Along I flow…

It has been a good one year plus at my current workplace. I finally know how it feels like being a contract staff.

Which also means, it’s soon time for me to leave. Ha.

Yes the search is on, in comes the formal attire and feeble attempt to look pretty and polished 😉 I am excited yet unsettled. I am anticipating the change yet dreading the process. Anyone knows how I feel?

Life goes on, anyway. I am trying my best to do what’s humanly possible and leaving the impossible/ unknown to the One above.

He does have the best plan for me. No I have no idea what’s going to happen tomorrow, but I know it is the best. I pray and hope for a new path where I can serve and bless God in the greatest measure. And I give thanks still, for everything  which has happened, and is to happen.

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Birthday Lunch @ Bread Street Kitchen

The first quarter of each year is always a busy period for me.

  • January – wedding anniversary. It happened to be our 10th wedding anniversary this year so it was a big celebration.
  • February – mum and BB’s birthday. And they happen during the Chinese New Year period. Especially this year, my mum turned 60 so I held a dinner banquet at Peach Garden for her during CNY Day 5. Then for BB’s birthday, we went for a 2d1n staycation at Sentosa Sofitel just last week.
  • Early March – Toddler’s birthday. We did a simple celebration at her childcare with her friends 🙂

In a way, I am glad that the hype is finally over, especially for this year somehow. Sure, I love gatherings and celebrations, but introverts like me need to recuperate!

Okay so last Thursday BB and I went to Bread Street Kitchen for lunch. I have already reserved seats for 2 about a month ago and I indicated that it was a ‘birthday lunch for spouse’.

We were famished because we didn’t have breakfast and we went boat pedaling xD so we quickly made our orders with the friendly and obliging waitress. All the staff there, I observed, were either handsome or pretty. About half of them were Caucasians and they looked like models on a catwalk when they walked up and down the restaurant!

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The bread basket consisted of a few types of bread, including breadsticks and a big flat bread… biscuit? I loved the butter – supposedly homemade – it was more salted than ‘lightly salted’ haha.

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As we ordered spicy wings for appetizer, we were given these wet wipes to clean our hands after consumption – very considerate 🙂

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And.. we ordered main dishes which had fries – so these were served too – too cute. and they were delish – very sweet ketchup I would say – I kept dipping, couldn’t stop!

We were facing the boardwalk so it was nice to chat and also people watch while we waited for our food. I realized that there were many people who jogged across the MBS boardwalk during lunch – which I think is a good idea (provided it wasn’t super sunny). I have started jogging twice a week now (for nearly 2 months already) and I am still trying to figure out a long term routine.. night run or run in the day? run outside or in the gym?

For now it looks like running at night is the way to go.. either gym or park also okay.

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The wings were very good – BB and I (both very hungry) finished the whole plate within ten minutes. Well-marinated and well-cooked 🙂 BB is someone who can never resists wings – will order them as long as he sees them on the menu lol.

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BB ordered Fish & Chips.. when he started eating, he gave a very strange (in a not-so-good God-help-me way) expression and asked me to try it. I did – tasted alright but the fish gave a rather unusual aftertaste. I was okay with it but BB apparently did not like it that much.

We called the manager over and she promptly brought it to the kitchen. After a while she came back with a brand new plate of fish & chips (even though BB already told her not to do up a new plate, he just wanted the chef to make sure that the fish tasted okay). So BB tried again – still same taste la, obviously haha.

But the thing is, the fish was obviously fresh looking from the texture, so it was just the taste that BB couldn’t get used to. So he just told the manager it was okay, it was JUST HIM. The manager was nice enough to even ask him if he wanted to order another main dish and she would do it 🙂 which we said no to.

The manager, during our conversation, shared that Bread Street Kitchen uses the ling fish for their Fish & Chips. Ling fish is a freshwater fish – so that explains the aftertaste that comes with all freshwater fish. Personally I would have eaten it with much gusto because I quite like freshwater fish!

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My burger which I loved totally. My definition of ‘binging’! It was huge and I couldn’t finish it. Wished I had more room in the tummy..

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Dessert was sticky toffee pudding! The waitress who took our order came with this and started singing a birthday song for hubby. She sang really well – got feel one…

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We were stuffed after lunch but I was very impressed with their attentiveness to every customer’s need and the way they go the extra mile to ensure that customers get the best experience. Of course, good looks and good manners helped!

