Saturday, 30 May 2015

DBS Marina Regatta 2015: 1st Day

While this sporting event has only been started 3 years, this was my 1st attendance. I wanted to go last year, but was overseas.

Dragon Boat, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
An example of an actual boat that used in the race. Put here for Instagram lover.

This year the dragon race is bigger than ever because it's coincided with the SEA Games, which in turns coincided with SG50. OK, the last 2 events weren't coincidental. The SEA Games Committee would quite likely agree to let Singapore host the Games this year as a birthday gift to Singapore. So I imagine the Promotory @ Marina Bay had many happenings and activities on this 1st day of the 6-days event to keep our eyeballs and fingers quite busy.

Dragon boat, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
The 6 days events are going to be held over 3 weekends just as this poster says.
(click to enlarge)

While there was reasonable turn-out, but it's smaller than I thought. Well, I'm saying this because the last time the Kite Festival was held here in 2014 at the Promotory @ Marina Bay, there was more people turned up than today. I think the good weather was to blame. 80% of the time, Singapore's sky is nicely overcast or cloudy. Unfortunately, today is one of those 20% sunny days (OK, in the next 4 years, 45%).

Well, there was 80% chance of cloudy days when La Niña reigned (or more correctly rained) over Singapore since 2009 (when I arrived here, accompanied by her honorable La Niña, who sit right next to me on Airbus A830 on row 13). But I think La Niña had left Singapore while her less likable brother El Niño came here last year in 2014 (El Niño shines on brilliant sunshine). I think we're going to see more horrible sunshine in the next 4 years when El Niño is up to his old tricks. By my calculation, they're here for every 5 years (their obnoxious relative the Global Warming has been making the twins really confusing). I'll stick to my gun, rain or shine.

Nila the SEA Games mascot, and Xing and Jaan DBS'mascot, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
3 mascots on a dragon boat: Nila the SEA Games mascot, and Xing and Jaan the DBS' mascot

Singaporean, especially less healthy older locals wouldn't venture out today in this fine weather. Once I had a heat stroke walking in this blue sky days in Singapore for a couple of hours. It was quite a memorable experience. I believe in trying everything at least once, and had checked it off of my bucket list. Still haven't tried egg-nog, believe it or nog!

Surely, what's happening today here was surely more interesting than flying kites, which locals can do any day of the year in many places.

Today the dragon boat races was for the Open and Women of 200 and 500m.

Dragon boat race, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
Team 3 is leading by half a boat length.
The blokes' boat is heading in the opposite direction.
Dragon boat race, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
Team 3 is continue to power ahead.

Dragon boat race, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
They're gaining by a full body length.
Dragon boat race, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
They speed past the finish line; the crowd roars...

My eyeballs suddenly zoomed into a somewhat unexpected sight.

man and dog on bicycle, Singapore
Man on a bicycle with a dog in biker gear

man and dog on bicycle, Singapore
Dog with mohawk is too cool for this weather...woof !

Cosplay performance took place right after the dragon boat race (so I was saved from having to tear my body into 2). Nope...I don't think the man with his man's best mate was part of the cosplay performers today.

Having cosplay as part DBS Marina Regatta is a sort of recognition that it's gaining popularity. One can say that cosplay is progressing from a sub-culture to pop-culture status. Maybe I'm reading too much. Methink not. But then one can also think of dragon boat races and cosplay are all part of the youth culture. Don't they all look yummy and cute?

Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, SingaporeCosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore
Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Cosplay, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore

Speaking of cosplay going more mainstream in Singapore. Last time, the President of Singapore was received with 2 columns of Star Wars characters in the Singapore Red Cross International Bazaar. Far out...right?

After a quick lunch, some free Milo and a free ice cream (compliment of DBS PayLah phone app), we returned to the stage to catch up with some dancing competition.

