Fun Photo-Taking with The Family

Happy Chinese New Year everyone! CNY is a period when relatives get together and simply have fun celebrating the joyous occasion. This CNY has been consecutive days of visiting from morning till night.

We started with an annual tradition of eating reunion lunch, using my new Korean BBQ grill. It was a major feast with tiger prawns, Japanese Kagoshima wagyu beef, Spanish Iberico pork shabu and salmon belly from Cold Storage (#bestbeefever). Also, we had our first lohei of the year with yusheng from 1 Market by Chef Wan.

Then, we had another yearly tradition of taking a family photo on the first day of CNY.

Here are some photos courtesy of my cousin and edited by me. We had a great candid photo-taking session with the niece and nephew (and later the aunts too) using her Macbook. We certainly had fun making funny faces and exploring the different filters and functions.

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Yayoi @ The Star Vista

It has been a while since I visited The Star Vista and I noticed something that I have never tried, which is Yayoi. Yayoi is a Japanese Teishoku restaurant, ‘teishoku’ meaning set meal in Japanese.

Hence, all their meals come with a bowl of rice, miso soup, a main dish of meat or fish and a side dish. Also, the restaurant is noted for being particular about the quality of their ingredients and their rice, which is imported from Japan.

Each table comes with an ipad for you to place our order. There is a language option on the top right hand corner of the screen.

I love how user friendly the system is and when you click on the ‘Check Order’ button, you can see the status of your food!

Buta Yakiniku Teishoku ($9.90), sliced pork on hot plate. An affordable option. For $1.90, the miso soup which comes with the set can be switched for miso soup with clams. This is applicable for all meals.

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The Mama Shop @ Pearl’s Hill Terrace

It was not easy to find The Mama Shop. When I saw the address stating Old Police Operational Headquarters, I assumed that it was the old building next to Pearls Centre, which has been converted into a students’ hostel. However, shortly after entering, I realised it could not be there.

So it was up to Google Maps to get me there. The cafe is located on the hill, behind the students’ hostel. It was only after I uploaded the picture on Instagram that I found out a shortcut to get there (courtesy of SGFoodonFoot). Once you make it up the hill, the place is relatively easy to find, solely because the place is pretty isolated.

The storefront is really old school, with all the kinds of toys and tidbits on display/ sale that you would find decades ago. Also, the signage and flooring is reminiscent of the past. The dining area is very small, as you can see from the picture, there is only a smattering of tables and chairs around.

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Joo Bar @ Tan Quee Lan Street (Media Tasting)

After seeing yummy photos of Joo Bar on Instagram, I was pretty excited to try the food out for myself and see if they were truly as Instagram-worthy and as delicious as what the other foodies had said

The restaurant is just a stone’s throw away from Bugis MRT Station Exit D. Having the Downtown Line extension has made finding this street so much easier. In fact, you can spot their classy and mysterious black glass facade as you step out of the exit.

The restaurant is located within a three-storey shophouse and each floor is as sleek and inviting as the next! ‘Joo’ means alcohol in Korean. Other than their creative drink menu, they also serve modern Korean bites.

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My Day at Singapore Zoo

Sis and I went to the zoo last weekend. I have always loved going to the zoo, even though I often end up walking a lot and perspiring, As you can tell, I am not an exercise kind of person, but anything for the animals.

Before going to the zoo, we went to Nara Thai @ Westgate for lunch. The food there is decent but portions of main dishes are rather small.

Green Mango Salad with Prawns ($12.90). I loved how colourful the salad was, but not chunkiness of the slices of mango. The salad could also use some dried shrimps and shallots.

Stir-fried Minced Chicken with Chilli & Hot Basil ($12.90), served with steamed Jasmine rice. While the basil chicken was flavourful, it was not spicy enough for me.

Green Curry with Chicken ($13.90). Sis found the curry too sweet for a savoury dish.

And for your information, they started charging for iced water since 1 December 2014. It is 50 cents a glass and refillable. I find it ridiculous when restaurants charge for plain water.

We headed to the zoo immediately after lunch. It was not as crowded as I would expect, seeing that it was a weekend.

I was pretty sad that I missed my favourite show ‘Rainforest Fights Back’, which starts at 12.30pm and 2.30pm daily. It is a short but entertaining presentation, showcasing the rich and diverse wildlife of the rainforest. I kept assuming that there was a show at 4pm and took my time walking around the various enclosures first.

Here are some shots I took that day:

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The Kurobuta at Chabuton 313@Somerset (Media Tasting)

Believe it or not, but even after all that hype about Chabuton, this is my first visit there. I was glad to be able to finally try the famous ramen by the world’s first Michelin-starred ramen Chef Yasuji Morizumi.

The highlight of our visit was The Kurobuta ($18.90), which is available for a limited time only, from now till 31 March 2015.

While waiting for our ramen to be served, we tried the Hitokuchi Gyoza (8 pieces for $5) and Ika Karaage ($5). Both appetisers were rather oily. Mum, who was my plus one for the evening, preferred the fried squid at Sushi Tei.

And now for the main reason for our visit to Chabuton… The Kurobuta!

The ramen comes with two layers of soup. Their signature tonkotsu soup at the bottom and chicken collagen soup on the top. It is recommended not to stir the soup and drink the chicken collagen soup first. Besides, there is no need for stirring because as you eat your noodles, the soup will be mixed gradually.

The ramen is also served with a slice of Kurobuta pork, which is beautifully marbled and very tender. The noodles were too much for us, but we made sure we finished the soup!

Chabuton 313@Somerset
313 Orchard Road, #B2-01
Singapore 238895
Tel: 6636 8335
Opening Hours:
Opens daily from 1130-2200hrs.

Shi Li Fang Steamboat @ Orchard Central

Steamboat is one of my favourite types of food. It is great if you are eating alone, or in a group. It is also good for rainy days, when all you want is just something hot. Furthermore, it gives me an illusion of actually cooking, which I am horrible at.

I can never resist 麻辣 (ma la), an oily and extremely spicy sauce/soup that numbs your senses. It is kind of masochistic, but the more my lips burn and my nose run, the better! It definitely helps to have ice water on the side.

My mum introduced Shi Li Fang to me, as they had a special promotion going on. There was a 50% off on all seafood and meat items all day! In addition, their set lunches are going for only $9.90 (U.P. $22) and they come with a soup base and drink of your choice!

Best of all, they have something special that I have not seen at other steamboat restaurants yet.

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