Monday, May 28, 2012

MFW 2011- Christian Barker

Editor, The Rake

This guy, is so effortlessly cool and so immaculately pulled together every single time I see him.

Makes me ashamed of my "off days" where I cut myself some slack and wear the first thing off my pile of clothes that doesn't smell.

I interviewed him as well while at a Gucci event, where he was clad head to toe in Gucci, with a navy lacoste polo, and tods loafers. (As I said before... always immaculate.)

What I like most about him -wicked sense of humour.

Now that, is real style.

A typical atypical day

You know how people have been posting all those "what everyone thinks i'm like" "what my friends think i'm like" and "what I'm really like" pics?

Well... FB pages are merely a glimpse of what my life is like. And not everyday is like.. Last Sat. In fact. Most days aren't.

For one.. Even though I was dead tired.. I made it down to Yogamovement.

As you can see, its literally on the corner of Carpenter St.

A beautiful airy space, I love their 90min monster hot classes at 10.30am every Sat and Sun.

And surprise surprise... Guess who else was there..

The gorgeous Alicia Pan, with Rich Franklin and Heath Sims.

Besides the gorgeous Alicia Pan who owns the studio of course, UFC superstar and champion Rich Franklin, and Heath Sims, his trainer in Singapore.

I had the privilege of having lunch with Rich and Heath at Real Food.. I even spotted Asia's Next Top Model host Nadya of greenkampong, as well as famous blogger Mr. Miyagi chowing down with their families too! So you know its good.

Over lunch with Rich talked about everything from how both of them got into MMA fighting, what they eat, and for some reason - AIDS and the realities of it. He was also telling me how many fighters first start in MMA because they got bullied while they were kids. So I think its really cool that Evolve is organising a bullyproof class for kids in June.

The bad part about eating with super fit athletes, well. I felt like a piggy cos I started my meal with dessert.

A popaganda Dark-Chocolate and banana popsicle!
A superyummiilcious and totally delish popsicle, and its LOCAL!!!
Loved it. Its a little pricey at $4 a pop. But, healthy, organic, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Its good stuff.

I wandered around by myself at Central for a bit.. and came across this really weird mannequin that made me laugh.
Grandma.. what big arms you have O_O
But the night was where well.. things seemed to go a little haywire!!
1. Dinner at Jap resto at Liang Court with pals
Where instead of eating with the rest of them.. I had.. dessert.

The mazazu crepe is seriously bigger than my face!

It was goood. I had the peach caramel gelato with vanilla ice cream from mazazu.  Served like a HUGE cone, it was a bit surreal to eat because it was.. well. Flaccid. But, yummy and creamy nonetheless.

But, since my sweet tooth didn't let up, and the resto we were at only had 2 dessert options, we proceeded to

2. Mcdonald's for soft serves!!!

MBF Tomur and me in the whose mouth is bigger contest.
There was no contest.

And then...
We headed to
3. En Lounge.
Usually chill, it was super packed for FULL CIRCLE.

We bumped into more pals there and seriously, FULL CIRCLE, pretty happening. It was the most crowded we've ever seen En Lounge and FULL CIRCLE is actually a party for the Japanese community. So can I just say... LOTS of Jap Boys.

I think we might have had a little too much sake though.. even though I merely had a few sips. And I met my CHIOBU twin. Same type of shoes. Exactly the same shorts.

Guess who is who?

Did you guess right?

Then we went to
4. Butterfactory

And ended the night at
5. Filterclub with chupa chups... =D

Can I just say... that the pics look WAAAAAY more happening than what we usually do. Or who I am.
For one.. Once you reach the big 3-0. You get tired..

My sis getting a half-time massage from MBF.

The thing is...
Most of the time. I was sitting in a corner. And by the end of the night... I was feeling a little like this little fella.

In more ways than one.
Because... well..

Just like my doggy Mumble..
I've been waiting..
Even when the whole family is home, Mumble has been waiting at the gate of late.
He misses someone.
I suspect I know who.
Maybe because I miss that person too.

