Monday, November 26, 2012

Cavalock and The Senors Rios Parapraxis

"Senors Rios?" "What? Are they a mariachi band?" Yah, that was the first thing that ran through my mind when I heard bout folks here heading to a Sigur Ros concert. Well, after reading the tweets I think I know who they are, they are a hipster band from Mexico! Hah, the night after that I was out watching The Jersey Boys and the scary part is I know almost all the songs in it. I just thought it was pretty strange or ironic that years ago I used to cover the music beat for a local rag, even though I wasn't totally into the scene I was familiar with the gigs and who's on the charts and all that. My taste in music is kinda stuck in the 50s and 60s then I sort of skipped past most of the pre-Sat Night Fever 70s (I can thank my family for all that), before falling heads over heels into the 80s scene.

Alright, back to food! Finally had a 'proper' Vietnamese meal here in this country. Reason I said 'proper' is cos the only other time I ever stepped into a Vietnamese joint here was to have a cup of their coffee. But I have had full meals in Vietnamese restaurants before, just not in this country.

Nam Nam's Viet iced coffee tasted like regular ice coffee
Checked out the Nam Nam restaurant in the basement of Raffles City this week. Been there twice and ordered the same pho with beef slices, and pork and prawn spring rolls. Reason I had it again was cos I liked them, lotsa tender beef slices and them rolls were tasty too. Unfortunately everything else wasn't that good. Service was real fast during my first visit. But they misplaced my order during the second visit and I waited for like 20 minutes. First time I ordered the spring rolls, there were 3 in a serving. Second time, there were 4 spring rolls. Here's hoping for 5 the next time.

So I guess the one word to describe the experience at Nam Nam is "inconsistent". Plus the fact that I kept pronouncing 'Pho' as 'Fool' was pretty embarrassing too. :P

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cavalock and The Second Thanksgiving Effect

It's been more than a couple years since I did a thanksgiving post. My life hasn't been exactly going zip-a-dee-doo-dah all the way these days. Being a caregiver can be extremely draining, both mentally and emotionally. But really, there are a ton of things that I am thankful for. For starters, I'm always grateful for every meal I have. Case in point, the new Japanese joint Mitsuba at Central by the same couple behind Wasabi Tei and Chikuwa Tei. As expected, thick generous slices of fresh sashimi that I'm pretty sure everyone here can be thankful for.

I'm also thankful for a whole bunch of other stuff but I'm just gonna mention a couple of them. I do feel very lucky that I can still indulge in my geeky activities despite being a seriously stressed-out caregiver. From meeting with the guys for our regular boardgame or cardgame sessions, to being given a chance to write for local HereBeGeeks site (Mel's Muses), thanks guys! Now I wouldn't mind if there are more opportunities for me to write other stuff like stories somewhere else online or off.

There's always also our amazing local libraries that are always filled with hundreds and hundreds of some of the best comic books or graphic novels in the world. Have been de-stressing by reading all them DC and Marvel goodies for a decade now. And guess what, I just checked out my 1,000th graphic novel earlier this month! With the average price of a trade paperback or hardcover trade going for at least S$30 each, I think it's safe to say I saved about S$30,000 or more on comic books!

Yes, I keep a list of every graphic novel I borrowed, I'm geeky that way!
Thank you too to a family who taught me the virtues of $aving for a rainy day and who left me a real, freakin' House of Mystery to ... to ... I still dunno what I'm gonna do with it. Every time I'm there, I'll find something old that's part of my family, and I'll start feeling weird. But I do know it's gonna be one hell of a logistical nightmare cleaning/clearing up the place.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cavalock and The Stamps That Came In From The Cold

Well, since I didn't really had a chance to dine at anywhere new or interesting since my last post, how's about a baking update? Now besides the Iron Man cookies (and a bunch of other non-Disney related goodies), here's the latest Disney cake to come outta my kitchen and as usual I ain't the one who did it. And yah, those are actual toy cars on top and around the cake.

You got your big chocolate cake there, surrounded by more chocolate buttercream cupcakes. Not a fan of the Cars movies but I'm guessing that the 5-year-old birthday kid is. Snapped a bunch of in-the-making pix below.

Time for another trip to the junction between Retro Lane and Vintage Boulavard! I found these stamp albums a few weeks ago and if I remember correctly, they belonged to my granddad and two of my late  uncles... I think... Anyway, just wondering if kids today know what a stamp is?

One of my uncles worked in the US and there's half an album filled with US stamps from the 1960s and 1970s. They really look cool.

Now it appears that my other uncle and/or my granddad knew folks in or were themselves in a bunch of commie lands back then. I see a bunch of pretty exotic-looking stamps from Cuba, African and Arab nations as well as others from behind the old Iron Curtain.

