken up the new job and never agreed to go for that wedding dinner. But alas, who can turn back time?

Heavy sigh.

I guess that’s why I need to keep on reminding myself to place my faith and trust in God who knows what life has in store for me, and everyone else I care for. Easy to say, but hard to remember and apply in practice!

So, back to the question, what’s my passion? I think it’s quite clear that I enjoy writing – letting my mind wander and writing whatever that comes to mind. Typing endlessly on the lovely keyboard on rainy afternoons such as this. Getting paid for it will be like a dream come true. But hahaha, no one is gonna pay for random rantings and musings from a boring human like me lor.

Ending this post with a super cute quote – stay happy my friends:

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Supplements for young children

I just thought of letting you guys know some ways that I have been using to boost children’s immunity systems. I have been doing this for the past few years and it’s not bad. Maybe via this thread, we can share our own experiences and methods too ^_^

iHerb.com is my bi-monthly supplement supplier. The goods come from USA but shipping is only $4 for a maximum weight of 6350 grams. I will simply buy enough stuff to make up the weightage and max out the shipping cost. I usually buy some cosmetics (brand E.L.F on iHerb is SO CHEAP), organic kids snacks and also my own supplements eg iron, b12, kelp, calcium etc.

Sometimes they have promotions eg free shipping for orders more than $40. So it’s very very good value. And supplements are cheaper if you buy from iHerb, especially the brands I buy i.e. Sambucol and Childlife!

1) Sambucol Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup is the main component. Sambucol is the brand name. My family and I usually take this whenever we feel weak/ tired/ sick. Once we feel like we are going to get hit with a bug, we will take this immediately 4x a day. The results are good – either we will be back to normal right away, or we will get well very quickly if we eventually succumb to the bug.

The bottle says that we can actually take this once a day for daily maintenance of the immune system, but I read somewhere that it’s better to just take it when we are going to be ill. Your call 🙂

The link I provided for this is suitable for kids 4 years and above. There is another one which is suitable for 2 years and older, found here.

2) Childlife Colostrum Powder

Both my girls LOVE this. They eat this powder right off the spoon. Colostrum powder is reputed to boost immune system (provides a full spectrum of antibodies and immune factors) – I will give this to my girls every evening (half a teaspoon to my 9yo, and 1/4 teaspoon to my 2yo). And this brand has added probiotics too – helps them with their digestion.

I think I will stick to this – love seeing their faces when they are chewing on the powder and exclaiming “Mmmm, Yummy!” 😀

3) Thieves Essential Oil

I started giving this to my 9yo since last June. I remember clearly coz she was falling sick every 2-3 months before that and June was particularly bad! So it has been about a year already till now, and I have to say that the frequency of falling sick has decreased greatly. I basically put a drop on her soles every night, then she will rub her soles together and then I will put on socks for her – then she goes sleep. But I will let her go without the oil once a week, just to give a break.

I have also recently started to give my 2 yo Thieves too, whenever she goes for her Saturday music class. The kids in her class seem to be coughing and sneezing quite a lot (rolls eyes haha). So before we head out to the class, I will rub a drop on her collar so she can inhale it. Then when we get to class about 15 minutes later, I will rub another drop. It acts as a layer of protection over her. There was once I forgot to do it, the next day she started having runny nose 😦

4) Lemon Essential Oil

This is a great oil for the home – smells great and it also helps as an immunity booster. I put this oil most often, sometimes combining it with Lavender oil as Lavender helps sooths allergies (my 9yo has sinus and 2yo has sensitive skin).

5) Bi-weekly homemade chrysanthemum/ barley drink
This one – my mum will brew. Singapore weather so hot, body gets heaty and dehydrated easily. So this helps to ‘cool down’ the body and it’s a sweet treat for the family too.

These are simple ways to help our children fight germs and bugs better. I rather have them take these than to take medicine. Of course, having good nutrition is very important too!

The Master’s Sun Korean Drama – Afterthoughts

I knew about this drama when it first aired in 2013 – all my colleagues were watching this online and very addicted to it – saying it’s very nice.

I refused to watch because it consists of ghosts… =_= understandable right – since I have seen them in real life before?! And at that time I didn’t really take fancy on both the male and female leads – no idea who they were. So yeah, didn’t watch.

So recently I watched It’s Okay, It’s Love starring Gong Hyo Jin (GHJ), the same female lead:

And she sort of grew on me – along with the whole cast in the drama. Funny how Korean dramas do this ‘growing on you’ thing. HK/ SG/ TW/ CN dramas don’t seem to have such an effect.

(Side track – I just realized that her initials GHJ are in a straight row on the keyboard hahahahha.)

So I decided to watch Master’s Sun last month. Since she looks quite chio in the pictures (as shown above) – argh skinny girls just look good in anything! And Belle the Korean drama expert encouraged me to watch too, assuring me that the ghosts aren’t scary.

AND I NEARLY FREAKED OUT IN THE FIRST EPISODE.

GULP***

I immediately went to complain to Belle. Actually the ghosts in Master’s Sun are quite similar to the ones I saw in the past. They are all in greyscale and they are all translucent i.e. I can see through them.

The only difference is – in real life, I cannot see their faces clearly. In Master’s Sun, the ghosts’ faces were dramatized to make them even scarier.

*Shudders*

Belle assured me further by saying, the scary ghosts only appear in the 1st 3 episodes so as to portray the female lead’s fear and desperation to escape from this whole ability to see ghosts.

OKAY….

and I was glad that she was right.

Past the fear of ghosts, I gradually settled into the story. GHJ impressed me so much in the first few episodes. She had no regard on how she would look in the drama – she had dark-eye-rings make up that ‘ugli-fied’ her, horribly unkempt hair and bad dress sense – she looked 100% an insane woman who was trapped in this other world that only she could see. I could totally feel her desperation and frustration in the drama because no one else could understand her.

Then came this pompous unfeeling male lead whom she met by chance (or fate?) along the road and she realised that ghosts dissipate into thin air once she touches him. What a big big big discovery it must have been for her. I quite enjoyed her ‘lustful’ acting when she tried to get close to him in order to escape from the ghosts hehe.

Fast forward to my favourite parts when the male lead So Ji Sub (SJS, another easy initial to type LOL) starts to fall in love uncontrollably with her.

I find him a bit too fair for my liking – but he does look good in those suits.

I like his big big hands too…

Maybe the fact that GHJ is so petite helps accentuate his hunky build.

And men in geeky glasses –  who doesnt like?

Hero-to-the-rescue look – MELTS.

But in the end, I would say that GHJ outshone SJS a lot more in this drama. Letting loose and go wild with acting (like acting as someone possessed by a cat ghost!) is something that GHJ can do very well *clap clap*

For SJS, I guess i have to watch another SJS drama to comment on his acting. To be fair, this role did not really give him enough room to perform. After Master’s Sun, I started immediately on Padam Padam starring Jung Woo Sung. I couldn’t help but compare both JWS and SJS’s acting.

First episode of Padam Padam had me gaping over JWS’s acting. HE IS GOOD I TELL YOU.

And his tanned looks help also la hahahaha.

More on JWS after I finish Padam Padam!