Monday, November 26, 2012

Kuishin-Bo Japanese Buffet (Jurong Point)

Went to this Japanese restaurant called Kuishin Bo at Jurong Point earlier for their 60-minutes lunch buffet. Adult price was $21.90 while children below 1.4m was $16.90. Shortness has it's advantages!

I've eaten at this restaurant once before, but that was years ago and I was really excited to dig in! The deal was that you could eat all you wanted for an hour in order to enjoy the discounted rate. Fine by me!




I started with the sushi first... I took the egg sushi (I'm sorry I'm terrible at Japanese names), the fish roe sushi and the California maki. They were delicious, but one serving was enough. After all, you can find them at any Sakae Sushi outlet or even Cold Storage! Moved on to the sushi that had chicken floss sprinkled on top. I wasn't sure what was rolled inside the rice but it tasted like heaven. After the hour, I think I had around 10 of these little devils! The oyster (?) sushi and the teriyaki fish ones were not fantastic though.

In that short 60 minutes, I also became a sashimi non-virgin (awkward sentence structure oops)!!! With great trepidation and apprehension, I stuffed the piece of raw salmon into my mouth and felt the squirm of something soft inside my oral cavity. I could not tell apart my tongue from the sashimi. Haha, it wasn't that traumatizing but I guess sashimi is an acquired taste and I have yet to acquire that appreciation for raw fish. For now, I would stick with my salmon cooked, thank you.

The buffet also boasted a soup station that served soup in a paper fan-like bowl over a burning flame. It reminded me of a cross between hot pot dishes and a filtration set-up. We had the vegetable soup as well as the beef soup. The soup for both broths tasted excellent. It was clear and tasty. The vegetables were good, but they were, after all, but mere vegetables. The beef, on the other hand, really sealed the deal. The beef was cut into thin slices but this was a buffet, so quantity was not an issue. The beef was just really good, I have no idea how to put that wondrous taste into words! I guessed that a lot of the success of the beef had to do with it's thin slices, which is associated with high quality meats.


I skipped the international dishes like grilled chicken and fried fish fillets. After all, this is a Japanese buffet, for goodness' sake! Not to forget the clock ticking the seconds away...



The teppanyaki station was next. There was a choice of beef, chicken, fish and mixed vegetables. I opted for the beef and chicken. The beef took 10 minutes. I guess it's a popular choice! The chicken was average. Perhaps it tasted a little "meh" as the cook gave me the dish that was meant for another customer who had yet to collect his chicken. The beef was delicious. The beef cubes were rolling in black pepper sauce and burst into succulent juiciness on the first bite. Is it so surprising that I went back for seconds? ;-)



Next was the deep fried foods station. The chicken katsu was nothing to shout about. I didn't expect much out of it anyway. The takoyaki, on the other hand, was the subject of much praise. I see many people eating takoyaki from the snack chain Wow Tako and I've never tried it before, so I took a ball of takoyaki out of curiousity. One bite was all it took. The flour-y filling exploded into my mouth but was not in excess. The squid was chewy and in generous portions. I took another takoyaki ball and dunked it in the chocolate fountain and that was the best takoyaki I ever tasted (that probably doesn't count for much but still!!!)





Clockwise direction: Fondue-d marshmallow, fondue-d grapes, dorayaki, lemon meringue tart, peach tart, cranberry mini cake, strawberry mochi, double chocolate chip cookie, lemon cake

The desserts were nothing to shout about.

The dorayaki was not as good as others I tasted before, the mochi had more glutinous rice than filling and the cakes tasted largely the same, despite their "lemon raspberry", "lime cheesecake" and chocolate varieties.

The chocolate fountain only offered marshmallows, grapes and green apples for dipping. Despite the poor selection of dipping items, the chocolate tasted great and it was of the warmer kind, meaning that it hardened upon dipping. Lovely.

My favourite dessert would have to be the almond cookies (or biscuits, as some might call them) and the cranberry mini cakes. The cookies are crisp and burst with flavor while the cranberry cakes are just superb. The cranberry filling, though little, was delightful and the cake bore the cranberry flavour as well.


60 minutes passed really quickly and it was a bittersweet parting for us. (Me and the buffet, of course)

Overall, the food was good and I would recommend focusing on the Japanese dishes and not waste your time on the desserts and international food items. It was crowded as it was lunchtime when we visited so the ambience was compromised, but no complaints! The price is rather expensive but it is worth it as the quality of food is good and it can be both lunch and dinner. I was glad that we had the 60 minute limit as it helped me to control my gluttony which threatened to rear its ugly head at any point, and also helped to lessen the "gelat" feelings afterward.

