Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sunday brunch at eM by the River...

Thanks to MkSurf8, I was able to try out another brunch place.

Together with MkSurf8 and Chris, the three of us had brunch at eM by the River located in a quiet corner of Robertson Quay.

You know how some people say that Sundays are made for brunches? Well, eM by the River gives one a really nice brunch feel.

Picture this. Al fresco dining area overlooking the Singapore river. No noise to be heard except that of kids of expats playing around. Every so often, you'd see a runner or two pass by while you enjoy your breakkie.

The brunch menu offers the usual breakkie items like Eggs Benedict, Omelette, Pancakes. It was kind of hard to decide what to get. The smart choice was the American Breakfast. For $20, you get eggs, sausages, mushrooms, bacons, tomato & toast, butter and jam plus coffee and juice. Not bad, eh. Some would say it's a bit overpriced considering that the items on the plate are very simple and easy to cook. For me, it was just okay since I also enjoyed the ambience of the place, the lazy Sunday morning mood, and the company of my becks buddies. Hehe!

There are also other non-breakkie items, if you're not in the mood for breakkie food.

From what I read, the place is also a nice afterwork chillout venue where one could have drinks while chatting with friends with relaxing music playing in the background. It's perfect for those working in the city, but not for people like me whose office is far, far away. Haha!

eM by the River serves all day breakfast (from 9am to 3pm daily).

eM By the River
1 Nanson Road #01-05
of Gallery Hotel
Singapore 238909
Tel :6836 9691

Operating Hours
Mon to Thurs 9am to 2am
Fri & Eve of PH 9am to 3am
Sat 8am to 3am
Sun 8am to 2am

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dindin at the Kantipur Tandoori restau...

Last Sunday, I met up with the gang - Chris, Ian and MkSurf8 - for dinner at a Nepalese/Indian restaurant in Little India. (If there's one thing that really binds us, it is love for food and being adventurous to try out new restaus).

The place was recommended by one of Ian's colleagues who frequented the restaurant.

Located in Verdun Road and a stone's throw away from Mustafa Center, Kantipur Tandoor Restaurant is home to authentic Indian and Nepalese cuisine.

Because it was a Sunday, the streets around the area were packed with locals and tourists. The Filipinos have Lucky Plaza. The Indians (and Banglas (?)) have Mustafa.

I managed to find the restaurant where I was greeted by very nice and smiling wait staff. A few minutes later, Ian arrived followed by Chris and Edsel.

We left most of the ordering to Ian, since his colleague gave him a list of dishes that we tried.

If I remember correctly, these were the dishes we ordered: chicken momo (Himalayan dumplings), a variety of naan, butter chicken, palak paneer, dahl, mahal ka fish methi (seriously that was the name of the dish), dal makhani, and Kashmiri pulav rice.

When the food started coming out, that's when we realized that we ordered a lot. Haha!

It was a very good dinner though. The food was definitely delightful and rich in taste. The staff were very friendly as well. This is one restaurant worthy of a second, third visit.

Kantipur Tandoori Restaurant
18 Verdun Road
#01-01 & #02-01 S207280
Tel: 62936835
Web: http://www.shishmahal.com.sg/

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tuesday night with the Zobel bros...

I was initially planning to go for a run last night, but then Richie messaged me asking me if I wanted to go to a Filipino book launch at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Without thinking (lol!), I asked him what time we were to meet.

It turns out the book to be launched was the Philippine Ancestral Gold, which is about the 1,000 pre-Hispanic gold objects found in various parts of the country and is now on permanent exhibit at the Ayala Museum in Makati.

The exhibit Gold of Ancestors: Pre-colonial Treasures in the Philippines is one I've been to a couple of times, and it is really one exhibit worth visiting. I like how the pieces were put on display, as well as the accompanying audio-visual presentations.

As I was walking to ACM, I saw from afar Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (aka JAZA) and wife Lizzie headed to ACM as well.

I wondered if I could get a photo with them. Haha!

Minutes later, Richie and Coly arrived and we proceeded to the second level of the museum where the launch was held. JAZA's brother, Fernando, was already there.

Aside from the presentation of the book, the other highlights of the launch were the presentations from the book’s editor and author Dr. Florina Capistrano-Baker, former Ayala Museum director, and co-author John Miksic, associate professor from the National University of Singapore.

The launch was followed by cocktails.

Here's how the photo came:

Richie said he wanted to have the book signed by the bros. I wanted to have a photo with them. So we stayed at the event hall and waited for a chance to talk to JAZA and FZA. It took several, several minutes of waiting, because several guests wanted to chat to the brothers.