Feb 2016 – of jogging and manicures

Let’s see. Nearly 6 months after the big break.

Firstly, I am thankful that I am still pretty much the same. I don’t think I have accomplished anything significant these 6 months actually, but I am still grateful for the fact that I am breathing well… living well…

Secondly, I am not sure why I am posting this. I had stopped last year because I somehow lost motivation to write. I suddenly felt that food reviews, product reviews, any kind of reviews are really pointless and not meaningful at all, so why was I spending so much time doing it. And no point trying to make money out of this blog because I am not that great a writer/ promoter/ reviewer, and there are plenty of other aspiring bloggers out there who can do a much better job. I also thought that I could spend my time better doing more meaningful stuff such as reading the Bible (which I have not yet started) and spending more time with my family. I spend time going through my tween’s school work every weeknight and attend to my toddler’s absurd (but hilarious) demands during her every waking moment.

I currently still think the same way, and have no intention of doing any opinions/ reviews on whatsoever again. Maybe for now, I just want to post some new updates as of 2016, just for record.

As I have said, nothing much has changed. Weight went up a little but that’s due to the current Chinese New Year binging and also upcoming hubby’s birthday celebration this weekend. After that I am immediately going to start jogging even very regularly.

Yes you saw it right – I STARTED JOGGING. To be specific, I started about a month ago, and I have been clocking 2 jogs per week till now.

I say that I am jogging because my speed is about 6.5 km/h (hence not considered as running in my opinion). For some people with long legs, that’s a brisk walk.

Yes I am sure I AM JOGGING (hubby goes jogging with me and he confirmed I was jogging ;D). I am starting it slow because I have hypermobility issues and my knees hurt previously when I tried running on a treadmill, so I want to make sure I am doing it right, and I am following this for good jogging form:

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And this time, no treadmill (which made my knees hurt so bad for reasons I am not aware of). I am jogging outdoors. Which I realized is a lot more fun and interesting – I was just telling my colleague this morning that I am literally on my toes during my night runs because I had to keep a lookout for rats crossing my path at the park or along the pedestrian walkway. Time passes much faster too, strangely and I no longer need music to spur me on when I am outdoors. Matt Frazier was right – listening to one’s own breathing (and watching out for rats or occasional flying leaves that sometimes look like creepy creatures at night) is far more interesting.

Also surprisingly, my knees no longer hurt when I do slow jogs at 6.5 km/h using the tips to jog correctly (as above). I could go on non-stop for 4km currently, and looking forward to being able to jog 5km and beyond without stopping. The goal now is to run longer, and not faster.

Finally, I would like to show off my nails!

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Sorry I can’t show a ‘before’ picture because they were just simply too disgusting. I have been biting nails for the past 30 years and suddenly a month ago, something clicked in me which caused me to make THE decision to grow some nails.

All this while, I always have this belief that humans are able to look good and stay fit as long as you work hard to maintain yourself. But somehow, I have excluded my nails in this kind of mindset and always accepted the fact that my nail biting is a habit I can’t get rid of and will stick to me for life.

Then it dawned upon me (don’t ask me how, it just happened) that I CAN ACTUALLY DO IT IF I DECIDE TO. And so I did.

And here you are, my nice nails.

So as of Feb 2016, I have some nice jogs and nice nails going on. Time to decide on my daily bible devotion SOON.

Chir Chir 치르치르 (Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory) @ 313 Somerset (Food Review)

My elder girl’s boring weekly food menu looks like this:

  • Weekday Breakfast – hot milk (Enfagrow) at home before she boards school bus, and then a small bun on the bus. She also eats those Breadtalk/ Four Leaves bread for recess.
  • Weekday Lunch and Dinner  I order tingkat for my mum and her so she eats whatever is being delivered.
  • Saturday Breakfast before 930am Chinese Tuition – hot milk (Enfagrow) plus cake/ bread.
  • Saturday Lunch – my mum will cook porridge with fish/ pork for her. Not her favourite but my mum wants her to have some homecooked food.
  • Saturday Dinner – usually we head back to my MIL’s place for dinner for another good home cooked dinner.
  • Sunday Breakfast before church – hot milk (Enfagrow) plus some bee hoon that my mum buys from AMK Hawker Centre
  • Sunday Lunch after church – somewhere near church, either Chuen Chuen Chicken Rice, or Army Market (some rice item)
  • Sunday Dinner – Thomson Plaza Food Court (rice or noodles)

And every night before bed, she will drink a cup of warmed fresh milk. And in between meals, she will also ask for snacks eg string cheese, a cup of fresh milk, bread etc.