I doubt I will visit the restaurant again in the foreseeable future but I do recommend Japanese food-lovers to check this place out! They have outlets in Jurong Point and Suntec City.

P.s. Apologies for the poor quality photos. After all, how can one waste time photographing food when it could be spent devouring it?! ;-)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Strictly Pancakes

So after days/weeks/months of drooling over Instagram photos and food reviews, I finally got the chance to head down to Strictly Pancakes at Upper East Coast this evening with the family to see (taste) for myself to see if these infamous pancakes lived up to their reputation. I wasn't disappointed!

After reading many reviews, I did expect quite a lot from these humble pancakes, as well as the amount of time needed to wait for them. However, I was pleasantly surprised when the restaurant was half empty when we arrived. Perhaps the dessert/supper crowd have yet to arrive.

We ordered three pancakes to share among the four of us: Garlic Butter Prawn, The Druggie as well as the one with the beef skewers, along with Garlic Herb butter and the Unsalted butter. The pancakes arrived within fifteen minutes- much to the delight of my rumbling tummy.

The pancakes completely blew my kind and I was hooked on the first bite!





I had the Garlic Butter Prawn one first, and that bite set the bar for the other pancakes. The pancake was lathered in garlic butter sauce which was fabulous. The garlic was not overpowering and the pancakes were soft, thick and fluffy. The succulent prawns tasted fresh, unlike those frozen prawns that can be found in the supermarket. The only downside was that there were only six prawns to go with the three huge pancakes! :-(




























The beef skewer pancake, on the other hand, was quite a disappointment. I was a little apprehensive at first as two beef skewers seemed a little pathetic for a dish that cost $14. The beef balls tasted burnt and did not bring out the flavor of the beef well enough. The pineapples were a tad to sour and burnt as well. The pancakes were good though. However, I felt that it would have been more worth the money to order a stack of pancakes instead, as there was a 50% discount for all stacks.



The Druggie is a combination of three chocolate pancakes drizzled with chocolate sauce, strawberries and a scoop of chocolate ice cream, which we substituted for vanilla. The pancakes tasted all right- good, but not as good as their original counterparts. The strawberries were sour and the sour taste could, unfortunately, not be masked by the chocolate sauce. The vanilla ice cream was good, and I spotted little black specks on the ice cream! This hinted that the ice cream was not your usual vanilla ice cream mass produced in tubs and sold in supermarkets. Overall, it was not as fantastic as expected.


  Having shared 9 pieces of pancake amongst four people, we were feeling pretty full, but not to the point of feeling "gelat". The total bill was $45+ due to GST and service charge. The service was good so the service charge was well justified. The ambience was great too! It had a really cosy feel to it. Maybe this was because it wasn't very crowded when we visited.

  If I ever went back to Strictly Pancakes, I would stick with the Garlic Butter Prawn or maybe just a customized pancake stack. As I see it, the main attraction is the pancakes and the "toppings" are but expensive decorations to the lovely cakes. That being said, having tried Strictly Pancakes' pancakes, I highly doubt I would ever eat McDonald's Hotcakes again.

map-eastcoast
Strictly Pancakes

81 Upper East Coast Rd
Singapore 455220Tel: 6448 7332

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Argo

Today I went to watch the movie, Argo, with my brother and dad because my dad wanted to see it. Initially, I wasn't very keen on the show and didn't expect much but boy, was I in for a treat!

Argo is based on a true story about the escape of 6 American hostages from Iran that happened a few decades ago. As I'm not really a history-buff, I couldn't catch up with the first part of the movie whichtalked about the background (mostly political) of Iran at the time. I'm not going to spoil the movie for everyone but let me just say, it's one of the better movies I've watched so far, fully deserving of the 4.5/5 star rating it received. I was kept on tenterhooks the whole time, especially towards the later part of the movie when the climax was slowly being built up.

As with all films, Argo is also made to entertain the audience so it's understandable that there are some factual inaccuracies. However, I learnt quite a bit from the film and it made me more interested in history! Gosh, I sound like a huge geek. Argo is better than all those chick flicks which have absolutely no or little meaning and I would recommend everyone to watch it ^_^

Sunday, November 18, 2012

SYF rant

I'm really not looking forward to the end of the holidays! I can't even begin how terrible life will be next year, since I'll be busy with SYF (which is no longer SYF) and O-Level preparation. Oh no. Okay I need to rant about the new SYF thing.

