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Archive for February, 2011

Hello! How has your week been? Mine’s great, I just came back from Zurich and have been happily enjoying some ‘me’ time ever since. Anyway, I’ve decided to take a short break from blogging (not that I’ve stopped eating.. never that, hee) for about a week 🙂

In the meantime, here’s an invite to join in a London spree for bags and accessories! You know what, I’d love to hold a spree for Pierre Hermé’s macarons but that seems pretty suicidal since they are so delicate and fragile. Oh well.. Bags and accessories it is then! Details below for your reading pleasure~

Image Credit: Hermes.com

Brands (most are my personal favourites) include:

Burberry (random thought: Emma Watson is so gorgeous!)

Cath Kidston (ok, so this is not branded branded but I like)

Chanel (love her bags, love her wallets)

Hermès (sigh, gotta save up for this)

Goyard (the most understated brand ever)

Longchamp (so versatile and affordable!)

Louis Vuitton (it’s everywhere LOL)

Prada (still eyeing the clutch)

Others (upon request)

Fixed exchange rate: GBP £1 = SGD $2.30
However, I will need to collect topups if my credit card is charged at a higher rate.

What’s included: whatever is given upon purchase of item, i.e. receipt, paper bag, original box and whatnot. 100% authenticity guaranteed! I’m doing this for fun, not to cheat you, haha.

Date of bags’ arrival: 19th March 2011.

Mode of collection: Mass meetup at central area, venue/time/date to be confirmed later.

Payment mode: POSB/DBS Internet Banking or ATM Transfer. No interbank transfer.

Send in your order(s) with subject “London Pre-order – Confirmed” to qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com using the format below:

Full Name (real name):
Email:
Bank/Acct no:

Item Brand/Name: Longchamp Le Pliage Sac à main (Handbag)
Model/Reference No.: 2704089
Item URL: http://www.longchamp.com/fr/sacs-sac…-femme-14.html
Description: 1 main compartment; Interior: 1 small pocket on front
Size: 25 x 25 x 14 cm (10 x 10 x 5 1/2 inch)
Material: Polyamide fabric with induction inside trimmed in cowhide leather
Colour: Navy
Alternative colour if out of stock (preferably at least two): Graphite, Black

Terms and conditions (read carefully!)
– Only paid orders will be taken.
– No cancellation of order is allowed once payment is made.
– Full refund will be given if the model and colour is out of stock.
– Please make sure all fields are entered correctly. I am not responsible if you give the wrong item/url/colour etc.
– If GST is incurred, all participants will share the cost.
– For enquiries, please email me at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com

Lastly, please do not join if you’re uncomfortable with my T&Cs. Thank you! 🙂

Okie, will be back soon with posts on good eats in Singapore, Tokyo and Zurich! Ciao~

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Johannesburg: Big 5 Minus 1

It felt a little like cheating when we decided to go to the Rhino and Lion nature reserve instead of Kruger or Pilanesberg. I’d love to visit the latter two national parks but practicalities proved to be an obstacle on this trip. Nevertheless, I changed my mind about the cheating part once we entered the reserve. To me, it’s such a vast area and you wouldn’t even tell it’s enclosed. Best of all, it’s situated within the cradle of humankind, a world heritage site, making this an easy side trip from Johannesburg

Oh ya, and the game viewing opportunities are excellent. From rhinoceros, hippopotamus and zebras to my favourite big cats like lions, tigers, lynx and leopards, we saw them all! Some were at a far distance, and some were close enough to touch (not that I’d do that). Out of the Big 5, we only saw 4 as there are no elephants in the reserve. No giraffes too as they are often struck by lightning (Joburg being a plateau area). Still, it was a fabulous trip and a good introduction to the wildlife in South Africa~

It’d take ages if I were to upload all the photos (there’s just too many!) so here are some of my favourite snapshots. Enjoy!

We got into the van and the first thing our guide pointed out to us was… Shit! Literally, LOL.

We saw this beautiful miracle in the sky by chance and I just took a photo of it, not knowing that it’s a rare sun halo that made the news! Only after I posted this on Facebook did I know, haha. It’s cool that I was actually at the right place and at the right time to see it for myself~ Gotta love life 😀

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Narita may be just a small town that’s known more as a stopover station than a tourist destination per se, but some of the best sushi in Japan can be found over there! On the flight to Narita, I asked my Japanese colleague whether she has heard of Edokko (江戸っ子寿司). Turned out that not only has she heard of it, but she’s been there a few times personally! To quote her directly: “Edokko is special”.. And special it is indeed.

536-10 Hanazaki-cho, Narita City

Note that there are two Edokko in town, one near to the train station and the other closer to the temple. I went to the latter and it’s real easy to spot. Just walk along Omotesando, the main street leading to the temple, and it’s on the right hand side~

Super duper love my Matsu Set (¥2,730)! 7 pieces of superlative nigiri sushi, a tuna maki, plus a bowl of deeply flavoured miso soup. I think Edokko’s trademark is that all the sushi comes with extremely generous toppings of sashimi over vinegared rice. And the quality is top-notch, no less fresher than what I had from Tsukiji!

Look at the thick and long slab of chutoro!

