Wah, sian lah!

You really don’t want to see this in the mail (ok, not really, cos nowsaday so hi-tech, they sms you and ask you to go online and retrieve PDF file, but still…) when you’re dead tired from work:

SAF 100 again!
OK, it’s only for half a day, but still…

No time for nuffin’, except maybe some more Red Bull.

Kratingdaeng 250 OK!
It’s Kratingdaeng 250 OK! Don’t muck around!

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of Wahira from the album “Cachaito” by Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez of which I have the original CD.

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Monday macchiato nosso good

Scary Mechanical Tiger

There’s a scary looking mechanical tiger in United Square at Novena that has scary bloodshot eyes and wheels on its paws. Apparently the handlers of this tiger charge $5 for a ride on it. Siao!

Then there were the staff of the Haagen Dazs cafe who said they couldn’t serve me a double shot macchiato because it wasn’t on the menu, even if a single macchiato was. Even after I explained that a double macchiato was like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of foamed milk to mark the espresso, making it a macchiato, because a macchiato in Italian means ‘spotted’. I even offered to pay 50 cents for the spot of foamed milk. But, cannot, said the waiters.

To their credit, the waiters told the cafe manager, who suggested I order a cappucino instead. I said, ‘nair mind, I’ll have a double espresso’. To his credit, the manager asked again what it was I really wanted, and I said ‘double macchiatto, which is like a double espresso, only you put a small spot of milk to mark the espresso, and I’ll pay 50 cents for the milk’.

And the manager said ‘ok’, and instructed his waiters to make me a double macchiato with no extra charge for the spot of milk.

Good job, manager of cafe! 100 points for effort. Zero for the waiters who served me a double macchiato with enough foamed milk to spot twenty espressos.

Double Macchiato
Dude, where’s my coffee?

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of The Look Of Love from the album “Music To Watch Girls By (Disc 2)” by Dusty Springfield

Please don’t flambée my backside, the food’s quite good

I am thankful for a lot of things, really. Like having enough money to give myself a treat after a reasonably crappy day at work. And what treat did I have enough money to give myself, you may well ask?

Well, I went and had dinner at that venerable Russo-Hainanese institution that serves the best borsch bar none: Shashlik Restaurant. If you’ve been there, you’d know the food’s real good, and you’d immediately forgive the late 70s lighting, the late 70s furnishing, the late 70s crockery and the late 70s waiters.

I’ve heard before about how rude and brusque the waiters at Shashlik were, and I’d like to clarify one thing: the waiters aren’t rude, they’re just Hainanese. They’ll stand around the bar and talk loudly in Russian because they think they’re the best Russian restaurant in town, and they’d be right.

And one of the fabulous things about the brusque borsch serving waiters is that even when there’s a bunch of them talking loudly in Russian at the bar, there’s still a couple of them brusquely pushing borsch, shashlik, and all manner of flambé on squeaky trolleys around the restaurant.

If you were to go there, on the 6th floor of the Far East Shopping Centre (not Far East Plaza, which is the cool and funky place with the funky clothes and the funky people selling funky clothes to funky people), I’d recommend you have the borsch to start with, then the shashlik beef/lamb, and then the flambéed banana/cherry/alaska for dessert, topped off with the best Hainanese Russian kopitiam coffee this side of Ya Kun’s.

I really think this is the best Russian restaurant in town, and I’m not saying this because I’m afraid the Hainanese waiters might flambée my backside if I said otherwise. Dinner was good enough for me to want to dine there again soon, which is significant in itself because before tonight, the last time I dined there must’ve been twenty years ago.

Got dress code one leh

Quite dark, until the flaming trolley comes by

Shashlik Restaurant
Then they take the stuff off the flaming trolley onto your table: Banana Flambé

Shashlik Restaurant
The coffee’s nosso good if you’re expecting espresso

Must be nice to the waiters, else they flambée your backside
Surf stop: Majulah Singapura’s Journal

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Smoke from the album “Whatever And Ever Amen” by Ben Folds Five

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We are Singapore: Doing the Sub-Continental

It’s always good to be able to wake up late at 1.30pm on Sunday. Especially if you’ve only gone to sleep at 8am on Sunday.

