Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015 everyone!

& we kick the year off with a "hang".
Jing Epic (Original Sauce: EDMW)
A caucasian (local term: ang mo) decided to share his joie de vive with the rest of the crowd at Marina Bay Sands by swimming in the nude at the indoor fountain. It'd be amazing if he doesn't catch anything for his exuberance, because I am pretty sure they don't clean the water (no reason to... until now of course. LOL). Anyway I am not surprised that he did this, because I had an Austrian Company of Heroes teammate who told me that he and his friends would hang in the new year by leaping into their freezing cold lake (in town centre). But this is *bleeping* Singapore, sweetheart. Please respect the land you are standing on.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

益和云吞面 Yit Foh Wanton Noodles @Taman Century, Johor Bahru

Decided to enjoy the perks of the exchange rate by asking Mutter and Siyi to visit JB one day last week. I initially wanted to take Montag off but because something cropped up at work (as it always did), we went in on Dienstag instead, which turned out to be a win-win because Siyi could go that day. Mutter brought along her friend N, from her Bukit Timah trekking group. Even though they were all at least 60+, I spent Dienstag chasing these three ladies (though I'd have to shamelessly congratulate myself on having better stamina nowadays).

Before we went, I decided to locate some famous eateries on my google map. At first I had some problems with the GPS at home, so I decided to do screenshots of the map instead.  That was how we ended up using static map images for finding 益和云吞面.

It is located at Jalan Harimau, near KSL city. So we took S1 from the Causeway Bus interchange to KSL. Getting off at the hotel bay, I walked over to ask the security guard where was Jalan Harimau. He suggested that we cut through the hotel to get there faster, which we did, only to discover that there was no exit on the other side. So having now discounted his advice, we walked out of the hotel and asked around.

Turned out Jalan Harimau is a super long windy road that goes up and down the hill that KSL is standing on. Suffice to say we walked a super long distance from the hotel bay down the hill before we found the other intersection meeting Jalan Harimau, where we met two men on bikes. They told us to walk along the road to find the restaurant (which was near the 4D shop, they said), as they realized that it was pointless to tell us to walk back up the same way we came then turn left. 
So walking up the road, we discovered the security guard was 80% right after all. 益和 was super near KSL, and we ought to have either cut through KSL or walk around the hotel to get there. Luckily the ladies were in fitter shape than me and were pretty tolerant of my booboo.There were multiple 4D shops on that same row of shophouses though.
The restaurant seemed to be made up entirely of that one stall, where the cook stood over a great flame at the threshold of the shop, tossing noodles into whirling hot water, letting the lovely aromas beckon hungry customers in. It was obviously a family establishment with the two children playing at the counter. 

Being the only person who didn't have breakfast, I ordered fried wantons. Wantons are not sluts in South East Asian context, they are dumplings, little nuggets of marinated pork wrapped in flour skins before boiling or frying to awesome mouthfuls. 

We had the fried wantons with Made-in-Malaysia chilli sauce *yum* before we were served the wanton noodles. The noodles were chewy with the right amount of Q. While I still preferred the wanton noodles at my favorite ABC market stall, I liked the textures presented in the dish. They made everyone's preferences to correct order, mine and Mutter with no chilli, N's with some chilli. And Siyi's noodles came drenched in bloodthirsty red.
No kidding. It was so damn spicy that I needed my milky hot tea to lower the fire it ignited on my tongue. The boiled wantons were as wonderful as their fried counterpart. Neatly packed into flour parcels which skins did not break in the steaming, whirling liquid. I would go back there again just for the perfectly formed fried and boiled wantons. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Weihnachtfest 2014

This year we got the party started early on Christmas eve where the family congregated at Mutters. Bruder, Mutter, SIL and I played mahjong while the formerly CaptainAdorable now EnfantTerrible sulked in front of Disney channel after getting yelled at for knocking over our tiles.  Bruder commented drily that this was how gambler's children begin their paths to ruin.