Tuna to rice ratio is about 3:1!

Whoa, this is my first time trying fresh kani (snow crab leg) in the form of sushi and it’s unforgettable! So incredibly sweet 😀

Such a plump piece of hotate (scallop) *swoon*

anago!

Briny ikura (roe) and creamy uni (sea urchin).. Sigh, thinking of them now~

Before the meal was over, the chef popped this onto my side plate.

“Eat the whole thing.. Like a snack” was his explanation when I looked at him with question marks in my eyes.

So I did. Prawn’s eyes, brains, intestines and all. Hmm, smokey flavour and very crunchy.

Very special, I decided.

Just like Edokko.

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Sofra wasn’t our first choice; Porn’s was but it was closed on Sunday. So was Ah Loy Thai at Shaw Tower 😦

Oh well, exotic food it was then. And nothing spells more exotic than Middle Eastern cuisine!

Everyone ooh and aah when the salad plate was placed on the table cuz it looked so colourful, thanks to the combination of hummus (my all-time favourite), fried eggplant salad, vine leaf rolls and spiced vegetables mixed with herbs and walnuts.

Oh yes, does the thought of eating leaves fills you with horror? Don’t be, just give dolmades a chance. Popular with the Greeks, these are delicate vine leaves stuffed with rice, pinenuts, currants and spices. Definitely an acquired taste, one which I wouldn’t mind trying again.

In the spirit of adventurous eating, we decided to try the grilled eggplant, despite its gross puke-worthy unsightly mushy appearance.

Not. A. Good. Idea.

Weird look, weird taste, enough said.

The chicken kebab looks good!

So does the baked cream dory~ Very soft and tender, though I wouldn’t say it’s fresh.

While there’s nothing seriously wrong with the food (save for that scary grilled eggplant), service or ambience here, I still prefer Cafe Le Caire when it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine!

Sofra Turkish Café & Restaurant
#02-42/43/44 Shaw Tower
6291 1433

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Platypus Test Kitchen

I like that everything is made from scratch at Platypus Test Kitchen; there’s no fancy cooking, just simple comfort food done well. Mains are restricted mainly to pastas, portions are not large but definitely enough to fill you up.

Our starter is lovely, a very talented bowl of thick wild mushroom soup with double cream ($5) that’s chock-full of earthy flavours and coarse bits of assorted fungi. If only there’s some bread on the side to accompany this hearty dish!

Thankfully, there’s ravioli (my all-time favourite pasta) on the menu and it’s a bonus that they are handmade! Both plates of pasta tasted fresh, the stuffing generous and of good quality!

Above: Large porcini raviolacci tossed in Parmigiano brown-butter sauce with crispy duck ($17.90)

Below: Ravioli stuffed with crab and lobster tossed in rich vodka sauce ($18.50)

Platypus Test Kitchen
#02-02 Clifford Centre
24 Raffles Place

8112 1194

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Paris: Gérard Mulot

“Mulot is a master pâtissier, boulanger and chocolatier. And he ranks among Paris’s best in all three crafts.” –Choco Paris

My my, such lavish praise. Which makes me curious. Just exactly how talented Gérard Mulot is?

Very talented, it seems, from what I read from online articles and blogs.

Hence, a trip there is inevitable.

76 Rue de Seine, Paris

Even before you step in, there’s already a visual feast in the windows waiting to be savoured. Cakes, tarts, petit-fours, chocolates, eclairs, pies, breads… Beautiful, just beautiful.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), his amazing shop in Paris’s 6th arrondissement is very close to my favourite Pierre Hermé’s boutique in the St Germain des Prés area. I’ve already had the stunning chocolate cake and vanilla tart moments ago and couldn’t bear the thought of having yet another cake and tart (yes, I do have my limit! ;)).

Still, I couldn’t walk away without getting something (otherwise, I’ll probably be sleepless that night). That something turns out to be a splendid sour cherry clafouti, Mulot’s simplest tart that sells out consistently. Everything is perfect, from the crisp crust to the tart cherries embedded within the slightly eggy baked custard

This is it, I’m definitely coming back. Not just for the clafouti, but for the croissants and lemon tarts, which I hear are pretty out of this world too!

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Ember-licious

My first Ember meal of 2011 was delightful. Actually, meals at Ember are always a pleasure since the standard is consistently high and service is good.

A great starter from the ‘specials’ menu: fresh pan-fried prawns ($15++) with a wicked garlic vinaigrette (yes, I’m one of those irritating people who love garlic, garlic breath or not) and pure avocado puree.

Tried the scallops wrapped in bacon ($19++) as well. Love how plump and juicy they are!

Should I get the chilean seabass with truffle-yuzu butter sauce? Or the black miso cod? Or the mentaiko-crusted seabass? I’ve had all three before and all three are delicious. Sigh, I really really hate to choose (it’s like asking you to pick which kid of yours you like best) and perhaps it’s the thought of bottarga hollandaise (doesn’t that just sound awesome??!), the mentaiko-crusted seabass ($36++) it was that night.

No regrets at all.

Restaurant Ember
50 Keong Saik Road
Hotel 1929
6347 1928

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