OH. And just for the record. How I really am?
On a day off. Without heading out. I've been a couch/comp potato, in my old school shirt and comfy pj pants.

In front of the comp in my PJ's.
Don't judge. They're both striped.
And yup. That's me. The real me. =)
In my unglam glory.

Friday, May 25, 2012

What is love...

Posted this on my FB wall yesterday,

But what is love, really?

All I know, is that I couldn't bear to see you hurt, injured or suffer. That if someone caused you pain, that I would much rather have enveloped you in a hug and cushion you from the blows.

I know that.. perhaps, I overreacted. Or tried too hard. Because I wanted to fix things. Or at least, make you feel better. Because I hated them for making you feel bad.

What is love really?

Is it.. constantly wanting to be by the person's side. Wanting to hold the person's hand day and night?
Feeling like you can't live or breathe without the person?

Or is it having that someone on your mind all the time. No matter how you try to forget. Sometimes those thoughts will make you smile. Sometimes those thoughts will make you cry.

Or.. is it as you said. Love is to let go.

What is love really?

I wish.. I had an answer to that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I have been in a rather melancholic mood of late. And this picture today.. made me think yet again of a friend. Well. A few rather. Whose lives were cut too short.

I'm not Buddhist. Actually, I am Christian. But, I believe the line applies to everyone.

The trouble is that you THINK you have time.

How true. In all honesty. You never really know. And yet at the same time, when you live life completely with abandon, you can be unforgivably selfish too.

#ifitweremylastday I would regret not saying yes.

I guess, we can't reverse time. And even if there were some way to alter the fabric of space/time continium- I probably would not be able to afford the ticket any way.

Why do we do what we do?

Do you believe that everything is fate. Is destined?

Do you have faith? And do you have... Sabali?

Ecclesiastes 3

New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hot. Sweaty. Sticky.

Its been sweltering lately that usually a few seconds into stepping out of the house, I can actually feel the sweat beading on my body and streaming down in rivulets.

And of all things. I am actually craving heading to Bangkok.

I just really. Really. REALLY. Need a break.

I just saw this beautiful post on wordpress as well.. Beautiful pictures too and instructions on how to make lovely THAI ICED TEA POPSICLES.....

Oooh. Sounds perfect right about now.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tau Hway Pudding King

So for those who know me, I have recently been OBSESSED with tau huay/hway pudding.

With a smooth, creamy custard like texture, tau hway pudding is similar to the soy bean dessert we've all grown up with, sans the sugar syrup. So essentially, the sweetness is infused into the tofu-textured dessert instead.

Now everyone knows of the original Rocher Beancurd place near Selegie Road, and one stall away from it- just as a "Dynasty" or "Days of our Lives" soap opera script will have it, a feuding family member has set up shop. (as in pic- see red sign)

Much like the famous tian tian- chicken rice war happening in Maxell Hawker Centre... (Watch here on RazorTV for background) People pick favourites. And queues form. Usually out of curiosity.

For Rocher, my favourite is actually the feuding family members place. Smoother, and less cloying, the tau hway slips into your throat putting a happy smile on your tummy. BUT, if you are a fan of "you tiao", those calorified-fun-sticks-of-fried-dough, the original stall with its soya-bean-doing-a-dance logo, hits it on the right on the nail. Perhaps because with more patrons, each batch is fresher.

Rocher beancurd and youtiao... nom nom nom..

Not wanting to face stares of recrimination, which could very well incinerate you and send you straight to the gates of hell, my copout method- DA PAO. I go to Rocher, get the youtiao, and then head next door, and buy my tau huay.

BUT- I digress.

Now on to our topic of tau hway puddings. There are quite a few available these days. Near my place at Marine Parade Central- there is Kampung Boy- you buy 10, get one free. And they have flavours like Cappuccino and Durian. O_O  And yes. I have bought 10 at one shot. For our 4 family members. And its gone in.. a day-and-a-half. Flat. My sis tends to prefer the almond version from this stall the most.

