'Let's dine where?" I exclaimed in disbelief. Sembawang park, our nominated destination for dinner with the family. In my mind, I conducted a relentless search of food outlets in the region to a distressing no avail. Well, let the blind be led.
After a bout of shooting and some curious onlooking, we made our way up the winding staircase towards the basking warm lights set ona small hill staring straight over the straits of Johore to some forlorn kelong gracing the mangrove littered shores of the neighboring country.
Dinner was a simple affair, chinese zi char dishes for the boys of which some were unexpectedly applaudible.
Weiquan had the carbonara which was a home-styled rendition of this over-done recipe. Mediocre, if not lack lustre to say the least. Thank goodness for the charming atmosphere and lovely breeze that blew past once in awhile.
My rack of lam with Djion mustard cream sauce was a lovely mess on a platter with two slightly fatty lamb racks doused in a sweet mustard cream sauce served with dauphinoise potatos on the side. I loved the latter, a mixture of seasoned potatos baked with cream with a tinge of lemon for that tanginess.
My lack of description for this place only speaks volumes about the food, however, the resounding chatter that gathered from our table was invaluable. Priceless should I say. Need a place for a good conversation? Beaulieu House would be a good place to start.
117 Beaulieu Road
Open up your hearts to my trembling voice. I'm not seeking your understanding, perhaps just a nod of acceptance.
Do not judge me nor the friends I have made along the way. Having a open natured personality has allowed me to meet many different people who might not fit the standard template of what you think my friends should be; but i'm imploring you, no, begging you not cast your evil stares upon them nor chase them away. They are my friends and I love them.
I'm alone at the cross roads again. Enjoying the rare breeze. Leave me to myself. Lift my soul Lord and help these people see that they aren't helping me, they are hurting me. pushing me away.
Relinquishing my title of the black sheep in this rather unorthodox family just seems to be such a familiar thing to do. Kind of like sleep walking through your living room without tripping or walking into harms' way.
Fancy being asked to approach a therapist for help. Do I really look like a lunatic to you guys?
Oh well, if I do, then there's nothing that I can do to change the lenses off your uncanny fixed frames.
Walking the alternate path to the straight and narrow can be such a chore sometimes. bah.
even angels have their wicked schemes
and you take that to new extremes
but you'll always be my hero
even though you've lost your mind.
Eager to proceed on my search for the best cakes Shanghai has to offered, I groveled my way to House of flour.
To those who haven't had a meal by yourself before, you should really do. There's just something special about the whole experience. Slowly perusing the menu without succumbing to the pressures of your dining companions, placing your order and then indulging in some 'me' time leisurely awaiting the arrival of your order at the table. Here, I spent mine observing the crowds flirting with the glass cabinets housing those perfectly lush desserts. Not looking the part of a typical chinese does have it's benefits, judging from the many private conversations I had managed to overhear and analyse whilst glued to my seat.
My croque madame came in a glorious circlet of melted cheese. And trust me, I couldn't keep my eyes nor insatiable appetite away from this delicious assemble. With the gently whiff of mustard scattered in every mouthful, I was brought on a rollercoaster of emotive scoffing.
The dessert I had in the end, testifies for my greed. Death by chocolate. Definitely one of the best chocolate cakes I've had by far. Rich mousse highlighted by the layer of crunchy layer of dacquoise sandiwched between it's addictive premises. I clearly walked out of the restaurant in a slight food coma after, only to be stunned once more by the impending frost lingering in the winter air. Brrr...
It was cold. The bookstore which I had intended to visit didn't exist apparently. Screw the Shanghai portals. Someone should set up an updated site for expatriates.
I shuffled my frozen toes in my brown boots and looked around apprehensively down the street for a tinge of light. Hope. A wine store. Done.