Dancing Competition, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Dancing Competition, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore Dancing Competition, DBS Marina Regatta 2015, Singapore

I'm glad I went, and worth the risking another heat stroke. Oh, as we left, the clouds started to roll in. Of course!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant: 5-Course Abalone Set Meal

This is the 2nd time we took up this Groupon deal. It's simply a steal with a $26/pax for a 5-course set meal that includes abalone and lobster meat.

The Restaurant:  It's located in Hotel Grand Pacific with typical semi-formal dining style. But the restaurant's look is of little consequences.

The Food:

Lobster Claw Meat & Minced Seafood in Thick Soup:  9.5 / 10. The seafood ingredients are fresh and chunky. Soup is right: isn't too thick or thin. Yummy!

Lobster Claw Meat & Minced Seafood in Thick Soup

Stewed Whole Fresh Abalone w/ Japanese Mushroom:  8.5 / 10. The abalone is slightly chewy. Just slightly. But I wouldn't expect anything soft at this price.

Stewed Whole Fresh Abalone w/ Japanese Mushroom

Deep-Fried Fillet in Japanese Style:  7.5 / 10. While the crust is crunchy enough, the filling lacked fishy taste.

Braised E-fu Noodle:  7.5 / 10. The noodle is slightly oily. Nice smooth texture, and taste.

Braised E-fu Noodle

Double-Boiled Bird's Nest w/ Almond Cream:  7 / 10. While I enjoy almond cookie, I don't really care for almond sweet dessert. But it wasn't overly sweet, which I prefer, and there may have been a few slither of bird's nest.

Double-Boiled Bird's Nest w/ Almond Cream

Overall:  8 / 10 if paying full price. 9.5 / 10 if paying coupon prices. If you haven't been to this restaurant, it's natural to think that for the price paying, the quality would be below par. But this isn't the case. For the given price ($26/pax) that we paid, you could typically only get a Japanese ramen soup.

If you enjoy these Chinese delicacies, and haven't tried this restaurant, I don't know what are you waiting for.

We were there on Friday evening and was quite busy. Even though we booked before we arrived, we still had to wait for more than 5 mins. This just made the food tasted that much more better.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Sampling Pizza at Spizza in Capitol Piazza

Capitol Piazza is opened for (some) business in Raffles Place. That's incredible! Well, a new shopping mall opening is an incredible common place event in Singapore. What's incredible is that somebody managed to find a big enough space at Raffles Place MRT for a shopping mall at this day and age!

If you haven't heard of its opening, it won't take long. Well, you just heard it here.

Most of the shops in the mall are yet to open. Spizza is one of the few that's cooking. OK, I wasn't here to check out the new mall, I was invited by a Groupon voucher. Haven't had pizza for awhile.

The Vibe:  If you've been to Nam Nam Vietnamese restaurant in Raffles City, you would imagine you have a Déjà Vu experience. The B2 of Capitol Piazza has a fountain not too dissimilar to its neighbouring shopping mall Raffles City in size and shape. Spizza is one of the restaurants that fringes the fountain.

Spizza, Capitol Piazza, Singapore
Snazzy, spick-and-Span Spizza

It still had a nice and quiet mood at the moment, even though this was lunch time on a Saturday. The words on Capitol Piazza hasn't got out to everyone yet. This is perhaps why Spizza requires to get traffic from the net via Groupon. Once there're enough people walking around in Capitol Piazza, there would be enough walk-in traffic that it would stop the Groupon's help.

So if you want to dine in a nice, quiet restaurant at Raffles Place MRT on the weekend, you'd better be quick before the crowd runs in, and the Groupon runs out.

The Food:  We ordered a fried calamari and Olivia pizza. Simply simple classic with tomato, mozzarella, salami, fresh chili. What can I say? I like salami.

Fried Calamari:  7 / 10. While the crust is crispy enough, and the flesh is fresh, it's quite bland (did the cook forgot the salt?). The sauce helped, but it was an uninspired sauce.