There is an organic one at the SPH famed eatery "Aroma"- aptly nicknamed thanks to the sze char stall that most SPH staff patronise till the wee-hours of the morning for a food fix. With shallow bowls, and at $1.50 each, Happy House beancurd has a loyalty card that will give you a free dessert after 10 bowls bought. They also have a good mango pomelo sago that is thick and really hits the spot.

Unfortunately, their tau huay pudding, though super smooth, when da-paoed, tends to completely disintegrate after a few hours. Even when refrigerated! I know some people like to eat their tau huay all chopped up, and add soy bean milk into it. That's essentially what this dessert looks like when it falls apart. In my opinion, eating tay huay chopped up that way is a travesty in itself. Why would anyone want to eat something that looks regurgitated?!!! Hence, not a fan of it. Though it keeps me going during the long days at work. It also has a bit of a powdery aftertaste. And the chocolate version while has a good flavour, tends to seperate like milo when left for too long and the bottom bit becomes darker. Ya. NEXT!

Another one of my faves, the one at Maxwell food centre, run by a bubbly bespectacled girl, Felicia. I have gone there so often in the last few weeks usually around 1 to 3am in the morning after events/girlsnightsoutatgaybars, that she now knows my name, and the names of all my friends who have gone with me.

Best "Service with a smile award"- goes to 86 Maxwell Food Centre

Smooth and creamy, light and not too sweet, this tay huay pudding is pretty good. Their double chocolate is worth a try too because its nice and cohesive till your last slippery spoonful. They also have other flavours like almond, green tea and strawberry. Also comes in a big bowl, and is incredily consistent.

Today though, my parents decided on Old Airport Road for lunch. AND LO AND BEHOLD. There were so many stores selling tau hway.

First row- there was the "Authentic Hong Kong Soyabeancurd dessert"- that starred exotic flavours like blueberry even.

Second row- there was the famed "Lao Ban" stall, with "Happy boy" two doors away. And across it, a traditional soya beancurd place that sells sugarcane and chin chow too.

And 3rd row- A place that touts its all soy products (two stores to your right if you enter from the carpark) and the 51 beancurd.

But I didn't want to get tau-huay-ed out. So I kept it simple.

A 3-cornered fight.

Since there were about 80 people in the queue when I first got to Lao Ban, and the Indian genes hankering for a good deal was attracted to a sign on this stall...

1-for-1 deal on tau huay pudding at Happy Boy, for limited time only

Well, it was hard for me to resist.
So at $2.50 cents- I got myself the mango and the milo flavours. TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE. AWESOME!

And then began the queue for "lao ban"..

50 people in front of me!!! I actually counted!

You would think there was a pot of gold at the end of the queue. My parents and sis had queued AND finished eating satay, wanton mee, oyster omelette, carrot cake and otah the entire time I was queueing.

In fact, by the time they finished purchasing and chowing down on their grub... I was still only...

MORE than 45 mins later, I was still 5 people away -_-
I did wonder at that point if I should have paid a foreign worker to queue for me.
Like some people at H & M marni, who threw a hissy fit and asked for the clip to be removed.

Yup. 5 people away. (And losing patience.)

One thing I've noticed though. People buy TONS at this stall. I felt really bad for the old school tau huay uncle directly opposite who had hardly any customers, other than for sugarcane and cooling chin chow. (Which I might add- is heaven on a hot Singapore day.)

I think you get pressured by the amount of time you spend in the queue. I mean, why spend close to an hour of your life to buy ONE bowl of tau huay pudding right? So, most people take home at least 4 bowls at a time. Though many I saw, bought as many as 15 to 20 bowls. That really made me wonder: Seriously? I thought the PM said we aren't making many babies. O_O

By the way, I tried to get an ALMOND one for my sis at Lao Ban. The aunty checked and said there weren't any more left and put the not available sticker across the signboard. You should have heard the sighs and groans in the crowd. And the accusatory stares. It wasn't me! I swear!!!