Heading into the warmth interior of it's wooden realms, I ignored the rows of wine lining the walls and followed a trail of staircase leading up to it's deck. A dining area and an open kitchen with the cutest little island placed right smack in the middle. Enthralled and feeling slightly dejected from the whole experience of reaching a black hole after trudging 5km in the cold. I ordered myself a glass of red wine (from their rather extensive house wine list offered by the glass). A Chateu la grande la chapel, Bordeaux France, Cabernet Savignon Merlot. It wasn't soon before long that I had finished up my glass. The waitress shyly approached the table to inform me that before 7, they had a special deal whereby I get a glass free for every 2 glasses I ordered. *speculates in head* That's about S$21 for 3 glasses of wine? Sold.
Halfway through, I figured out that I should order something to eat before I raped my poor empty stomach with alcohol. Hence the salmon in white wine sauce with handmade tagliatelle. Lovely should you ask me with a aromatic flavor of spinach mixed throughout the sheets of pasta.
Following the arrival of my dining companion, shortly after I had hungrily sipped the last drop of ruby red liquor out of my glass; we ventured to the world of wine below... and got ourselves a bottle to share. Lovely. That's what I call intoxication.
Last of all, a country style cheesecake to draw a conclusion to the fantastic meal. Dense, rich and absolutely smooth on the palate, it took surmountable self control (kind of tough after you have had more than 3 glasses of wine) to abstain from ungracefully scrapping the remains off the plate.
462 Dagu Lu, Nanjing Xi Lu , Shanghai
Telephone: + 86 21-3311-320
Shanghai. Walks in the frigid cold, hands stuffed deep into the depths of one's coats pocket, I scout the town for a cozy cafe to settle down.. and found this.
Citizen Cafe and Bar.
Awesome freshly brewed cappuccino (my usual) to battle the onset of frozen fingers. Sing me a song.
The commotion in the main couch area in the lower level; they do have proper dining seatings upstairs. Free wifi provided for customers. With a beautiful christmas tree at the corner and the lovely sounds of bossa nova piping through the coffee scented airs, there was a peculiar sense to the entire notion of new year in Shanghai.
My later order of caesar salad with grilled chicken. Way to generous with portions, I was very much taken by the tantalizing dressing coating each leaf. No bells and whistles here, but just a comforting wave of emotions washing over me as I watched the world pass me by from the corner of the bustling cafe.
222 Jin Xian Rd. Shanghai, 200040.
Our phone number is 6258 1620.
to the many people who have stuck by me despite my peculiar styles of reciprocation of love. for all the cold front that I put up, I am bound to the magnitude of your love and generosity. Perhaps God put your guys in place to remind me that he's got his hand on my shoulder every time I turn my back on him.
Love, my adversary and ally. I embrace you with a single tear. Decisions, let's drive some nails into the boards. Move on.
I wish I could be cuddled like that baby, wrapped up in layers and layers of warm blanket. Comforted in all instances, under the caring gaze of my guardian.
But life never spins its web the way you want it. Sometimes it gets broken effortlessly by the tyranny of a clumsy passerby (just like how I walked straight into a web at the end of my work shift in the outdoor seating of the restaurant) and sometimes it gets carried away by the drifting winds or even weighed down to breaking point by the gathering of fresh dew drops.
I'm alone in this incessant emotional web of thoughts instilled by a recent progress that I have come to find out about. Abandoned, taken advantage of and neglected. Don't I deserve even the simple respect of being updated on matters? Were my efforts invisible to you? Or was this a toy or your impending ambitions? Now all is lost; I dip deep into the pool of inferiority.
Loneliness. It stings... but it's gonna make me stronger.
The whole world sleeps but me.
'I'm sorry for blaming you,
for everything I just couldn't do.
And I hurt myself by hurting you.'
Longing for something a little more down-to-earth, comfy? Then look no further than Bon Gout @ Robertson Quay. A lovely nook in a cranny sort of cafe complete with rows and rows of Japanese comics and lifestyle magazines; Bon Gout charms a regular stream of Japanese customers as well as curious onlookers. Serving up a homey fare of Japanese dishes, it never fails to make me feel as though I'm sitting in the living room of a smiley old Japanese woman, enjoying a humble home-cooked meal.