So, the biannual Singapore Youth Festival competitions are changed to "Arts Presentations" and the awards (COP, B, S, G, GWH) are changed to Certificates of Distinction et cetera because the government didn't want students to be obsessed with the awards but rather enjoy the process of performing the respective arts. This is just my personal opinion, but isn't the reason why students work hard for SYF to get the award because they love their CCA? If they didn't have the passion for it, why bother? The awards is sort of like a recognition or a reward for their hard work and efforts. By lowering the bar to attain the top award, everything just loses a part of its value. Yes, it's true that some schools may be more concerned about the award rather than the students' love for the arts, but so what? This is the Singapore YOUTH Festival, so naturally it is the youth, the participants, that are "supposed" to be the ones enjoying the experience of performing, not the principals or teachers. As long as the students are genuinely passionate about their band/choir/dance/etc., I don't really see the harm of having a competitive system. Doesn't Singapore try to keep Singaporeans "competitive to stay afloat in the economy" (quote: SS textbook lol) so what is wrong with keeping internal competitions what they are supposed to be: competitive! The SYF gives us something to strive for, to work hard for. Without it, there seems to be a lack of purpose in our CCA lives. That said, it doesn't mean that we only work for the award. We work to be better performers, and as we improve, we want to see what sort of standard we are at so we can benchmark ourselves and further improve on our skills! In addition, I actually liked the SYF preparation stress back when I was competing in the 2011 SYF. Just sayin'.

I guess there's nothing to be done about this now, since the government has already officially announced it and all. All I wished was that they implemented this in 2015 instead, hehe.

Anyway, we received the SYF set pieces a few days back (Thursday?) and it is seemingly easy. That's the scary part about it though. It just proves that the "bell curve" (got to start using O-Lvl related terms lolsies #kiasusingaporean) is going to be very high! I'm confident that SMSB will get the Distinction anyways. :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

December holiday fun!!!

Tomorrow is officially the start of the holidays! I'm so excited because, as everyone knows, the first week is always the best! Hahaha, this doesn't apply to the school term though. Right now on my Twitter/Instagram timeline, people are tweeting/taking photos of them going on vacations to places such as America and Australia et cetera et cetera. I'm going to Thailand for missionary trip and extending 2 more days in Bangkok. Haha, oh well. At least the missionary trip would be quite enlightening (?)! Wrong word maybe, but I am quite excited for it,1 even though I'll be living with cold showers and ancient toilet systems. It'll make me appreciate what I have here in Singapore I guess. Till then...haha!

Anyway holiday homework is depressing but thank God for Deepavali on Tuesday so there's a (short) break from band. Haha ok this is really incoherent.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Last day of school!!!

It's the end of Headstart every1!!!!

Haha I'm not feeling the carefree, happy-go-lucky mood yet because there's (as always) a ton of homework to do, as well as things to revise over this 2 week holiday. Yup, TWO WEEK HOLIDAY. 

Band takes up two and a half whole days (literally) a week so that amounts to about 1 week? And then there's the mission trip that will take up another week, so the originally four week holiday has been cut to two weeks. :-( oh well, just have to rise to the occasion! Haha, that's what Mrs Rethinam talked to us about earlier today, before she gave out our report slips. It makes me very scared to think that in less than a decade, I'll be out in the working world already, having o make something out of myself by myself.......it's a scary world out there. 😖

Anyway, I'm very happy with my report card! I got an L1R5 of 10 because of the A2 in English and B4 in humanities. My only hope for humanities is the bell curve, haha. It's also partly because literature is the hardest to score of the three humanities. But no regrets taking up literature though, what's most important is to enjoy what you're doing! Anyway, my report card was all A1s with the exception of the aforementioned English, humanities and Chinese (duh). Haha, pretty happy with myself. My goal now is to get a report card with straight A1s! I'm almost there already!!! Hehehe. Ooh, also I topped Bio and humanities while everything else was about 96%/99% for the percentile thing. Hahaha yes I'm over the moon.

Meanwhile, this holiday will also have to be spent JC-hunting. During my PSLE year, I didn't really think about secondary education and just "winged it" throughout and ended up in...well lets just say it was a desperate state. I'm determined to be fully prepared now! Hopefully I can DSA somewhere using band and my Sec 3 results...pray they don't look at my Sec 1 results hehehe that was my slacker year. Owell, the future is v scary hehe that's all I can say!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Music Proficiency Assessment

Today was my MPA and it was not as bad as I expected haha!

I fared horribly for the rhythm and singing. I couldn't sing high and literally croaked out the notes, so Mr A told me to sing an octave lower and it was much better......I hope. Also, because I misinterpreted the tempo as "at least quavers in 80", I practiced a lot faster than that given tempo and ended up having to wing it lol that is never a good thing.

As for rhythm, I just had a mental block at the third bar and couldn't figure it out.

With all the nerves and heavy rain outside and urge to run away and pee, I would say I did relatively all right haha. :-)

well, at least that's over! So glad that I'm a Section Leader so I can quickly get the test over and done with, haha! That's a huge load off my mind now.