So whenever my hubby and I bring the elder girl out, she will try to request to eat at nicer places, because she rarely gets to eat good food on normal days.

Guess her love for good food and service comes from hubby and myself haha.

So last Monday when we brought her out for some personalized shopping without the baby sister, she was no different. We were at Somerset area since 1230pm on Monday which is the last day of our long weekend SG50 holiday. We went for a nice Japanese buffet lunch at Kiseki (Orchard Central 8th floor) which she enjoyed a lot coz she could eat endlessly and choose whatever she liked (she loves being able to choose and decide for herself!), then we went for some major shopping at H&M and Uniqlo – mainly getting clothes for her.

We were about to go home at 5pm when my girl said that she wanted to have dinner before we headed home. Hubby and I were not hungry at all, so it was quite tough to decide where to eat.

“I want to eat at a restaurant! No foodcourt!” my girl requested. We gave in, coz we could see that she didn’t wanna go back home that early.

Then at the lift lobby, we saw this very tantalising picture of Mac n Cheese. And so we went to that restaurant, called Chir Chir.

IMG_5868I was for it because it was a Korean food outlet (watching Korean variety/ drama too much). I did a quick Google search on this restaurant and realized that it was brought in by 5 friends in the insurance and finance sector. Okay, probably a franchise. Should be not bad, since there will be proper procedures from A to Z as all franchises do.

We ordered a Mac & Cheese for the girl first, as both hubby and I were still full from the buffet lunch.

It arrived pretty quickly and looking quite yummy.

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It doesn’t look like the one in the lift lobby poster though – there should be some flaky stuff on it. Oh well, never mind – the girl liked it and that was all it mattered.

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I tried it too – really super cheesy and rich. Cheese lovers will probably fall head over heels in love.

After the Mac & Cheese arrived, hubby and I decided to order their Chir Chir Mi Chir to share.

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Looks good isnt it? There’s fried chicken, pasta, and oven baked in mozzarella cheese. Note the time in the picture – 520pm. I took this picture right after we ordered.

 

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About 20 minutes after we ordered our Chir Chir Mi Chir i.e. 540pm as shown, water came. I was “Oh, so the procedure is, you get water only when your dish is about to arrive?”

So the Mac n Cheese which we ordered first isn’t considered a dish ah?

Shrugs.

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This was the bill. Not super cheap for a party of 3. The time stated on the bill was the time the Mac & Cheese was ordered.

After what seemed like an eternity, hubby finally lost patience and asked a staff when is our Chir Chir Mi Chir arriving. The staff replied that it would arrive soon.

We waited some more and then hubby asked again – the same staff immediately retorted with a “my manager is waiting for your dish over there now”.

Note, there was no sincere apology given.

After some more waiting, it came.

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We waited a total of 40 minutes for this ridiculous-looking dish.

  1. It did not look even remotely similar to the dish as pictured in the menu – was the pasta oven-baked together with the chicken with the mozzarella cheese (as it should be) or was the pasta cooked separately and then thrown on top of the oven-baked chicken??
  2. It was not even dinner time. It was not super crowded, it was not super busy. Did we really have to wait for 40 minutes? I asked that same staff in Mandarin (figured that she was a PRC after the halting English she spoke and we could not understand) when this dish came – how long do people usually wait for this dish? She said “at least 20 minutes”. Ok, So we waited double the time in a non-peak period. Where is the follow up? Why didn’t the staff inform us after 25 minutes “Oh we are very sorry for the delay, the kitchen is facing a crunch now and you may have to wait for another 15 minutes – is that okay with you?” No there wasn’t any of such follow up – hence we weren’t given a choice BUT TO WAIT. And in the end, we got a messy looking dish that I could have cooked up at home and tasted even better. Even hawker centre chicken rice looks better than this u know?
  3. Taste – the pasta was tasteless. I can do better pasta. Chicken – dry. Cheese sauce – watery and did nothing but to drench the deep fried chicken until they got so soggy.

