Monday, February 29, 2016

Cavalock and The Royal Milk Tea Inundation

Looks like a new Haagen-Dazs flavour has just hit our local supermarket fridges. Royal milk tea or rather extremely rich royal milk tea. A wee bit too strong for me and I love royal milk tea! So yah, it's nice but I prefer my milk tea ice-cream a little less regal.

Since the last couple years, my neighbourhood of Jalan Besar and North Bridge Road has been called a lot of fancy names like hipster haven or heritage area. Then every other week, some new food joint opens up around the corner. I just found out Char has moved from Guillemard Road to Jalan Besar and there's this new fried porridge stall that's just packed all the time. But what you don't read a lot about is the amount of vice activity that goes on in the area, not that I'm actually complaining. It does add a ton of colour and vibrancy to the district. And believe me, if not for them half of the eateries here would have gone out of business ages ago.

From the KTVs with the young foreign girls to the KTVs with the younger foreign girls, there's always something to see when you are out grabbing dinner in my neighbourhood. Girls from Vietnam or China in heavy make-up ta-pao-ing their dinner before heading to work. There are numerous cheap rented apartments along Jalan Besar and you can usually spot local men picking them up in the afternoon. Yes, in the afternoon.

Hey, who am I to judge? If the local uncle can find happiness in the arms of a young foreign hostess, good for him! Then on the Sundays, it's the foreign worker couples that take over the neighbourhood and void decks and parks and staircases. I dare say these are domestic workers with their East Asian boyfriends or lovers as they often form a queue outside the budget hotels near my place. Once again, who am I to judge? Although I did notice something interesting. If I do my supermarket shopping on Sundays and I see a foreign worker couple at the checkout counter in front of me, it's ALWAYS the Filipino girl who pays for the groceries (beer, instant noodles and snacks are stables). I must have seen over a dozen of them over the months and all the guys never ever pays. I just find that amusing.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Cavalock and The Fugu Formulation

Dropped by the basement of ION Orchard one night and found a couple of new stalls getting ready for their big day. Saw the popular Adam Road Nasi Lemak opening soon as well as this famous import from Hokkaido, Japan. One of my favorite snacks during my last trip to Tokyo last year. The cheese tarts are heavenly and I only hope they'll keep the price reasonable and not something crazy like over S$3 each cos it's only about S$2 plus in Japan. I believe it's over S$4 for one in Hong Kong which is crazy expensive.

Oh, and I had my first bite of Fugu (puffer fish) that same evening for dinner at Ginza Kuroson at Takashimaya. Yah, I'm still alive. A little chewy and kinda reminded of Ika (squid) sushi.

Six months ago, I was at a boardgame warehouse sale that was exactly like an episode of Storage Wars. Was fun despite the cramp, dark and sweaty hot environment. Grabbed some great games. So when I heard there was gonna be another sale this Saturday today, I immediately made plans for Round 2. Ah, but there was a caveat this time.

New condition for this sale! Pay S$100 at the door for one big red plastic bag and you go in to the storage facility and fill it up with as much games as you can. That's right, it's like buying the most expensive plastic bag ever and the games are free. Hah!

The sale was to start at around 10am but I was there at 9am and I was already number 11 in line. It was a closing down sale for the online shop so after all those previous sale events, me and my friends kinda wondered if there were really anything worth reaping. I mean you gotta be one of the first few in line if you want to get something good. Fortunately I was in the first group to view and pick from the storeroom. And what great pickings they were! Best buy was the massive award-winning Dungeons and Dragons: Conquest of Nerath boardgame with a retail price of US$70, it was also the only box there. Hurling all that loot home on the train was a nightmare! Definitely over S$100 worth of games, now I wonder if I'll ever find the time and space for them.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Cavalock and The Fukubukuro Food Grab

I have always wanted to grab one of these Japanese new year lucky bags or Fukubukuro since I heard bout them over a decade ago. My friend was in Tokyo couple years ago for new year celebrations and got one from Lego and it was filled with all kinds of cool stuff worth more than twice the amount you paid for the bag. So yah, the attractive thing bout these bags are that the items in them are often worth at least 50% or way more than what you paid for the bag. And there's also the element of surprise since you never know what's in them. I mean, you would kinda know cos they do say if it's filled with food, toys, fashion etc. depending on where you are getting it.

So anyway, on Wednesday morning I headed to Isetan to grab my first Fukubukuro. Since the baker at home has rejoined the world of high-risk corporate investment, it was up to me to level up her tai-tai character. Reached Isetan Scotts less than 10 minutes before 10am and I was number 15 (out of 150) in the queue for their Food category S$68 Fukubukuro. I was expecting a longer queue outside the basement supermarket but no complaints as everything moved really quick at 10am and I was out by 10.05am.

And holy shit!!! It was a freakin' heavy bag! Must have weighed at least 10kg. I was hoping to hang around until 11am to try grab the S$88 Household category Fukubukuro or maybe drop by Kinokuniya. But no way I could do any of that lugging around a 10kg bag of mystery groceries.

Waited until after dinner when the baker at home got back from work then we ripped the bag apart. Well, here's what we got. The big ticket item were the bottles of Japanese Apple Juice and they were the ones we like! We checked online and all four bottles would cost over S$50. Plus the rest of the stuff in there, we got cash vouchers, rice, soba, candy, drinks, soap, shampoo and even a little booze. We reckoned the bag was worth twice the amount I paid for it. Pretty fun experience, reminded me of the old lucky dip presents at toy stores during Christmas.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Cavalock and The Retro Vintage Bake Wish

This is one of the classic books I found in the old family home a couple months ago, Good Housekeepings Picture Cake Making from 1952. The outside of the book has seen better days but the pages are still in pretty good condition.

I never really thought of flipping through it until recently. And wow! Even though most of the pix were in black-and-white, some of the recipes brought back memories of tea time in the old family home and my late aunt baking up a storm. I think there are still one or two traditional bakeries here that you can find some of them. Lots of hipster cafes with their eclairs, cupcakes and tiramisu around but damn, I would pay a small fortune for one of these.

Check this out, even the ads in the book is so vintage cool.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Cavalock and The Global Snack Sighting

These caught my eye when I was at Meidi-Ya last week. Handy little snack packs with a global flavour and from of all places, Northern Ireland but the S$9 plus price tag kinda scared me away. Then I headed to booze section and oh gosh, I remember this, Suntory Whiskey! And they got a gift pack now. Good times in Tokyo last year where a pint of Suntory whisky with lemon accompanied almost every dinner.

Oh, looks like the cat is out of the bag that Creamier will be opening their 3rd outlet later this month at Gillman Barracks. My friend who's the genius cooking and baking up a storm at the place told me bout it last year but I figured it's probably all hush-hush till now. Looking forward to it.

Yah, I'm in one of my Lego moods. Good way to de-stress. I call this the 'Day After The Aliens Won' or 'Food Cart of The Future." Take yer pick.