Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Forgotten

It has been 10 years, and somehow my presence in the same place for 10 years has been mostly unnoticed.  I have been waiting for the delusional 'opportunity' to come, and yes indeed it came, and went to others.  I was left totally unnoticed, forgotten, and mostly ignored.

It feels bad, really bad.  You have asked to do the hard work, take the difficult, challenging task but then credits went else where.

It is pointless, to lament about all that unfair treatment.  It is time to create that opportunity, instead of waiting for one.  Gathered enough courage, opened my mouth, and asked for an opportunity.  Some resistance, outcome less favourable, didn't get what I wanted, but no, I will not give up, I will try again.  I can't wait, I don't want to waste another 10 years in waiting.  Waiting without any action is just a waste of time, I must act, until I get what I wanted.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tomi Sushi

Tomi Sushi is a Japanese restaurant hidden in one corner in downtown Singapore.  I wouldn't even know its existence if my friend didn't bring me there.

They have a very typical Japanese restaurant setting, with small tables, small chairs, and the typical cute and nice tableware.  What is different is they separate the dining space into different sections, separated by classic bamboo curtains, giving diners some much needed privacy in a crowded restaurant.

We ordered a set meal, which consists of a sashimi plate of 3 types of fishes, a sushi plate of 7 different types of sushi, and a bento of salmon plus tempura.

The sashimi plate is really good.  I can't name all the 3 different fishes, but I know there is tuna.  One of them is exceptionally good.

Our sushi plate.  The sushi is not bad too, and somehow sushi turns out to be a point of 'contention' between my friend and I.

Our bento set is not bad either.  The food is not only a feast to our taste buds, but also a feast to the eyes too.  The delicate arrangement of the food, the blending of colors make the food so much more appealing to the appetite.

Last but not least, Tomi Sushi is famous for the rice.  They use the high quality rice from a famous rice producing region in Japan.  The rice on its own is selling at S$3.00 a bowl, comes with a small plate of lovely pickles.  Well, the rice is soft and warn to the stomach and really warms the body.

It is a nice little Japanese restaurant, perfect for gatherings of close friends.  You can talk freely in comfortable private setting.  Price-wise it is obviously a bit more expensive, we spent about 70 bucks for 2, so it is reasonable.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Danga City Mall in JB

Danga City Mall is the reincarnation of a previous closed-down mall in JB.  Its revival was with quite a bit of fanfare as KTM dedicated a train station at the door steps of the mall, and the train service is from Singapore's Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.  With such a 'special' arrangement, I would have expected the business at the mall to be very good, and lots of visitors from neighbouring Singapore.  However, the reality is just the contrary.

What has gone wrong?  The KTM train is really a pain in the neck and nobody would have taken the train at such insane timings.  Go and take a look yourself at the train schedule here.  What do you expect the shoppers to do if they take the 8.45am train from Singapore?  Do you think the shops in the mall will be open this early in the morning?  The train schedule basically kills at least 50% of the business of this mall.

Another issue with the mall is its location.  It is not near any public transport, there is no bus, the only way to get there from the custom is take a cab (around RM6.00).  Nearby the mall, there is nothing anymore.

Nowadays if you visit the mall, it is more or less like walking in a ghost town.  No customers.  The shops are mostly vacant.  I guess they want to model the mall after Singapore's Funan Center to be an IT themed mall, but then obviously it is not successful.

That aside, there is indeed some entertainment in the mall.  They have archery, paint ball, bowling and karaok on the higher floors.

Overall, I guess it is just a matter of time when this mall will close down again.  It is sad, but it is reality.  Moral of the story?  If you wanna invest in commercial property in Malaysia, better do your own due diligence.  Nobody will be responsible if things don't turn out right.


Breakthrough, breakthrough, breakthrough, I need to have some breakthrough in career, in life, in every aspect of my life.  Life has gone into a repetitive pattern and I always remains in my comfort zone.  There is no more challenge, no more excitement, no more goal.  Day after day, month after month, days go by in the exact same way.  I need improvement, I need an upgrade!

But how?  That's the question.  Where shall I start to tackle my boundary?  How shall I move beyond my boundary and venture into unchartered territory?  What do I really like to do?  I ask myself.  What am I good at?  What do I enjoy doing?  What do I want to achieve?  What kind of person do I want to be?  Circumstances are bad and unfavourable to me at this moment, but it should not in another year's time, or another 5 years' time. If I don't have breakthroughs in life, then there is be no difference now and future other than I would be older and less valuable to the corporate world.

I need a mentor.  How to find one?  I need a breakthrough, but how to get onto the right path?  So many questions, so many doubts, so much uncertainty.  It is time to ponder, it is time to search.  A watershed moment...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pompeii - Life in a Roman Town 75CE

The exhibition about Pompeii is now on-going in the National Museum of Singapore.  Admission is S$12 for adult, but on Deepavali day, it is FREE!  Thank you our Indian friends!