Not even a sorry either. The staff obviously did not think she was in the wrong, she was defensive all the way and acted as though we were the ones making a fuss. The water came late also.

Where is the customer service? Are we supposed to wait forever for food? We paid for service as well. Is it really so difficult to inform us that our dish would be late?? You rather act busy with other tables and hope that we will just wait along and not make noise? Very immature leh. My 5 friends in insurance and finance sector who brought Chir Chir in, did you train your staff how to react to such situations?

We paid $50 for such a lousy experience – I rather just go hawker centre and just get 20 packets of chicken rice and give it to the poor.

 

One Man Coffee @ Upper Thomson Road (Food Review)

It was a rainy Saturday morning during the long National Day weekend. The toddler’s music school was closed (so no class yay) so I grabbed the chance to try out One Man Coffee‘s breakfast and coffee. I probably have been wanting to try it for the past years coz it’s so near me!

It’s appears quite small when you see it from the outside but when I stepped in at about 920am that morning, I was pleasantly surprised by the nice and cosy set up. There were 2 long tables for bigger groups and at least 5-6 two-seaters.

IMG_5860Somehow the woody interior reminded me of Common Man Coffee Roasters.

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Simple 1-page menu – both hubby and I ordered the Big Brekkie, along with a Cappuccino for him and a Long Black for me.

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When I ordered at the cashier, I requested for more of something else as I did not want the rye bread. The guy in specs suggested giving me more button mushrooms, which I happily agreed. It was nice of them to oblige to the special request!

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After hubby’s Cappuccino arrived, I realized that One Man Coffee was having this promotion which they advertised on their Facebook Page/ Instagram – free Latte with every Big Brekkie.

Why wasn’t I informed of this when I was ordering my TWO sets of Big Brekkie?

Never mind. Not a big deal. Maybe they forgot or maybe they intentionally decided not to inform customers because they wanted only the Facebook/ Instagram followers to know. And I respect that.

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My Long Black. It was thick and fragrant, but with a sourish aftertaste which I don’t prefer. My office’s Long Black tastes way better, it’s free and comes in unlimited servings. Oh well, it’s an individual preference. Some people actually love the sourish aftertaste.

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But it still makes a pretty picture 🙂

Hubby and I had about an hour for this breakfast, then we had to leave for Thomson Plaza to get our usual marketing done from about 1030 to 1115am. It wasn’t too crowded that morning, so we reckoned an hour would be more than sufficient. After all, how long can they take to cook a few breakfast items?

  • Eggs take 6 minutes.
  • Bread toasting – 1 min?
  • Sautéed mushrooms & tomatoes – max 5 min?
  • Candied bacon – max 5 min also?
  • Spinach salad with dressing – 30 seconds?

Let’s say they do this one after the other, plus maybe busy with another order before us – I shall give them 20 min max?

However, we ordered our food by 925am and our food came only at 1006am which was a total of 40 minutes waiting time (according to the time on my iPhone when the below picture was taken):

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Prior to the arrival of our food, there was a minor power shutdown in the cafe so I suspected that the delay might be due to that. Well, that COULD BE THE ONLY VALID REASON.

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As you can see, my Big Brekkie had no rye bread so my eggs were placed on the board. My button mushrooms did not seem to have increased in quantity (as promised) compared to hubby’s either. Ok, maybe by 3 half-mushrooms more?

Never mind. Perhaps a slice of rye bread costs them 3 sautéed half-mushrooms.

I am someone who can wait for food, even if it’s a dramatic FORTY MINUTES in a NOT-SO-CROWDED cafe. I understand that there can be 1,001 reasons why there may be a delay in the food arrival. I started munching on the spinach salad which was dressed in a very tasty sweet vinaigrette. We didn’t have much time left to eat, it was 1006am and we had to leave at 1015am.

Then hubby gave a WTF frown and said “The eggs are cold!”.

I scooped a bit of my yolk and tried it – Yup it was at room temperature, not even slightly warm.

SIGH. Unreasonable waiting time – still can tahan la.

Cold food – unacceptable la.

Hubby called a staff over and told her plainly, “Your food is cold.”. She stood there, not knowing what to do.

(I could totally understand the awkwardness, I was a waitress before).

I gave a small smile (despite my cold food) and replied “We just wanted you to know that the food is cold. But we will finish it.”

I did not tell her that we had no choice but to finish it, because we had to rush off and did not have time to wait for them to prepare all over again.

