Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cavalock and The Rainbow Tim Sum Bemusement

Back to Jalan Alor and it's still every bit as bustling as the last time I was there several years ago. Couple things we noticed that seemed new to me. First up, you'll noticed a lot of Burmese migrant workers manning the stalls, kinda like how we got the China workforce here I guess. Other thing worth mentioning is the below rainbow tim sum trend that I'm seeing for the first time. More than a few stalls selling them although I didn't try any. Methinks a wee bit gimmicky perhaps? It was the first time at Jalan Alor for the Baker-at-Home and we both kinda agreed that as attractive as the food is, we could give the street a pass if we visit the city again. Not a repeat-visit for us as we would much rather explore the area for other venues.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cavalock and The After Dinner Drinks Aspiration

Who knew this would happen to us? Never saw this coming but we became the kinda holiday couple who hangs out at bars after dinner. Hah! I think it's maybe a sign of old age or something, it definitely wasn't because we were bored. Perhaps it's an evolution of one's travel habits from squirrelling back cheap supermarket food to the hotel to dining at fancy restaurants to appreciating after dinner drinks at watering holes in exotic lands.

Well, that's what we did every night in Kuala Lumpur last week, at The Tokyo Restaurant's bar at KL's Isetan The Japan Store to be exact. We read about their famous cheesecake and knew we just had to have it for our dessert that night. It certainly deserved every praise. Extremely light and luxuriously delicious, making it very tempting for us to order a second slice.

Why the need to rush back to our room when we could be resting on bar stools and taking it easy in a foreign city? During the day, we walked to their Kinokuniya book store at KLCC and damn! that has got to be the biggest Kinokuniya I have ever been to, even larger than the ones I visited in Japan. Huge bookstore means lotsa books! Spent almost 2 hours there and noticed some nuggets in their fiction selection that were sorely missing at our local stores.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Cavalock and The Overseas Supermarket Inspection

I guess you could say it was the vacation over a decade in the making. The Baker-at-Home and I finally made our way to Kuala Lumpur for our long deserved vacation. One of those so near yet so far holiday destinations if you know what I mean. Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves silly on some glorious street food and almost slipped into a lethal food coma mere hours later. More on that in a later post.

We did what we always do whenever we are in another country, we visit their supermarkets! And we were pleasantly surprised to find some pretty cool items on sale. Check this out, Haggis and other porky canned food in the non-Halal section! The last time I had Haggis was back in Edinburgh in 2009. Anyway I sure don't remember any of our supermarkets having such a well-stocked porky aisle before. Who knew? I definitely wasn't expecting this in a country like Malaysia.

I suppose no spermarket or grocery store here is complete without some Kopi Luwak or Tongkat Ali item. Heh, and no, I didn't buy any.

Back in 2014, when me and the guys were in KL for our Magic: The Gathering/Makan road trip, this was how this block of abandoned building along Bukit Bintang looked like. Three years later, it's still exactly the same. For some strange reason, I just seemed drawn to it. ;)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cavalock and The Total Catch Up Post

This last couple weeks is all about catching up as I finally got to watch my very first (and second) IMAX movie! Yah, I know I'm probably the last person on this damn planet to step into an IMAX theatre but there you go. Enjoyed the experience immensely and am glad that the first two IMAX movies I watched were both Marvel and DC comic book movies. Fingers crossed, Last Jedi will be next on the list.

Speaking of being-late-for-the-party, the Baker at Home and I also finally made our way to Gorgon Ramsey's Bread Street Kitchen restaurant at MBS for dinner. As expected the fish and chips came up tops and maybe next time we'll go for the English breakfast.

And for ze coup de maitre, just last week we became an official Netflix household! Done with Stranger Things 2 (I have that copy of D&D Monster Manual on my shelf right now!) and now on a binge watching streak with Brooklyn Nine-Nine (middle of season 2 as I'm typing this!). One serious question, does anyone know if the shows we get here are censored by the authorities? I know the ones on cable are heavily sniped so I'm wondering if the ones on Netflix are too.

* Gorgons are real!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cavalock and The Creepy Santa Encounter

This is something I have yet to see in my neighbourhood FairPrice supermarket. My go-to favourite on any Korean BBQ menu, Ox Tougue! Well, I seriously hope that's a typo for 'tongue' on the packaging and not a part of an ox that I have never heard of. May be a wee bit pricy for some folks but it's so good! Grills in seconds and always so tender. Friends with indoor or outdoor grills should really get these from Meidi-Ya supermarket.

Something else I just noticed is our local Starbucks selling little tubs of puddings. Saw them while in Japan but this is the first time I'm seeing them here. Maybe it's a seasonal thing or they have been around for ages and I have only just noticed them since I hardly venture into Starbucks anymore. They got chocolate and milk flavours. The milk pudding is pretty good. Although for over S$3, I kinda wish it came in a bigger tub.

And with Christmas round the corner, it's time for a creepy Christmas pix! Yup, that's me with Creepy Santa.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Cavalock and The Rubber Stamp Seizure

So much food to consume before those expiry dates hit us! We have been pigging out on the Japanese snacks and fresh food that the Baker-at-Home brought back from her Japan vacation earlier this month. Breakfast is two slices of bread with some amazing Japanese apple butter jam while afternoon tea at home is either a cheesy snack from Pablo or one of the other numerous biscuits or tarts.

Also glad that she and her friends managed to enjoy a unagi lunch at a Michelin Star restaurant. Yup, the ever popular Unagi Hirokawa in Osaka is still blessed with the same looooong queue as when we were there last year. Think they queued for an hour and a half but it was definitely worth it for them.