Pompeii was a prosperous Roman town in southern Italy, and it was buried under the ashes of Mt Vesuvian when the volcano erupted in 79 BC.  Thanks to the volcanic ashes, the town was well-preserved and two thousands years later, it is presented to us how people lived 2000 years before :)

Some stuff we only see in movies and TV dramas, gladiator's shoulder guards.

How can a typical Roman town have no naked statues?

And the Romans are never short of the sense of humour.  Do you see that thumb at that water jar handle?  When you pour water out, your thumb will be pressing against that 'thumb'.

Overall, it is a very interesting exhibition.  As the number of exhibits are not overwhelming like in the other big museums such as Louvre Museum, you can walk with a slow pace, read every single caption, take a detail look of each exhibit, it is pretty good, a worthwhile exhibition for you to consider.

Sizzling StoneGrill@Bukit Indah

There is a Sizzling StoneGrill restaurant somewhere along East Coast Road, with a chic black store front, but so I heard the price there is also chic, on the high side.  Recently, I found many restaurants bearing the same name mushroom'ed out in our neighbouring Malaysia, in Pelangi Mall, Bukit Indah Mall, and also Sutera Mall.  They all the this Sizzling StoneGrill restaurant.  The business seems to be ok, and so I decided to give it a try.

My lamb leg came on a white plate, with a sizzling hot square black stone in the center (that's why it is called 'sizzling' stone grill).  The raw lamb leg rests right in the center of the stone, 'burning'.  The concept is very much like the hugely popular 'pepper lunch' in Singapore.  You have to do your own cooking.  As a result, the reactions from customers can be vastly different.  Some say it is crap as you pay for the raw meat only, and still have to do the cooking yourself.  The restaurant offers no added value.  At the same time, some like it very much, otherwise the pepper lunch restaurants wouldn't have opened a few more branches.

Ok, back to our food.  The trick here is how you cook my lamb leg with the hot stone.  There is no button to adjust how much heat should come out, at what time.  It all boils down to your skill.  To do it well, you must know that the stone serves as a piece of heat storage.  It releases the heat slowly, gently so that you won't over cook your meat, you can choose your own rare, medium or well-cooked.  The key is to decide on how long you leave your meat on the stone, how often do you turn it over.

Many have the misconception that you need to turn the meat over constantly.  That's not true.  You can leave the meat on the stone, but don't turn it.  Let one side of the meat to harden, sealing off any escape of the precious juice the meat has.  Then you cut small pieces out and then do your turns with the small piece only.

I must say that it is a lot of fun, but then you are also very busy during the whole meal, as you have to keep tending to your food, before it becomes charcoal!  Definitely it is not ideal for a friends' gather where you want to have nice, cosy chats over the table.

My rating: 3.5/5

It is not too bad.  If you want to have good experience with your lamb, steak, it is a good choice.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Lucky Claypot Rice

My friend recommended a clay pot rice at a coffee shop in Clementi.  Clay pot rice is not special, so what is the big deal of this one?  What is special about this one is they cook the rice on demand, that means the rice is not pre-cooked, and they use charcoal to cook the rice, instead of gas, so it is said that the rice is more fragrant.

So here came our clay pot rice, after a wait of about 30 minutes.  During non-busy hours, the wait is about 20-30 minutes, during busy hours, the wait is about 40 minutes.  You can tell the rice was cooked from fresh, but the other ingredients were not.  The chicken and the sausage were for sure pre-cooked and they were put onto the rice after the rice was about fully cooked.

Now let's talk about the taste.  The chicken and the sausage were just so so, can tell anything special.  The rice is indeed different from your electric rice cooker type of rice, but the difference is not really that big.  It is a little bit more crispy and as our Chinese put it, more 'fire'.  But it is really a matter personal preference, for me, rice cooker rice is more moisture, not so dry, suits my taste more.

We also ordered a bowl of lotus root soup.  The portion is quite big for the price of S$4.00.

My rating: 3/5

If you are a fan of traditional cooking, you might like the rice, other than that, the rest is pretty average.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pho House@Suntec

Wandering around in town and ended up in Suntec.  Pho House has this 3-course set meal, so decided to give it a try.

The first course is the famous Vietnamese spring roll.  Somehow, I don't know why Vietnamese like spring roll so much, as it is generally lack of any taste other than the taste of mint leaves.  However, it is indeed very healthy.  As it is not deep-dried as Singapore's local version of spring rolls.

Pho House's spring is not too bad, I must say, if you dip it in the right sauce :)

My main dish is grilled beef with salad and rice.  The beef is a bit overdone and was too chewy.

My friend's main course is beef rice noodle.  There are three types of beef in the noodle, including beef ball, marinated beef & some kind of tender beef.  The taste is not bad I must say.

The finale of the meal is Vietnamese coffee.  They serve it with that traditional French coffee dripper.  Well, too bad that neither the dripper nor the coffee is authentic, so you can lower your expectation.

My rating: 3/5