Anyhoos, at the end of the day. I bought 5 for $7.50. And popped to 51, and bought myself another original.


Ok. Because I needed to hunt for thigh high boots at city plaza, (Event that night, and choice of shopping venue.. do I really need to elaborate?) AND my parents and sis had no patience.. I did a home tasting.

The final 3 from old airport road: Far left- Happy Boy (mango), middle 51 soya bean (original) and Lao Ban (original)

*drumroll please*

Doing the taste test. Its a tough job. But someone's gotta do it.

Happy Boy beancurd- I managed to wallop half.
Don't ask about the pose. Not sure what that is about either.

The Happy Boy beancurd was good value for money. Unfortch, while waiting for me at Lao Ban.. my parents and sis finished my milo one. -_-"

That said, the mango version was good. It tasted like a very smooth, light version of mango pudding, sans the yummy mango chunks. It was smooth, nicely textured, but did have a slightly powdery aftertaste. If you try all three at the same time. This definitely tastes overpowering and cloyingly sweet in comparison because of the flavouring. But, I did give it another go on day 2, and it actually seemed more well balanced. Actually, mango is a very nice flavoured option.

What I didn't like about this though, the size. The bowl seemed a lot shallower and smaller than the other two. Though at 1-for-1, it more or less works out. Bear in mind, the original flavour that is sold at $1.50 as well, is also 1-for-1. So if you don't want to wait, and want a good deal. This is a pretty good fix.

My score for Happy Boy- 2.5/5
(I personally prefer Kampung Boy at Marine Parade Central that would get a 3/5 on my list.)

Testing out the Lao Ban tau huay pudding-
With the amount of time I queued, it should have tasted like blood, sweat and tears.
This was really light. And super smooth. Although when I first opened the lid, it had a layer of skin on the top similiar to when you eat the Hong Kong steamed milk pudding that I love.

Bearing in mind I had da-paoed and had about 20 mins before I got back home... I don't think this stall's pudding lasts for long. You better go home quick if you buy that many.

The super smooth texture that the stall claims is achieved by using "Coffeemate", ** has a light, airy, barely there texture that dissolves as soon as it hits your tongue. But this I think, and this is merely my hypothesis, is achieved by using a lot of water because...

After a couple of bites, the Lao Ban version sorta starts disintegrating and falling apart.

TADAH! This is how it looked after barely a couple of bites. Bearing in mind the 20 mins of non-refrigeration. Please note as well that with my previous experiments, as well as this one, once it reaches this stage, it only gets more watery the day after refrigeration. The only way to "get the texture back" is to freeze it and let it thaw slowly.

The ones that weren't touched at all still held ok the second day, but were still more watery than when we bought them.

This was also easy on the palate and the main difference- its light on the sweetness. Eating it was like.. a butterfly kiss. IMHO, there wasn't an intense soya bean flavour to this either. So.... was it worth the wait.

Meh. I guess, if 3/5 floats your boat.

The surprise winner of the Old airport road Tau Huay pudding title for me was unexpected.

My fave of the 3!

Yes. The picture is self-explanatory. My thumbs up goes to 51.

If Lao Ban  was like a butterfly kiss. This was a decent french kiss. Just enough lip. Just enough tongue. And not too much saliva either.

This tau huay was smooth, but more dense, and even though it had more of a original tau huay texture, it still slipped down my throat like butter. What piqued me most- it also had the closest taste to actual tau huay. Something that Lao Ban lost out slightly on. But though this was sweeter, it wasn't because of the sugar. Its like I said about the kisses. Lao Ban had merely a hint of soya bean, but 51, had a more intense soya bean flavour which shot back to my sensememory triggers which recalled the ever-so-famous, and sadly gone 24-hr Tau Huay King place at Geylang (just before the famous Beey Kuay Teow at Lorong 8, beside the mosquem and it used to sell xiao-long-bao, tea eggs and oyster mee sua as well) that used to be THE to-go-to place for tau huay. Same flavour. But in a pudding form. NAISE.

