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Showing posts from October, 2011

Travels: Bellagio, Italy

I heard much about Lake Como being one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy.  Just an hour's train ride away, I was excited to make the visit on a good weathered day.  The train comes rather frequently, but the unseen killer was the bus service between Como San Giovanni, where the train stopped, to Bellagio.  It was an hourly service and the ride takes about 80 minutes up the terrains before reaching Bellagio proper.  So, we spent a while waiting.  Not so fun.

But the ride was fun that we saw a lot of commuters who greeted each other as they boarded the bus.  Very local, very cool.

Just before hitting Bellagio, we stopped for lunch at a hotel restaurant in Bellagio called Silvio.  It was recommended by the Chowhounders and I read about it being run by a guy who is a half restaurateur, half fisherman. I had to try the lake fish and I did! 

Honestly, the fish was rather tasteless, and overcooked.  To sum up in a Chinese term, it's " 老".  But the fried potato was lovel…

I'm 30!

North Italy was a blast! The two weeks there were too short yet fillededith a lot of memorable moments. It was nice to be able to experience the cities and at the same time, know I could escape in just a couple of hours away, to a totally opposite environment, amongst nature and the beautiful vineyards.

It was a lovely pre-birthday treat indeed! And I don't feel any different stepping into my thirties. My gut feel tells me life is just about to get more exciting! Anyhow, I hope to share a little more about my adventures soon. Stay tuned!

Review: Open Door Policy

Just about 1 o'clock from the entrance of Forty Hands sits Open Door Policy, the newish baby also by the folks from Forty Hands, together with Chef Ryan Clift of The Tippling Club.  Designed to be a casual bistro with affordable fare, and great coffee, ODP is set to be the next cool kid on the block.

The decor certainly fits the bill.  I particularly like the zinc-roof-look-alike design of the sunroof allowing natural light, and the limited number of sushi-counter-style seats upfront, right in front of the open kitchen.

You get an old-school folder that doubles up as a menu cover, a rather clever idea most befitting of the equally old-school estate the restaurant sits in.  The food selection appears to be your "usual fare" at first glance but actually involves modern twists.  And vegetarians won't have to fret about having nothing to eat.  There are pretty tantalizing choices available.

The starter of tuna carpaccio with radish and yuzu dressing was shared.  Not a f…

Crafty Saturdays

I am absolutely in love with this current stage of life! Especially the time I have to rediscover old passions such as handicraft.

As a child (okay, and even as an adult), I never felt like I am creative. I did okay in any form of artwork simply because I am good at following instructions and am rather precise.

Whatever. I was very happy I found out about notabilia's bookmaking classes and when the first series ended, I felt a sense of loss. Practicing at home is not quite the same; I think I enjoy very much the social aspect of such self-interest classes, to be honest.  Where else can you meet like-minded, cool folks?

Anyway. Last Saturday saw me attending a rubber-stamp making class organized by Books Actually and taught by Joseph from Monster Gallery. It was a rather intensive 90 minutes as we learnt the basics and (had to) put them into use rightaway.  But each "student" produced a rather decent stamp at the end of the session, including the Imp. :)

I say, if I can…

Priceless Gift

My birthday isn't here for another 3 weeks and I received my first present from the ever-thoughtful Imp, who knew I won't be around in town when the actual day comes around.   Because I wasn't expecting anything, it was a really pleasant surprise.  Pleasant not because of the actual physical gifts (although, just for the record, they were all very well thought through), but more because despite our unique personalities, we have forged a friendship of respect and trust.  And I consider the actual gifting process merely as an outward demonstration of how we have become comfortable with one another.   So thank you again Imp, for your priceless gift of friendship.  X

Review: Luke's Oyster Bar and Chop House

Luke's Oyster Bar and Chop House.  Wow, finally, Singapore sees a really decent American restaurant that does not scream just burgers and fries.  The latest concept by restaurant veteran Travis Masiero, I have to say he nailed it. 
Looking at the whole restaurant, from physical look-and-feel, right down to the actual food, everything is kept simple and classic, yet very grounded in the fundamentals.  His menu too, looks rather sparse, but it was tight and focused. 
Don't shoot me, but I think I just might be the odd few who did not take to their house special cornbread (I forgot to take a picture).  Personally, I felt it was a little dry and mealy, neither savory nor sweet. 
But the Oyster Po' boys that followed, that kicked up my expectations of the entire meal a whole notch. 

The breaded and fried oyster was crunchy, well-seasoned and greaseless.  That bit of 'slaw added a bit of sweetness and sauce.  I thought if it was served with a soft bun (think: generic hot dog…