Monday, April 30, 2012

Cavalock and The Gaming Bond

We have been gaming and hanging together for more or less 10 years now. It was the old tabletop Fantasy game Mage Knight that brought the bunch of us together, about eight or seven of us and over the years that number has gone down and up again. We have literally played hundreds of games (boardgames, CCGs, online games, etc.) together since then, if you have seen the way some of us bought games, you will know I ain't making this up!

Over the years, we have came with all kinds of names to call our groups, sometimes out of necessity like when we had register ourselves in gaming tournaments. From The Fellowship to Team Mage Knight to Team Sperm Whale. We even travelled to other kingdoms and faraway lands to kick ass. 

But every once in a while we get together for food too.  A couple weeks ago, we headed to Shin Yuu at Greenwood for their dinner buffet, was pretty good for S$50 ++.

It's also a good thing we have all very, very different personalities, it's hard to imagine a more diverse group of gamers coming together and tolerating each other. Cos the amount of trash-talking and ribbing we give each other on a normal day is enough to drive any outsider insane.

Finally a few shots from what a geek like me was up to this week, from manning a flea market stall (advice: Star Wars action figures no-sellers) to attending the last regional Magic Pre-release (my luck was awful that day) to the best damn ice teh chino ever (the hot weather is killing me).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cavalock and The Big Small Differentiation

Good things come in all sizes especially if they are from Japan, as I just found out last week. I grew up snacking on McVities Digestives for tea when I was kid so you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to find this in town. Apparently in Japan, McVities Digestives come in mini-sizes and different flavors too!

No longer than a local 50-cent coin, they were pretty good. The sweet mint was my favorite. The minty flavor was quite rich and distinct. The matcha one was a little too savory for me as I thought the taste of the biscuit seemed to overpower the green tea flavor.

Almost as soon as I read about Japan's Asahi Beer coming out with a 0%, yes zeeeero aka fake beer, brew,  I walked into Cold Storage Centrepoint and found this baby, a one-litre can of real Asahi beer! I have never seen any brand of beer going this big before, 1000ml Asahi beer. So of course I bought it!

Chucked it down that night, slightly fearful of a possible hangover the next morning but fortunately no brainaches. Hah, a little geek humor with two of Marvel Comics' best drinkers.

Other stuff that caught my eye included this, after spotting it in an Italian supermart last year, it finally made it to our shores! Magnum minis now in mint flavor!

Next up, The Gyoza Bible! Yup, that's what it's called on the front cover. I didn't get but I figured it's most likely a directory of all the shops in Toyko selling the various gyozas. Looks very tempting.

Finally, a geeky thing to end it all. Season Two of Game of Thrones starts this week locally but if you are a true geek or fan of the books, you would probably be up to episode three now. Still kinda peeved that people who aren't fans of the TV series or have never even read the books were getting exclusive freebies from HBO Asia. I think it's disgusting that true fans are being pushed aside for so-called local celebrities just for some free press or writeup. Same thing with the recent Avengers movie preview, well, that was another instance when diehard fans got dissed. :(

Bought my own Game of Thrones Stark t-shirt

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cavalock and The Foodie Furoku

I'm sure by now if you have stepped into any Kinokuniya book store, you'll be familiar with the Japanese magazines that come with free gifts or furoku as they are known in Japan. Most of these freebies are often fashion accessories from famous designers like Coach, YSL and Kate Spade BUT you know I don't give a rat's ass bout fashion!!!

So what's so special bout the furoku that I'm talking bout here? Well, it's gonna be all bout food and tucked in a corner away from the fashion furoku is a shelf with a bunch of food-related furoku.

Most contain little bento boxes or containers but you can also find kitchen utensils like sauce spoons and baking moulds. I believe they are likely to be made out of plastic or silicone.

Since I didn't buy any of them and I can't read Japanese, I can only guess the magazine part of the deal would feature recipes (utilizing the freebie) in Japanese and food porn.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Cavalock and The Snack Bar Barrage

Oh yes! It's that time again when I'll make my way to Meidi-ya supermarket to check out the goodies that the big boys like Fairprice and Cold Storage don't bring in. My freelance gig is over (for now!) and I still got a whole buncha personal stuff to do!

For starters, there's always some cool new cereal here. This time it's the famous Smores-flavored ones plus a bunch of breakfast bars too. Given a choice I'll pick the Cadbury bars over the Kellogg's ones for sure.

I know Easter is over but I think you can still find these mini eggs in their chill section next to the cheeses, if you hurry. And then you got the ginger loaves, I think they should be nice as I have always liked gingerly stuff and yes, there's a snide reference to redheads in there somewhere.