The good thing was the waiting paid off.

Dr Baker was chatting with FZA and JAZA, so Richie stepped out to the foyer either to get some food or to look for Mon and Coly.

That was when I saw Dr Baker bid the Zobel bros farewell. The brothers were about to walk to the foyer area, and I thought that might be the only opportunity to get them to sign the book.

So I walked up to them and nervously said, "Mr. Zobel, may I please ask you to sign this book for my friend, who seems to have gone missing?"

While they signed the book, we got to chat for a few minutes. I told them about how I've been to the exhibit, that I would take friends from abroad to the exhibit, that I was an intern with AC back in 1999. Richie eventually showed up and he told them about his brother who works for Ayala Land.

The brothers were really nice. Definitely an unforgettable Tuesday night.

So that was it.

The book is available at the NUS Press. $95 for the paperback.

If you're in Makati, make sure to visit the Crossroads of Civilisation "Gold of Ancestors: Pre-colonial Treasures in the Philippines" exhibit at the Ayala Museum.

Monday, February 20, 2012

eggs & berries: nice all-day breakkie place at Changi City Point...

Over the weekend, Pg Boy and I got to try out two new places. That's one of the things we both share, I think. We're quite adventurous with food and we like discovering new places for eating.

Saturday morning, we headed out of the house around 11AM to have a very late breakfast. He was supposed to go to the gym after breakkie, but decided to skip gym because we had little time in between breakkie and our afternoon plans.

Usually, we would just go to Toastbox for breakkie since that's his favorite. But having canceled his gym plans, I suggested we go to Changi City Point across Expo MRT and see if there's a breakkie place.

That's where we found eggs & berries. With its cheery colors and the white furniture, it definitely was a breakkie place. We checked the menu and they have quite an extensive selection of food. From waffles and pancakes to a variety of omelletes, everything looked yum.

I got the Sweet Brioche French Toast with Sausage and Scrambled Eggs while Pg Boy got the Smoked Chicken Tomato Omelette. My breakkie plate had two sausages, scrambled eggs, salad, a French Toast, three mini pancakes, a tomato with grated cheese and a bacon strip. My breakfast plate was about 9.5 before taxes and GST. His was around the same price. For the huge serving, it was a good deal.

Definitely going back lah.

eggs & berries
#01-37/38 Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1 (Opp Singapore Expo MRT). Tel: 6636-4212

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday aftie with SG's most popular drag queen Kumar...

Spent the afternoon yesterday with Pg Boy and his best friend Ho at the Esplanade Theater.

We watched the show of SG's most famous (?) drag queen Kumar.

It was okay lah. Several laugh out loud moments throughout the show. Even if I've been living in SG for less than a year, I managed to understand about 85-90% of the material thanks to daily reading of the papers. Hehe!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Back to JB for Part 1 of the RCT...

So the trip to the endodontist happened yesterday.

Initially, I thought it was at 11AM. Good thing the clinic called me last Thursday to remind me that it was 10AM.

That meant I had to leave Singapore at 830AM. I told Pg Boy about it, and we agreed to meet up at the Woodlands Bus Interchange at 830.

Pg Boy and I are in a long-distance relationship, sort of or by Singapore standards. Hehe! He stays on the East side of the island. I stay in the Northwest (?) side. It takes about an hour or so for us to get to each other's place. In Singapore, that's considered as faaaaar. Hehehe!

Anyway, Friday morning I was up my usual wakeup time. At 7AM, I checked with Pg Boy if he was also up. He was. Yay!

At 815, I was in the train bound to Woodlands. It was just a few stations away. Meanwhile, Pg Boy was stuck in traffic along the expressway. Turns out there was an accident.

840 plus and still no Pg Boy at Woodlands, we just agreed to meet up after crossing the immigration at JB.

I was getting nervous because it was 15 minutes to 10 and Pg Boy was still in transit. Hehe. Damn kancheong I am.

But we made it!!!

I saw Pg Boy walking at the arrival hall. I called out to him, and then we headed to the clinic.

We just got there in time.

The whole thing lasted about 40 minutes or even less. I was so surprised.

I was prepared to sit for an hour or so on the dental chair with my mouth wide open, and feeling some pain every now and then.

This didn't happen and I was very happy.

Back to JB on 4 March for part 2.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kermit lunch...

One of the things I always look forward to during nature tripping days is the post-walk lunch.

Melvin would know of these places, that serve quite interesting dishes. On our first nature hike, he brought me and Francis to a restau that serves authentic Peranakan cuisine. On another occasion, we went to a restau known for their chicken rice.