My verdict: 3.7/5

It's not a four. But its pretty close.

On days of desperation, I have also tried the soy beancurd pudding versions sold in cheers and NTUC fairprice. They are actually... quite expensive hor. O_O So I usually only tend to get them when there is a 2 for 1 offer. Not too bad... but only rates a 2/5 on my list- so really. I only eat it to stave off my cravings before I get a good fix.

BUT.. who knows.. I might try making my own...

Have seen some people discussing making it on threads, and this seems like quite a good version . It claims to be the LAO BAN recipe. So who knows!! Might try making my own soon!!

*sara rubbing hands in glee!*

Sunday, May 13, 2012

missing the moment

She closed her eyes. Tired.

Even choosing clothes for the day, usually a treat for her, seemed a chore that day. "I hate smiling in photos" was the tee she had picked. Appropriate, she thought, for her mood.

As she sank into the seat of the cool cabin of the cab, she felt a stinging sensation in her eyes.

She turned her head away, toward the window as hot tears rolled down her cheeks.

__ __

She stepped out into the cool air, nervous. "Can we get chocolate, please? I really need chocolate now," she said to him, as he grinned. His eyes narrowing into slits as he smiled.

He had sprung a surprise on her. He was bringing her home to meet his family. His parents.

Her summer dress floated in the breeze as she huddled under his arm as they crossed the road together.



It still felt surreal. She couldn't believe that just 10 days before.. she had totally freaked out about travelling half the globe just to see a guy for his birthday. And yet.. somehow, everything fell into place and felt, so right.

They stepped into a cool fashionable cafe. Everything was nice and minimal, the clientele looked chic, the food looked great, but they were still full from cantaloupe and proscuitto Grace had scooped up on the fly in the car while crouched on top of the luggage, giggling at how she was serving up their "gourmet lunch".

As he went to the toilet she felt this surge of emotion that she had not experienced in a long time. She poured a cup of water from a jug that had cucumber slices, and ordered herself a hot chocolate.

When he stepped out of the loo, she looked at him. Amazed yet again at how so deeply she felt for this man. How connected she felt to him.

She grabbed a couple of individually wrapped brownies, something she figured her mom and sis would enjoy, and they walked next door to a gift shop.

As they browsed around, she thought back to the day before.

"Quit. Stay." He said, perched on the ledge overlooking the river on this beautiful private lodge they had found by chance in Ojai.

The sun lit him from the back, making his chiseled features even more prominent.

Hunched over, his sick pack was still as prominent as ever. One of the unjustices of the world.

"I want to. Just give me some time. I have some things to do first. But I will, " she said.

"But, by then, the moment will be gone.."

In her heart, at that moment, she hoped and prayed that the moment will never be gone. Because she knew that somehow, this man, was different for her. Different from anything she had seen, or felt, or known.

She did not dare tell him of the things she was experiencing at home. The financial difficulties. That even going to visit him, was a financial sacrifice in itself. One that took courage. But now, a blissful week later, felt like the best choice she had ever made.

"I saw some cool sunnies next door, can we go check them out?" she asked. He smiled indulgently, "Sure", as they languidly ambled to a funky looking optical store.

"Hi, we're actually closed for a private event. We're launching this designers range of sunglasses, but feel free to come in!" said a perky, bespectacled shop assistant, who quickly flourished flutes of champagne and offered them cake as they merrily tried on pair after pair of sunnies.


Her heart felt heavy as tears kept streaming down her face, her heart, heavy as lead.

"Miss, you want to go Toa Payoh or Braddell?" asked the cab driver.

"Toa Payoh please, uncle," she said, as she quickly wiped her tears and opened her eyes, embarrassed. She faked a yawn, hoping the cab driver would think the tears were a result of her merely being tired, and hoped to God, that her make up was not too tear streaked as she neared the office.

Maybe, she had missed the moment, she thought to herself sadly. But right now, all she could do, was miss him.