Now I know you might this jar of apple cider in other supermarkets too but its been a long while since I seen this. I used to drink tons of it when I was a kid, less than 10 years-old I think, till I threw up and was banned from going anywhere near it! The best damn non-booze cider in town!

Finally a little non-food find from Daiso. How cool is this?!? A wannbe swiss-army knife for only S$2! I think that's the best deal ever!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Cavalock and The Otah Excitation

Looks like I got more Kuala Lumpur pix than I thought, soooooo one last KL post before I head back to spotlighting what’s on our local supermarket shelves. Another hidden gem was my discovery of this café at Mid Valley mall. We were at the hotel/mall for the Magic Pro Tour and after a long search for a lunch joint, one of the guys spotted Little Penang Kafé on the ground floor.

The generous serving of nasi lemak that I had was alright. Now someone ordered the otah or fish paste and at first, I was afraid it would be too spicy but thankfully it wasn’t. It was excellent and too fishy. The texture was almost as smooth as ice-cream, not like the slightly thicker ones here.

Our final breakfast before heading to the airport was roti prata at a coffee shop across from our service apartment. Nice and thick pratas but the strange addition was a serving of hot sambal chili that you can see in the pix below, in the background. Curry was a nice lentil dhal, again something you don’t see here. Believe or not, none of us dared to touch the sambal!

Geekspeak now! During the KL Magic Pro Tour, I was pretty fortunate to meet artist Randy Gallegos. Got him to some of my cards with his amazing artwork on them.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Cavalock and The Jalan Alor Allure

We made the famous Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur our regular late night hangout and stuffed our big fat gamer faces silly, it was a frinkin’ street feast every night.

For our second night, the friend brought us to his favorite KL chee chiong fan and yong tau foo stall. Was a small makeshift stall at a street corner just before the main Jalan Alor. Not much street lighting there hence the need for iPhone flashes. 

Once again, street food here just tastes better. Had the above plate of chee chiong fan all for myself and it was noticeably more chewy, with more texture than the type I’m used to having for breakfast back home.

The yong tau foo was equally memorable but we held back cos we have yet to hit Jalan Alor! A generous plate of wan ton mee for everyone plus tim sum and other local dishes completed our second night.

Night Three! Kicked off our final night with some roadside BBQ and grilled yum yums on sticks at 10pm. Food was alright but made better with the special sauces provided and no, I don’t really know what kinda sauces they were. Now here comes the kicker, we are all pretty sure they recycle the sticks! We stayed behind after our meal, the hawker counted our sticks and we waited for him to throw them away but he didn’t! Well, fortunately all the contents in our tummies held together for the rest of the trip.

Followed by more wan ton wee but seriously, after having had the kolo mee breakfast (my last post), nothing else came remotely close at all. Plus we then had some more chicken wings and another big plate of Malaysian style oyster omelet, with the egg ‘skin’ evenly and meticulous folded over a bed of luscious oysters.

Damn, I was just wondering what do Malaysians eat when they visit Singapore, the hawker food here is nowhere near as good as KL street food…

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Cavalock and The Ultimate Kolo Mee Sensation

Now with last weekend’s trip to Kuala Lumpur, that makes it the only city where I have been to by air, land and sea. The last time I was here with the (almost) same bunch of guys was also for a card tournament about seven years ago, the Lord of the Rings collectible card game to be exact. But my friends have all been to the city at least a dozen times more than me so I let them show me around. 

Since none of us made it to Day 2 of this year’s Magic Pro Tour Kuala Lumpur, we took our time leaving the service apartment on Sunday morning. One of the guys brought us to his favorite kolo mee coffee shop for a late breakfast.

 I forgot to take a snapshot of the shop exterior but it’s at Bukit Bintang, a little old corner kopi tiam that’s a short walk from Jalan Alor. It's right next to hotel Royal Bintang.

Our gang of five strolled in at about 10am and a Chinese uncle ushered us to an old school round kopi tiam table. I ordered a cup of tea but my friends the house specialty, teh (tea) with milk and gula melaka! They ordered in Cantonese and I didn’t know!

Back to the star attraction, the kolo mee was heavenly. Hands down the best kolo mee or wanton mee we had that weekend, and my favorite meal. The noodles were all delicately handmade upstairs and were akin to the finest angel hair pasta around. When ordering, tell the uncle you want the one with the mushrooms and chicken, done local style. 

Coming up next, another late night jaunt to Jalan Alor but first, check out what I found in a KL grocery store. Not 3-in-1 but 4-in1 instant Durian Coffee! Who dares?!?

It ain't an April Fool's joke so gimme a tick below if you think Durian Coffee is yummy, interesting or WTF?!? Thanks!