The hike last Sunday was no different. When we were about to finish the walk, I asked where we would have lunch.

He threw back the question to me, and I suggested why not go back to the frog porridge place we went to some time ago with Bryan and his partner. I asked Chris if he's been to the place, and he hasn't.

Perfect. New food place for him to try.

So from Labrador Park, we drove to Cheong Chin Nam Road near Beauty World Center (Yes! That is the name of the place) where G7 Sin Ma Live Bull Frog Claypot Porridge is located.

The restaurant serves quite a number of dishes, but of course their specialty is the frog porridge.

From what I know, they only cook the frogs in two ways - with some kind of gravy that is either very spicy or not so spicy. Hehe.

We decided to get 7 frogs (buy 4, get 3 for free). This comes with a free pot of porridge. Four of the frogs were cooked not to spicy, while the other three were cooked spicy. We also ordered stir-fried kang kong so we'd have veggies.

It was one happy lunch.

G7 Sinma Live Bull Frog Claypot Porridge is located at No.5 Cheong Chin Nam Road (Opposite Beauty World Centre @ Upper Bukit Timah Road). Phone number is 6467 7317.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day..

Whether you're on the other side of the island or 700 kilometers away, you should know that this ♥ of mine only calls out one name - Yours. :)

Happy Hearts Day...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Labrador Park Nature Walk...

Some time last week, I got a message from nature hike buddy Melvin reminding me that it was time to do another nature walk. He suggested we checkout the Labrador Nature Reserve, since surprisingly(!!!) he hasn't been there himself.

We had an informal agreement early this year that we would try to go on a monthly nature walk. So far, we've been successful with Jan and Feb. Let's see if we can keep this up til the end of the year. Haha!

Sunday morning, after having breakkie, we headed to our nature walk destination where we met up with Chris, who agreed to join the nature walk.

Labrador Nature Reserve, which is more commonly known as Labrador Park, is found at the southern part of the island. Since 2002, about 10 hectares of the area have been identified as a nature reserve.

In addition to the flora and fauna, what also makes this nature reserve quite interesting is the presence of a number of war relics left behind by the British. Walking around, you'll find a number of signs that tell you of the events that took place in the area during WWII. Remnants of Fort Pasir Panjang, an old British fort situated on a hill overlooking the sea. You'll also find an old Machine Gun Post, a 6 inch Quick Firing Cannon, and the Old Fort Entrance. You would also find some of the bunkers and the entrance to tunnels, which according to Melvin leads to Sentosa.

There's a much more interesting story about this beach which Melvin shared with me and Chris. Ask him what it is.

If you're not much of a history buff and would just like a relaxing day, the park offers a nice view of the sea. Before you reach the sea, you have to walk along the Berlayer Creek mangrove trail, which is home to a variety of plants and animals. Keep your eyes peeled for the Black-naped Oriole or a Blue Kingfisher. You may also spot some monitor lizards, if they're not feeling shy that day. Hehe!

Uhm, personally, I think the Labrador Park serves as a good place to go to for nature walk newbies, or if you just want a quick but still neart to the city getaway.

However, if you've been to the other nature reserves in the island or if you're the adventurous kind who's game for hours of walking and finds a certain "high" from being surrounded by towering trees with no concrete edifice in sight, then the Labrador Park is not for you.

That said, I think I won't be going back to Labrador Park anytime soon. Hehe! Don't get me wrong. It is a nice, relaxing place, but I still prefer the other nature reserves like Bukit Timah or Sungei Buloh where it's green, green, green all around you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy, happy, joy, joy to the keows...

Just before I was about to zzz last night, I was doing a last round of checking of my Twitter feed.

That's when I saw the tweet of MkSurf8 to RKGreg.

Turns out it was their 8th anniversary. I'm not so sure though when the exact date is. (Check out the preps done by RKGreg for the event. Nice, huh. *with permission from RKGreg to post pic. hehe*)

I posted a "Congrats and happy for both of you" tweet to both of them, and then headed to lalaland.

It was through Twitter that I met these guys.

I dun remember who tweeted who. I dun remember who followed who. What I do remember is that night I met both of them.

It was on a Saturday night (or a very early Sunday morning!)... in a very packed Bed... amidst a sea of bodies... and really loud music. Haha!

You know how it is. Weekend + becks = clubbing, of course.

I remember MkSurf8 pointing at me while I was making my way to the bar to get a drink and to rest. They intro'd themselves. We didn't get to talk much though. It was just a hi and hello.

That was the start though.

Looking back, I'll always be grateful that MkSurf8 intro'd himself. If he hadn't, I wouldn't have known it was him and that he was with RKGreg since both of them have anonymous profile pics on Twitter.

