Singapore snippets

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dusk at Marina Bay, Singapore


I didn’t really update the blog as promised huh? Ok, I may have seriously overestimated my ability to complete assignments while starting life in a new country. Oops.

But it hasn’t all been hard work. We’ve been exploring, catching up with friends, and of course eating ourselves a bit silly.

So do forgive the lull, check out our travel snaps and I’ll be back soon!

We roamed around Chinatown one afternoon,

wandered past a wedding at the Sri Mariamman temple,

then found this mosque around the corner. (Masjid Jamae/ Chulia Mosque).
Diversity? Yup, Singapore definitely has it.

Singapore also has...

Chilli Crab!!! We tried this one at the Old Airport Road Hawker centre, led there by a fantastic little book called the Makansutra Guide. It's a list of must-try hawker food and we intend to put each entry to the test.  Just to make sure.

 The chilli crab in the photo was consolation prize. We'd actually gone to check out a different stall mentioned in the guide. But, when we got there, all the crabs had been sold out! Singaporeans take their food very seriously. So seriously that the public transport service providers put on extra trains (MRT) during lunch hour. If you travel around by train between 12 and 2 pm, prepare to be a bit crushed.

What are those things? Fresh water chestnuts (top photo with skin on, bottom photo-peeled). I have missed these so, so much.

Fish (shaped) pancake filled with melted chocolate (or other fillings, e.g. jam). Japanese snacks are very, very popular and we've found some version of this snack in almost every shopping mall we've been to. This one came from the food court section of the Takashimaya Department store in Orchard Road. I love this section, it's filled with the most amazingly eclectic collection of snacks. Ever. From handmade chocolates to roasted seaweed. Or giant rolls of baumkuchen to dainty little durian pancakes.

Yes, I did say durian! That notoriously smelly fruit. Oh be still my heart...

A girl can only hold out for so long. I succumbed and it was worth every bite. MC Senior and Junior both gamely took a bite but are not converted.  I don't even need to tell you what Mr. Kitchen Hand's reaction was!

However, Mr. Kitchen Hand gamely tried soursop ( a relative of the custard apple) and he liked it. This strange wobbly yellow mess that looks like it has frog spawn strewn all over it is actually one of my favourite, recently discovered desserts. The white blobs are soursop flesh, the yellow blobs are herbal jelly (very mild, tastes almost of nothing), and the frog spawn is basil seeds. The green thing at the back is a calamansi lime for squeezing over everything. All this good stuff sits atop a mound of freshly shaved ice. It's the first Asian dessert everyone in the family agrees on. The flavour is tangy and sweet and very, very refreshing.

This one we obtained from the drinks/ dessert stall at the Food Junction (a food court) at the bottom of the Great World City shopping mall. (I did tell you in the last post that Singapore has many, many, many shopping malls). The other desserts at this stall can be a bit hit and miss, but the soursop jelly really scores.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Amidst all the busy-ness and incredible bouts of eating, I desperately needed to bake some cookies. (Nothing like an impending deadline to increase kitchen productivity levels).

The serviced apartment we're living in has an oven!

Oh joy!

But no baking trays.
Or baking implements.

Oh bummer!

But I had a fork, a bowl and a measuring jug. I bought a cookie tray and some baking paper and I was sorted. The recipe for these peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies come from Baking Illustrated, and can be found here (Brown Eyed Baker). I first saw these at The Hungry Dog's blog and immediately rushed out to buy ingredients :)

And that my friends, is that.

Thank you for listening to me ramble. I leave you with a random photo I thought would put a smile on the faces of all teddy bear fans out there.

And if you have any Malaysian Monday entries, please send all your entries to me (its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com) by the last week in May. The next round-up will be posted on the  first Monday in  June. 

Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Round-Up 20: Belated March and one from February

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Happy Tuesday everyone,  apologies for not getting the round-up posted yesterday but we were out exploring our new town and the heat wiped us out. Plans for a late night typing session were overtaken by the need for zzzz’s instead.

Thank you to all of our wonderful and extremely loyal supporters for your contributions. It has helped keep us afloat in these “uncertain times”.  (To those who’ve just joined us, Muhibbah Malaysian Monday is an event hosted by Suresh of 3 Hungry Tummies and myself. Unfortunately, we can’t get in touch with Suresh and we’re hoping he’s ok. I’ve just relocated from Sydney to Singapore and neglected the blog big-time during the move).

Well, let’s look at the yummy food shall we? :)

Here’s an entry from February, by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets.  It’s called
 Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken in Tomato Sauce), and sure looks delicious. This amazing lady relocated interstate during the month of Feb and still sent us a contribution!

But that’s not all. During the month of March, she cooked up three more dishes to share. Thanks so much Gert.

Check out these  Green Onion and Cilantro Flat Bread. Aren’t they beautiful?

I’ll tell you what else is beautiful. These gorgeous Pineapple rolls. So shiny! So roll-y! So many :)

For something a little  different, try Pandan briyani rice. Specially tinted green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Another loyal supporter is Lena, who blogs at Frozen Wings. She made Lemongrass Chicken Chapati Wraps. Fusion food, I like! The pineapple guacamole sounds very interesting.