I replied that at least the tv was playing its role as Babysitter, in other households his life would be devoted to bringing us ashtrays and clearing away empty glasses *lol*. Tante remained unresponsive though she smiled when we engaged with her, it was pretty disheartening to see how stroke has diminished my larger-than-life, active aunt into a sullen cripple. Mahjong used to be her thing, and now she could not even articulate her name. 
On Christmas day, Mutter and I broke in our new trekking shoes, that we got on sale during our JB trip, at the Reservoir. Unfortunately neither of us wore socks that were thick enough, and the sides of the shoes rubbed deeply against our skin. The second I got home, I dropped off at the town centre to buy thick socks!
We opened presents in the afternoon, before celebrating with Xmas dinner with Bobo and Vater at my place. We had Ham with homemade applesauce, roast pepper chicken, some horrible pig cheek (which only Vater consumed), mesclun salad with honey lemon dressing, cherry tomato and cucumber sticks with wasabi mayo and buns.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vater's paintings

Even though we ended up with engineering degrees (against our Vater's advice - sometimes children have to make mistakes in their own way), Bruder and I have exhibited some little artistic interests and aesthetic growing up. Bruder favored clean lines and streamline designs in his artwork, and I always thought that he would study furniture design (though that didn't happen. I guess we are too practical somehow. I did not pursue cooking as a career despite my Home Econs Teacher's advice). As for me, I dabble in 三分钟热度 interest in arts and crafts. My brother no longer draws in his free time, what with my Neffe and acquiring his Masters, but you can definitely observe the difference in  his and my aesthetic in the way we decorate our apartments.
Bruder's chic and simplistic. Mine is... Bobo suggested that we call it "Shab Shack" when I was thinking of making a sign to hang over our front door. Probably because I always whine "why is our house so shabby?!" whenever we watch Amazing Spaces, Tiny House Nation or some other home renovation program.
Anyway our interest in art had to come from somewhere. Mutter is definitely the practical one in the family, not given to creative outlets so I had always been puzzled who my Bruder and I inherited this from. Didn't think it was Vater, even though it was obvious by process of elimination.
Vater was the typical distant Chinese father when we were growing up, slogging in harsh environments to put food on the table, leaving most of the upbringing to Mutter (except when special forms of discipline has to be executed on more stubborn characters).

Now that he was retired, he has started dabbling in watercolors, taking lessons from YouTube instructional videos.

The children and parents in this family are each other's harshest critics (refer: sardine can). We are also not a family given to praise either. Though I didn't tell him, I like the mountain scene the most.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Vegan Burg

We were in Chinatown today so that I could buy wholesale seeds at Ban Lee Huat. The uncles were pretty charming and friendly, giving me loads of advice. Anyway they also sell chinese tea leaves so I am pretty sure I will visit them again.

It was lunchtime so Mr Bear said he would bring me to try vegan food because I have been feeling even more lumpy than usual. After my initial enthusiasm, I got bored and hungry walking because the walk was so far and I could see the Raffles office crowd spilling out of their office and into nearby eateries. I was worried that we'd have to wait very long for a table and food.

But thankfully Vegan Burg wasn't that crowded. After realizing that I was a total noob, the counter staff took pains to explain what are the flavors and ingredients. I chose creamy mushrooms, so did Mr Bear, so when I turned my head to face the cashier, I was excited to change my order to the new seasonal offering, wasabi mayo edamame burger with alfalfa.
We had them with seaweed fries (no taste of seaweed) and broccoli florets. Mr Bear also insisted on ordering the Granny's soup, which was a very nice tomato soup with a dash of herbs and a smoky aftertaste. I liked the flavors of both burgers alot, especially the wasabi mayo (I use that on my tomato salads at home) even though I think the soy patty didn't agree with my tummy. I felt really bloated after the meal even though it was a rather healthful meal (discounting the patty).


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