When I moved here to SG, MkSurf8 was of a really, really huge help with getting adjusted to the new everything. He is one of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet. Chillax lang and laging maasahan.

Before I moved to SG, I got to hang out a number of times with RKGreg. And even now that I moved here to SG, we still get to keep in touch thanks to Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and most recently, iMessage.

I consider them to be two of my really good friends, and I'm just really lucky to have their friendship.

Congrats again to you guys on your eighth! Wishing you both another eight and more!

Kayo na ang institusyon! Hehe!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The best thing about the trip to JB...

in 2008...

in 2012...

The best part about the short trip to the nearest town of Malaysia was not just getting to see an endodontist, but alsot getting to see couchsurfing buddies Alan and Marco.

The last time I saw these guys were in 2008... in Manila!!!

We've been in touch once in a while. Alan even invited me to his wedding, but I just was not able to go.

When I moved to Singapore, Alan messaged me but our schedules never matched so we never got to arrange for lunch or dinner.

Who would have thought that it would be Alan who would help me find a dentist in his home town of Johor Bahru?!

Pg Boy suggested our next best option to SG was JB. I've never been to JB, and now I had a reason to go.

My appointment yesterday at the endodontist was at 3PM, but I decided to go early to meet up with Alan and Marco.

It was my first time in JB and Pg Boy wasn't free to go with me. I was really grateful that Alan offered to send me to the clinic after we have lunch.

They picked me up at the City Square mall and we headed to one of the local restaus that served fried beehon which reminded me so much of how bihon is cooked back home.

We weren't able to do much catching up, because I had to go to the dentist already and they both had to go back to work (even if it was a public holiday).

However, we agreed to meet up again when I go back. Maybe next time, Alan will bring his wife Ivy and their baby Elicia. Would be cool to see them, too.

Good trip to JB.

Madge still is the Queen...

Madonna showed everyone that she is still the Queen during her wildly anticipated Super Bowl performance.

She came out the stage clad in three looks by Givenchy Haute Couture, hat by Philip Treacy for Givenchy, boots by Miu Miu and earrings by Bulgari.

7 minutes to set up the stage. 8 minutes to take down the stage. 500 crew members. 150 gladiators. 200 choir singers. 114 million viewers. 12 minutes of awesome performance. Only one Madonna.

Ikaw na talaga, Teh.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Still about the molar...

The problem with the tooth continues.

I'm thankful that there is still no pain with the tooth, so it hasn't been causing me any physical pain.

It has, however, been causing me unnecessary anxiety.

When I asked the dentist how much the root canal might cost, he casually said, "About S1200-1500."

I wanted to faint. Hindi ko naman binibili iyong dental chair. I just wanted a root canal procedure, if that's what is really needed. Hehe!

There was no way I am going to get it done here in SG. While the company insurance will cover a certain amount, it still is just not practical to spend that much for the procedure.

I messaged dentist friends in Manila to ask about the procedure.

I also told Pg Boy about the dilemma. Being the more logical person, he offered me a number of possible solutions.

He told me that he thought of the possibility of getting the procedure done in Bangkok or Malaysia, because it was going to be much cheaper there.

I told him that I also thought of going back to Manila to get it done there.

But after some research, we found out that there's a possibility that the RCT might not just be a one-sitting thing.

I can't really afford to be flying back and forth to Pinas, Thailand or Malaysia for this procedure. Otherwise, I would have just done here in SG. Hehe!

The next best thing, as suggested by Pg Boy, was to have it done at a town in Malaysia nearest to Singapore.

It seems like the best choice I have right now. I can take the bus to and from. The cost is half of what it would cost here in SG. Plus, I have some friends in that town who were able to help me look for a dentist/endodontologist.

Since the plan was beginning to take more shape, I told Pg Boy about it. I told him that I was planning to go to the town by myself the following week. I didn't really want to hassle him with the problem, and I didn't want him to be away from work for this. Yes, may ganong drama. Hehe!

"There is no way I'm letting you go there all by yourself."

O ha! Ang haba lang ng buhok ko, di ba?! I told him I think I should be fine because I come from Manila, anyway. He insisted he didn't want me to go on my own.

However, this dentist I found seems to be very much in demand. The free sched wouldn't allow Pg Boy to go with me. But God is good. I got a message from my friend Alan who's based in the town and he offered to meet me at the mall near Customs/immigration and send me to the dentist. Yey!

If I am really in need of root canal, I would have to go back a couple of times though. I hope the next time I go, Pg Boy would be free to go with me.

Prayers, prayers pwease.