So we continued gobbling up the cold food. It was not pleasant at all, eating food that were cold but having to finish it coz we had no other choice.

After maybe 5 minutes, another staff came to us with a stash of cash in her hands. She apologized and wanted to refund us for the cold food served.

It was a nice gesture on their part, truly. I replied “No it’s okay, we have finished the food.”.

She went “Are you sure?”. Not the best way to respond but I just nodded and she went away.

Seriously, did they really expect us to accept the money after eating? I appreciate the effort put into service recovery, but bad service rendered is like spilt milk or a broken mirror in my opinion. Maybe some customers would be happy with a refund (even after eating up everything) but not for me and hubby.

I paid a good $40 bucks for this breakfast. Minus $10 for the air con and the simple food presentations, I could have spent $30 at Shunfu Food Centre just further down the road and gotten TEN x hot piping delicious breakfast dishes.

Another thing I noted from One Man Coffee – they did not do frequent checks on the arrival of the food. Ensuring timely food arrival is the job of both the FOH (front of house) and BOH (back of house). Instead, the staff were spotted chatting at the cashier and not checking on the orders. Things could have been better if they found out earlier (eg after 15min) that our order would be delayed and informed us / offered us some read-to-serve appetizers or a free refill of coffee. Honestly, if Hubby and I have been informed, we would have requested for a refund of the food, left and gone somewhere else for a quick meal. At least the impression won’t be so bad and I would definitely go back to eat again!

We spent more than an hour in One Man Coffee, mostly feeling annoyed, frustrated and helpless. Yet at the same time, I showed grace and courtesy in my conversations despite everything. I write this not to boast of my incredibly God-like character, but I write this to emphasize that this is not an experience I want to go through again.

SG50 National Day Long Weekend – How did I celebrate?

I hope everyone has had a happening SG50 weekend! Besides going for NDP yesterday (which I will cover in a separate post) and spending time with my girls over the holiday, I did 2 things that typical Singaporeans have done last week.

Not difficult to guess la…

1. CELEBRATE WITH FOOD AT WORK!

My office celebrated National Day last Thursday in a really big way. Our breakfast and lunch was totally filled with local delicacies!

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Donned in red and white, armed with our lovely flags after breakfast!

Lunch was the main highlight. We ate so much that we couldn’t believe it ourselves.

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Kailin, Serene and I shared all these. We were going “Mmmm! Mmmmm! MMMMMMMMM!” all the way, while reassuring ourselves that it was okay to eat so much…

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As you can see, that day was my cheat day. Typically I don’t touch anything with wheat eg bread.. murtabak… mantou!

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This was one of the food lines in the cafe – all mouth-watering and yummilicious-looking.

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They also made Ramly burgers that did not look or taste like Ramly burgers lolol.

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Very good chicken rice – maybe they bought from Boon Tong Kee..

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And they even had this ice-cream booth, like the ones you see along Orchard Road!

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I probably haven’t had this for like 10 years.

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We were super duper full already, but just couldn’t help it but to have a serving of the ice cream with colourful bread. We wished our tummies were big enough to have maybe 5 servings though.

And all our other colleagues sitting with us were amazed at our eating capacities.

~

2. HAVEN’T BOUGHT NICE STUFF FOR MYSELF FOR A FEW MONTHS ALREADY, SO I DID ONLINE SHOPPING!

hahahaha.

Let me show you what I bought!

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A simple T-shirt dress.  I bought size S (which is what the model is wearing – looks baggy enough for me I HOPE.

Even if it arrives and I realize I cannot fit, I shall lose enough weight to fit!

IMG_5371The Korean trend is so getting into me.

Song Jihyo – Running Man cast member

Park Shin Hye – female lead for “Pinocchio” and “The Heirs”

Choi Jiwoo – female lead for “Winter Sonata”

The Korean trend is so getting into me. Seeing all these celebrities wearing sunnies has made me feel like getting a pair, so I found this really cute pair with the nose props! And it’s CHEAP hehe.

But, I may just turn out to look like this, after all the feasting last week:

Shrugs.

And the last item I bought on Zalora was this:

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I fall in love with anything beige or light brown. And coupled with pretty gentle florals, what’s not to like?

And i just realized that Topshop Singapore is coming to Zalora soon – YAY, another brand to buy from!