Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Sunday Times Invest Seminar 2015

This is again the time for The Sunday Times Invest Seminar.  This year the seminar is still held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.  Early in the morning, the reception area of the grand ballroom was already filled with enthusiastic participants.

As the seminar is a collaboration between The Sunday Times and DBS bank, the panel of speakers were from these two institutions.

Mr Lim Say Boon was at the seminar last year, and he was present for this year as well.  He shared his view on the world stock markets, what to expect going forward.  We are now climbing a wall of worries as the real economy is doing less than satisfaction while the stock market has been going up up and up.  Stock valuations are no longer dirt cheap although there are still spots of good values.

The other speakers also gave some interesting view points and for some, you might not get them so straight forward and direct from the main stream media.

This seminar is definitely something you should consider attending next year.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Pietro Ristorante Italiano

There is a small Italian restaurant hiding in a row of shop houses in Jalan Kelulut.  For week day lunch, they have a 1-for-1 promotion for many items on their menu.  My young Italian colleague had a craving for his home food, so we decided to have lunch at Pietro.

The restaurant has two sections, the 'bright' outdoor section, and the 'dim' indoor section.  The weather in Singapore had been hot so almost everybody chose to sit inside.  The environment was noisy during lunch time.  It seems this restaurant is well-known for its weekday lunch 1-for-1 promotion, as many customers seem to come from nearby offices.

I ordered the spaghetti with clams and garlic.

The taste was not bad, especially the sauce.  It was a pity that that was much sauce.  The clams were not as fresh as I would hope but still acceptable.  The spaghetti is adjusted for Singaporean taste.  That means the spaghetti is fully cooked, not that type with the core being still raw and hard.

Overall, with the lunch 1-for-1 promotion, it is quite a pleasant place to enjoy your lunch with some friends and colleagues.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Xin Yue Modern Chinese Restaurant @ UE Square

I bought this S$40 Xin Yue voucher for S$22.80 from Groupon.  They are said to provide modern Chinese, and Cantonese in particular, cuisine.  

The restaurant is located at the back of UE Square, facing Mohamed Sultan Road.  They have both indoor and outdoor dining areas.  We arrived on a Saturday morning, around 11.30am without a reservation.  The usher informed us that all the table in the indoor dining area was already fully booked, she could only accommodate us in the outdoor area.  In addition, we needed to finish by 12.15pm, as she needed the table back by then.

Service from their manager/senior staff was actually quite prompt and professional.  However, their junior staff were a bit loss, their service was slow and chaotic.

Crab & Prawn Noodle, $16.00

The first dish that came was crab and prawn noodle.  It was strange to serve the noodle first considering we also ordered some dim sum items.  Anyway, the noodle had a decent taste, my friend didn't complain.  On the contrary, sang some praises for it.

Prawn Cheong Fun, $5.80

Scallop Cheong Fun, $5.80

Next came the two cheong fun dishes we ordered.  The cheong fun itself was a bit sticky, not as smooth as silk.  The prawns were big, but the scallops were hard to find.

Custard Buns, $5.20

The custard buns were not bad.  I would give it at least a pass.

Double-Boiled Lobster Soup, $7.80

Last but not least, the shark's fin dumpling with lobster soup.  You need to wait for around 20 minutes for this dish.  Taste-wise, I think it was good, but then nothing to rave about.

We finished our lunch by 12.20pm, a bit behind schedule but they didn't come and chase us out.  It took a very long time for us to pay our bills.  My friend didn't check the bill carefully, and they charged us appetizer which we didn't take.  Luckily it was just $1.00.  In total, we spent $58.38.

Overall, I think the experience was not too good.  Service was chaotic in general, and the food was on the expensive side.  Most importantly, you don't really enjoy the dining experience.  For the price, probably it is better for those dining on business, but the experience doesn't match that occasion well.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh

Did some research on the internet for good Bak Kut Teh in Singapore, Song Fa appears to be one of them, so decided to give it a try on a Saturday afternoon.

I arrived at around 5pm.  The shop is at the corner of Upper Circular Road and New Bridge Road, directly opposite The Central shopping mall.  They recently opened a new shop just two shop space away, and it seems like the new place has air conditioning while the old one doesn't.

The service was very prompt.  Once I arrived, they ushered me in, took my orders.  Everything was very efficient.  At 5pm, the place was not very full, but by the time I left, the place was already completely full.  It seems like this shop has been featured in some tourist websites or guidebooks.  Many tourists came here, many of them seem to come from our neighboring Malaysia.

Premium Loin Ribs $9.50

Pig's Kidney Soup $6.50
My food came shortly.  They will present your bill when they serve the food, so better get your money ready :)

I ordered their premium loin ribs and pig's kidney soup.  The premium loin ribs were good.  The soup, as usual, had a taste of pepper, but it was not as strong.  At first, I was thinking probably Founder Bak Kut Teh and Song Fa were a tie in terms of the taste, but then later on, I think Song Fa is better in terms of after taste.  Song Fa's Bak Kut Teh gives you a lingering taste and keeps your mouth moist.   The loin ribs were fresh and tender.  You had the feel of really eating pork ribs, not some plastic.

The pig's kidney soup was a bit plain to the taste.  The good point was that the pig's kidneys were not over-cooked.  It retained the tenderness of the organ.

Overall, I think Song Fa is a nice place to meet your Bak Kut Teh cravings.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Founder Bah Kut Teh

Last week, I tried the famous Ng Ah Sio Bah Kut Teh, this week I decided to try its neighbor Founder Bah Kut Teh.

The place is now being run by the second generation.  They not only manage the place, they indeed come in to take your orders, and have direct interface with the customers.

We were there at around 12.45pm.  The place was almost full, but lucky there was still a table available in the outdoor area.

We ordered two combos, and a plate of choy sim.  The soup here also has a strong taste of pepper, but not as that at Ng Ah Sio.  In addition, there is also a lot less of MSG too.  This was evident that I didn't get thirsty later.  The meat was tender, this won my heart.

The Choy Sim with oyster sauce is a very simple dish, and I didn't have any expectation of it.  However, it came out quite impressive.  The choy sim was not just simply fried, I think.  I guessed they dip it in boiling water first, then fried it.  I liked it very much.

What else could be better to have Bah Kut Teh with a pot of Iron Kuanyin Tea?  They gave you really a lot of tea leaves.  It turned out a bit too strong for me.

Overall, I think it is pretty good.  It is a place where you can bring your foreign friends visiting Singapore to have a taste of this local delicacy.