Olivia Pizza:  7.5 / 10. We asked for less cheese, and when the pizza was brought out, the waiter said, "less chili". Next time I'll order in Singlish accent. I subtract half a point because of the cheese. Those who like cheese may add that half a point back.

Pizza, Spizza, Capitol Piazza, Singapore

Overall:   8.5 / 10. With the discount and the low crowd, and reasonably good standard Italian grub, who can complain?

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Funny Caption 23: A Pup with Two Ponytails

Funny photo: A Pup with Two Ponytails

"What do you think, one or two ponytails?"

"What? Something on my face?"

"Have you seen my hair curler?"

"Why are we all dressed up? Are we going some where?"

"I know you're missing your ex girl friend. Isn't dressing me up like this is going too far?"

Eating Traffic Light Burger at Bricks 'n' Cubes

Bricks 'n' Cubes Café
2 Handy Road,
#2-12/14, The Cathay

I got a free ticket to see a movie in Cathay Cinema. I thought I would visit the Cathay Gallery as well. To save time, I thought I would grab some grub inside the Cathay Cineplex. Ada - my Groupon Queen - asked me if I would be interested in the Traffic Light Burger, my eyes lit up like a pair of traffic lights. So I gave her the green-light to go ahead with the Groupon voucher order.

It's an understatement to say Singaporean restaurant scene is crowded with themed restaurants. With such fierce competitions among the overcrowding eatery market, you need to stand out of the crowd. Lego is as good a theme as any, which specifically appeals to family with kids. And locating it in Cathay Cineplex is a Lego - solly, I meant logical - place.

The Vibe:  Bricks 'n' Cubes has got lots of Lego's bright coloured bric-à-brac that provide eye-candies for the kiddies.

Speaking of movie, the café certainly brought up the inner kid in me, who (not Wu, or Hu) happened to enjoy watching Lego Star Wars : The Empire Strikes Out (2012), and The Lego Movie (2014). I particularly like how the Lego figures fall to pieces when kill. Back to the drawing board (or whatever board people use to assemble Lego figures. I guess it's a table. Ironing board also can work).

To keep the family with kids in mind, the café restaurant has an play area for the kiddies to play with the Legos. Food for thoughts. Or mental workout after a meal. Kids, do this at home.

Bricks 'n' Cubes Café, Singapore

Bricks 'n' Cubes Café, Singapore Bricks 'n' Cubes Café, Singapore

Bricks 'n' Cubes Café, SingaporeBricks 'n' Cubes Café, Singapore

The Food:  Apart from the restaurant theme, this place is also hard at work coming up with different promotion and gimmicks to retain the short attention-span, ever-changing taste customers.

Ada ordered the Traffic Light[s] Burger[s] for my lunch before movie. Each colour of the bun of burger contains different filling of meats: the green had fish fillet, the brown had chicken, the yellow had minced beef, and the red had pork.

Leo hand
Lego hand
I preferred the fish fillet and chicken. I found the sauce for the pork a bit too sweet for me, and the sauce for the beef wasn't too exciting. It just so happened that my taste in these burgers was totally obeyed the the traffic lights signals. The green is a go, the amber is passable, and stop eating the red one.

Apparently, I eat the way I drive, the traffic rules rule, ok?

The serving was for 2. The potato chips (French firies) alone was larger than my usual lunch serving size (I eat like a queen, which should eat less than a pauper).

To eat these burgers, the perfect cutlery would be a pair of human-size Lego hands. Waitress, where's my pair of Lego hands ?

If the can is round, why do they call it Ovaltin[e] ? If it's a hand, why do they call it a Leg-o?

Traffic Lights Burgers, Bricks 'n' Cubes Café, Singapore
Traffic Lights burgers. The brown ones is the usual "natural" colour.

The place is build for Lego lovers of all ages.

Go! Go! Go! Lego! OK, I'm gaga over Lego! (If I'm a 10 year old).

Legs, go home now! Use the Force to force yourself, now!  (If I'm a 10 year old).