Non-halal: A big thank you also to Cheah from No Frills Recipe. This fantastic lady is another staunch supporter and always sends me the nicest emails :) Cheah made  Little Chicken Biscuits. Don’t panic, they don’t contain any chicken, but they do contain pork jerky. These biscuits are a favourite delicacy for those who travel to and from Ipoh (a town in Malaysia), as the bakers who are famed for their biscuits can be found at the towns of Bidor and Kampar nearby. Check out Cheah’s post to find out more.

Thanks again Gert, Lena and Cheah for being so supportive!

Important note: If you sent any contributions to Suresh for the month of February, please re-send your entry to me and I can include it here or in the next round-up.

What happens next?  I’ll be hosting future Muhibbah Malaysian Round-Ups until I hear from Suresh. As I’m really busy at the moment, MMM will now be a bi-monthly affair. The next round-up will be posted on the  first Monday in  June,  so please send all your entries to me (its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com) by the last week in May and I’ll add them in.

Want to host a round-up? We mentioned this in our first MMM post, but I just thought I’d repeat it here. If you are interested in hosting a round-up at any time, just drop me an email. We’re pretty casual about it all.

Take care my friends, and I’ll dish up more news soon about how we’re settling in to our new city.

Fond farewells, new beginnings and a note about Muhibbah Malaysian Monday

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hello everyone!

I think I'm just about ready to resume normal transmission again but there is the threat of major assignments looming, so do forgive the occasional drop-out.

Here's a short recap of what's been happening with the Test with Skewer family. (Stealing an idea from Hungry Dog - subheadings.)


  We flew out of Sydney on Saturday and tried to squeeze in as many opportunities as we could to say goodbye before we left. The outpouring of goodwill from our friends and family really overwhelmed and surprised us a little. Thank you.

I'll let the photos tell part of the story:

 The beach we've left behind *sniff*

We were farewelled a few times over. A favourite lunch soiree was at Bah.BQ in Crow's Nest, NSW.  Bah. BQ is a Brazilian restaurant that specialises in "Churrasco" or grilled meat. If you choose this option, you get a selection of sides such as pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread), feijoada (soupy black beans), cassava chips and much more. A waiter comes round every so often with grilled meat on a skewer and slices off pieces for your plate. This is definitely a place for a long lunch, and if you're game try the Caipirinha (cocktail made with rocket fuel Chachaca/ Sugar cane rum)

Can't say goodbye without cupcakes right?

Gorgeous blooms from friends

There most memorable farewell meal we had was at The Bridge Room, in Sydney. Really exciting and interesting food in an understated yet beautiful setting. It's definitely the place to go to impress someone, or if you're farewelling the city :). Pity I don't have any photos of the food!

New beginnings

So, here we are in Singapore. Of course the first thing we do is head out to look for food. (Actually, I lie. The first thing we do is sleep lots to recharge after the massive week that was). Already we've hit the food court at the shopping mall next door and the local nasi lemak joint. (Note : You will probably see a lot of posts featuring shopping malls because Singapore has a lot of them!). 

And less than 24 hours after we landed, we hit Little India. Word to those who hate crowds, do not attempt this outing on a Sunday. The area is absolutely packed! Walking is tricky and the crowds occasionally spill off the footpaths onto the road. This didn't really bother us though, and the MCs were super excited to take it all in. The scent of jasmine garlands and the beat of popular Hindi movie soundtracks filled the air.

We found a cute little eatery to indulge in some rice and curries. It was endorsed by our cab driver (always a good thing), and we knew it had authentic credentials when we walked in and saw a group of local policemen having their dinner. Cabbies and the local boys in blue - better than Michelin stars I tell you ;)

Eggplant curry 

Tandoori chicken

 MC Junior has her first taste of the local takeaway drink holder option. I'd forgotten, but many places in Asia sell takeaway drinks in plastic bags with handles!

 The Blue Diamond restaurant. We thought it was great value. A meal of 2 rice and curries and separate dishes of mutton, fish and chicken, plus 3 roti parathas and drinks set us back about $24 Singapore dollars.

After dinner we headed down to check out the famed Mustafa Centre (there are two shops with the same name, one bigger than the other). It is a 24 hour shopping mall and it is massive. Not the slickest of malls, but what it lacks in appearance it makes up for in sheer quantity.

You can bet this won't be our last foray out into the vast foodlands of Singapore, so stay tuned.

Muhibbah Malaysian Monday

I apologise profusely for the last few missed deadlines.  Unfortunately my partner Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies has disappeared from his blog for a while, and I'm not sure where he is (if you have any ideas, please let me know and I hope he's alright).

If you've sent any entries for the February and March Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round-up, please re-send all your entries to me (its(dot)sharon(at)gmail(dot)com) by the wend of this week (April 8), and I will attempt to post a round-up next week. Hopefully on a Monday but perhaps a bit later.

Thanks for reading, and I'm trying to catch up on reading your blogs now.  Take care and see you real soon :)