Curiouser and curiouser. A page from my late uncle's journal and honestly, I have no idea what my family was up to after WWII or during the Cold War ... <^;^>

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cavalock and The Corny And Cheesy Xmas Snacks

Been reading quite a bit bout this new sushi joint that just opened in the basement of Liang Court and I finally had a chance to check Ryoshi Sushi Ikeikemaru out earlier this week. Despite it being a conveyer belt sushi joint, this is the real deal as in you got Japanese sushi chefs behind the counter and a price tag that's more than a couple bucks more than Sushi Tei.

I had five of the second most expensive colored plates (golden brown) and with each at almost S$6, that's like close to S$30 right there. Plus the avocado and tuna salad (meh) as well as couple other cheaper colored plates, it's a diner bill that's about S$50 based on just what I had (no booze!). Yah, I know that's a little pricy for a conveyer belt sushi but it's good sushi. Big and fresh slices of fish and you can bet they won't fall off the rice unlike some local conveyer belt places.

So would I return here for my sushi fix? Maybe, but for that price tag, I think I might be able to satisfy my sushi cravings in a more personal setting like over a small counter, make friends with the sole chef, be a regular, then like after your 4th or 5th visit you get some free green tea ice-cream or something. :D

Now a visit to Liang Court wouldn't be complete without dropping by Meidi-Ya and seeing what's new! First up is a Xmas version of that Halloween staple Candy Corn. Now we got Reindeer Corn! No idea how that tastes like and I don't think I want to either.

Black sesame spread for your sandwich? Again, I can't imagine how this is going to taste like. But having enjoyed some black sesame ice-cream in the past, I would pick this over the Corn That Was Meant To Feed A Reindeer.

OK, I think we can all imagine how these snacks are going to taste like. Yogurt and your favorite choc snacks. Come on, instead of paying a bundle, we can all mix-and-make this on our own at home, am I right?

Back to the No-Idea-How-This-Tastes-Like category...;)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cavalock and The Raiders of The Lost Jewelry Box

Was clearing the old family home a couple weeks ago and I found this jewelry box in the back of my aunt's cupboard. It's quite a sturdy box, about one and a half times the size of a regular shoe box and I'm guessing it's at least over 50 years old. It's really a weird feeling whenever I unearth something like this (for awhile, it was on a pretty regular basis too!), you feel a tinge of sadness yet you are excited.

Check out the intricate cravings on the lid, it's gorgeous. The old-fashioned lock is rather interesting too. Unfortunately it's empty inside and it definitely needs a good dusting inside and out. I think the outside just needs a good polish and it'll be fine. Geez, I got some much stuff I'm thinking of starting a vintage sale one of these days, maybe before Xmas. But really, would anyone want something like that?

Time for a quick supermart run! Spotted these at the cold section of NTUC Finest. I think they are new, never seen them before anywhere else. They are all from the US and they actually do look rather tempting. You can slide the cheesecake box out and look at the individual slices too.

Oh wow, just remembered exactly a year ago, I was on my way to Italy. Awwww man, now I'm really bummed since I can't travel anymore.... :(

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cavalock and The Winning Monkey Shot

Saturday buffet dinners again? Met up with the usual suspects last weekend and off we went to this new buffet joint at Pan Pacific hotel called Edge. I think they only opened last month. Anyway, for starters, it's a pretty big place. And it passed my first buffet criteria which is having a wide and I mean, W-I-D-E spread. You got seven big food stations with lotsa local and international choices.

Although I did make at least half a dozen trips to the various food stations, I wasn't as trigger happy as I wanted to be. Only managed to snap these seafood goodies like curry crayfish (not crab as I first thought) and black pepper crab. They ain't the best black pepper crab on the island but the fact that you can have as much as you want, well, I guess that's a plus in their favor.

But really, if you ask me, I would rather head back to Basilico than Edge. Although both places did satisfy me on a Saturday nite, I guess I'm partial to Italian food. At Basilico, I'm looking at a spread that I don't see all the time. At international buffets, you usually get a couple stations that serve local hawker food and I tend to avoid them cos, hell, I already spent the last five weekdays having them at S$4 a plate, if you know what I mean.

Hey, check this out! My 78-year-old Dad got a Certificate of Acceptance from the 59th Singapore International Photography Award 2012! I actually only managed to submit his photos on the closing day, took a bus down during lunch to pay the entry fees. Whew! Out of the four pix I submitted, I actually thought this eagle shot was better than the monkey one. Hey, no complaints, at least one of them got something. ;)