But you have to wake up early enough on Sunday afternoon, because you’d waste your whole weekend if you slept in. So, cannot sleep in. So that can go out. So that can you can spend a whole hour deciding what to do while on the way out because you didn’t decide what to do beforehand. Y’know?

On the way out, I passed by the guardhouse outside some Cabinet Minister’s house, and outside the guardhouse stood a Gurkha guard in his distinctive Gurkha hat and equally distinctive HK-MP5 sub-machinegun. (He had some clothes on of course, but they weren’t that distinctive). I waved, but he didn’t wave back, and I decided I’d go for some Nepalese food for lunch.

I had previously driven past a Nepalese restaurant called ‘The Yak & the Yeti‘ somewhere behind Race Course Road in Little India, so I thought that might be the place to go to, but alas, don’t have. No more Yak, and the Yeti disappear liao.

But there was a restaurant called ‘Gurkha Palace‘, and the menu placed outside listed Nepalese as well as Indian fare. I ate myself to death. So much that I don’t remember much of it except that I have savoured the bestest naan in the universe.

Then I rolled across Race Course Road to Farrer Park, because from across Race Course Road, there looked like there were games of rugby and cricket going on in the park. If you don’t already know, these are the two games played in heaven. Rugby in winter and Cricket in summer.

I had previously read about migrant workers from the sub-continent using this patch of grass on Sundays for makeshift cricket games, and it was good to see that it was everything I expected: the dusty wicket, the quick bowlers wiping sweat from their brows before trundling in, the barefoot batsman swinging and missing, and the fielding team raising half-hearted appeals. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand a single thing about cricket because to see this game is to see real sport. (EPL, Manchester United and S-League’s not sport, it’s business.)

I don’t know how many batsmen got out before me and my companion decided to go do something else, like having coffee in an air-conditioned place, like a shopping mall.

Howzat? Cricket at Farrer ParkHowzat? Cricket at Farrer ParkHowzat? Cricket at Farrer Park
Howzat? Cricket at Farrer Park

We're Singapore, so must wear Ang Moh shirts
We're Singapore, so must wear Ang Moh shirts
Don’t mind us looking like Ang Moh ok? We’re Singapore, you know?

Surf stop: Nibble & Scribble

iTunes Party Shuffle is playing a copy of Locked Out from the album “Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House” by Crowded House

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Orgasmic organic wholesome goodness

It was my grandmother who introduced me to organic foods.

She used to live in a shophouse in Seremban where she kept livestock together with my uncles and aunts on the 2nd floor, and where she also planted all manner of herbs and spices in little pots on the balcony. There was also a papaya tree on the balcony that eventually crashed, pot and all into the back lane below, but that’s another story.

Once, when I misbehaved (to a greater degree than I usually did), she put me in the cage that held the fiercest live gobbledegooking turkey on the planet. Imagine, if you will, a snotty, grimy four year old, terrified out of his wits, grabbing at the chicken wire, screaming for forgiveness, getting snottier and grimier and, not to mention, soiled, on account of fear-induced defecation, and you’d imagine a four-year-old me, being attacked from head to foot by Thanksgivingosaurus Max. In a cage. Watched by Granny and Uncles and Aunts. Like a Gladiator. Not.

And so, it was with that happy memory that I was re-introduced to organic foods on Sunday at Bunalun (Chip Bee Gardens, opp. Holland Village). I can’t remember exactly what I ate, only that it was good. The wild rice wild something something went really well with the wild pita bread with wild avocado and nabeh-sibeh hot wild chili padi, as did the wild olive wild puree wild dip. Only the coffee was a little tame.

A few minutes after brunch, I felt this almost overwhelming sensation of goodness in my tummy. I kid you not. Your body likes this organic food, and this organic food likes your body back. I felt so good I even managed to read theNew Paper on Sunday and Sumiko Tan’s Fear & Loathing in Blog Vegas word for word.

I have decided. When I get married, the wedding fare will be from Bunalun. Ten course meal of wild something something with wild something somethings for everyone!





Surf stop: Sheylara

Everyone Loves You When You’re Down from the album “Everyone Loves You” by Naomi

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