Since early this year, I have been collecting stamps. No, not the postage kind that millennials today have no idea what I'm talking about, but the fancy rubber ones with ink pads. The Japanese stamps have always been my favourite and lately this one I picked from Tokyu Hands in Tokyo earlier this year has been pretty active in my journals.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Cavalock and The Lost Week of Miniature Gaming

Nope, I wasn't back in Japan again but the Baker-At-Home was in Osaka and Kyoto with her friends last week. Her third Japan vacation this year but hey, who's counting? She had the luxury of savouring this season's Haagen-Dazs flavours. Clockwise, that's Annou Imo (sweet potato), Sweet Strawberry, Salty Butter Biscuit and Hojicha Latte. Gotta remember to ask which was her favourite.

So the plan for my home alone week was to ... err, never mind ... it doesn't really matter what the original plan was, I ended up mostly tidying up the tiny apartment and playing more a couple games of miniature wargaming.

Played the new Games Workshop game Shadesphire, Age of Sigmar Skirmish and then an epic 2-hour plus Age of Sigmar pitched battle. I believe that's the most miniature wargaming I have ever played in a week. Certainly a joy to finally field my freshly painted figures and seeing them marching across the table. I still have so many more miniatures to paint. Unfortunately all this painting has taken me away from my writing and ... well, them words ain't gonna write themselves.

Heh, that little voice in my head whenever I look at my ever growing collection of games, books, Lego, books, miniatures and books.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Cavalock and The Pitta Photo Shootout

So I was reading some them local food blogs and I noticed a spate of write-ups bout a new lobster roll joint. Apparently there was a media invite and everyone online now is gushing bout their $58 lobster rolls and I was like, SERIOUSLY?!? I looked at the photos and really didn't think much bout the roll. Especially when I just had lunch at Luke's at Gemmill Lane couple weeks back. Wasn't my first time there and far as I'm concerned, this is the only lobster roll in town that I trust.

Big tasty chunks of lobster meat drizzled with house-made aioli in a soft delicious bun, New England style. And it's all in a pretty swanky joint for only $48. Great sides and attentive service for lunch at less than $50.

So my 84-year-old Dad spent two mornings at Hougang from 7.30am onwards till almost noon and came back with a buncha shots of this single blue-winged pitta.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cavalock and The Ulcer Patch Peculiarity

Our second visit to Folklore was just as entertaining and memorable as our first a couple months back. This time, it was an extremely boisterous group of nine adults and kids instead of just me and the Baker-At-Home. Still a wonderful dinner experience except for a couple minor hiccups. No beef rendang that night! They also appeared to be terribly understaffed that night so we mostly refilled our own water when we wanted to. We didn't wanna bother the already harassed staff of two. I guess this is all part of the so-called manpower crunch the F & B industry is facing.

Still a satisfying dinner. Everyone had their favourite dish like the tender oxtail stew or and mine was the unexpected buah keluak fried rice. Yah, never thought I would like a rice dish that much. The chap chye would had been more well liked if they gave us less noodles and more cabbage. Hah!

Here's something to add to the list of handy Japanese products I wish we have here. Bought them in Japan earlier this year when I bit me lip during lunch (or was it breakfast?). These little medicinal miracles are for those pesky mouth ulcers whenever you bite yourself. Peel and stick the small circular patch over the ulcer and it works. No sticky jel or taste and it's easy to store too. So why won't they import this here? Maybe our local authorities have deemed that there's some deadly or at least dangerous chemicals present in them patches? I mean, kinda like how they banned them Taiwanese milk teas, only thing is I bet Singaporeans would consume truckloads of them when they are in Taiwan. Whenever we travel, we would be drinking and eating same as the locals and I just find it weird to hear our Government banning them. Ok, enough rant.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cavalock and The Kombucha Experiment

My first taste of the fermented tea drink Kombucha was at a Real Food outlet couple months back. It's like drinking cider vinegar as the one from Real Food comes with a fruity flavour. It's sweet with a sour kick. The Baker-at-Home and I liked it so much we began toying with the idea of making our own. The health claims are out there and whether you are a believer or not, I think the pros outweigh the cons here.

And by some incredible coincidence, one of her friends has actually been brewing her own kombucha  for awhile now and has a slice of scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) starter to pass to us! You'll need the scoby to start your own jar of kombucha. So we did, brewing ours in the above jar and that photo is actually our second batch, having enjoyed the first one. Yup, drank and we still alive here!

Been clearing up cupboard space in our tiny apartment cos of numerous incoming boardgames, cookbooks and Lego sets, and saw this little note. Believe it or not, I actually kinda enjoyed my NS days. I always tell folks that's the first place I learnt how to lie with a straight face. A skill that came in real handy more times than I can remember.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Cavalock and The Hokkaido Melon Extraction

It was just another Japanese Hokkaido food fair at the supermarket basement but we happened to be at Takashimaya that Friday afternoon so why not drop by to see what they got. Melons!!! Gorgeous juicy Hokkaido Raiden melons for sale at $25 each on the first day of the fair!

The Baker-At-Home mentioned that they were slightly larger than the ones we bought earlier this year. Each melon comes individually boxed and we bought two almost immediately. If you like melons and if you like them really, really juicy sweet, this is something you gotta try at least once in your life.


The guys finally got their work leave approved and we all headed to play the epic Civilization boadrgame (with expansions), that's based on the old PC game. Each player takes on a role of a famous leader in charge of various historical civilizations, each with their own abilities. Players then explore a module game board, build cities and buildings, fight battles, research powerful technology and attract great people by advancing their culture. With different pathways to victory and options every turn, this is a brain-burner that could easily go up to four hours.

And then if one plays with us, one would have the privileged of gaming with the most politically incorrect bunch of gamers ever. Especially when you make us heads of state of countries like China and India, well, I know better than to repeat our jokes or comments online but we almost died laughing.