That being said, the dishes here do not pale in quality, this we came to a deduction after sampling our first mouthful of the starchy rice complete with sauteed beef and soft brinjal. A quick sigh of contention escaped my lips as I chewed through the lovely mass of flavors and aromas.
The Katsu curry failed to impress as much as the former though. The curry beckoning for a more liberal sprinkling of spices and perhaps the addition of chunky carrots and potatoes to liven it up. Kudos to the authencity though as it was evident that this wasn't derieved from some 6-chunk packet in a box but perhaps from the laborious stirring and devout attention from it's master chef.
All in all, still a wonderful, comfortable place to be in. Give their daily specials a go and you'll be surprised at what you get!
P.S. I'm absolutely in love with the placement of the rice cookers and slow cookers on the main counters in full view of it's patrons. Such hospitality and warmth on display.
60 Robertson Quay #01-01 The Quayside Singapore
It's killing me and it's killing you. Unrequited love, different categories of love. Honestly, I'm to blame for having made the mistake of agreeing to it in the start. My strange conviction that it would suffice. Then, like a shooting star zipping down from the skies, I came to a quick dawning that there was more to love. I could have so much more. Please don't hurt yourself, I want to be free.
Feeling slightly emotional now, I could use a warm embrace.
complimentary rose champagne courtesy of Daisuke, sommelier of Les Amis
A photolog of my recent dining experience at Les Amis. Unfortunately I do not have the food descriptions to back this gallery. Please bear with me as I chip in random commentaries from my backdated memory logs...
Here's a flashback for some of you guys who do not have clue of my work situation nor whereabouts. Yes, so whilst working at the cavern as a table queen (nicer term for hostess); I met Daisuke San, a Japanese sommelier from Les Amis eager for some food for fuel after a tough game of tennis in the afternoon. After a friendly bout of conversation and recommendations, his hunger was appeased, and the friendly gentleman went on to suggest a meal at Les Amis with my birthday the following week as reason sufficient to burn a few extra pounds at the stake. And so i did.
Entering the tall doors of Les Amis, I was greeted by none other than by the enthusiastic smile of Daisuke who led me straight to my private table at the corner, in good view of the rest of the restaurant proceedings. Appealing to my love for people watching. Champagne was then introduced to our table by Daisuke as a means of titillating the appetite, evidently it worked wonders as the rest of the afternoon was a smooth flow of courses and spot-on service.
our amuse bouche - marinated gravlax on wafer biscuit and micro greens
appetisers! The latter being the smoked eel on crisp kurobuta crouton and microgreens. Just 'lovely' is an understatement of this dish with the strong flavors of top-notch pork strangely littered throughout the crispy crouton mounted on top of the smoked eel which was a perfect texture, perfumed with the slight taste of the ocean. Definitely made for one happy camper.
My mains arrived swiftly on the white linen tables; after an arduous (pardon my lack of a better word, I was just dying to sink my teeth into the gorgeous looking plate of food!) explanation by Daisuke of the various components (which i then again conveniently forgotten once I had experienced the adrenaline rush from the phenomenal dish.). Therefore, in my briefest and most impoverished memory, let me illustrate this lovely composition, the kurobuta pork loin and crispy belly, presented separately on the platter introduced differing textures and visual effect to the dish. However, the component that stole my heart was the handmade spinach Pappardelle tucked safely away under the bridge of loin. I shifted, dipped and savored, oops I forgot the inevitable swoon. I wish I had a bowful of that gorgeous pasta.
Desserts followed up a surprise birthday cake again courtesy of Daisuke San; an interesting raspberry mousse cake showered with a chocolate spray.
1 Scotts Road
Open Weekdays 12pm-2pm, 7pm-9:30pm; Sat 7pm-9:30pm