Sunday, February 16, 2014

Thasevi Famous Jalan Kayu Prata Restaurant

Known affectionately as "the prata shop along Jalan Kayu" and even causing the sprouting of a chain called Jalan Kayu Prata Café, this prata shop is definitely one of Singapore's more famous local eateries, joining the ranks of Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice and the like. Having never had ample time to visit the restaurant as it is really far from where I stay, I was excited to finally get to try their prata yesterday, after an afternoon of exercise at Punggol Waterway Park.
The restaurant is flanked by many crowded eateries, but was surprisingly empty at 5.30pm, save for two tables being occupied at the time. Maybe prata is solely "breakfast food" or "supper food", or that we were waaay too early for dinner. Either way, it was great having the ~space~ to eat! Don't you just hate it when a restaurant/coffee shop is so crowded and you feel so claustrophobic? Major turn-off!
See how empty it was!
We ordered Indian rojak, 4 plain pratas, 1 egg prata, 1 chocolate banana prata, a side of curry chicken, a plate of bee hoon goreng, 2 Milo dinosaurs and 2 teh tariks. Yes, we were famished.
The chocolate banana prata ($6 WHAT) was super decadent. Though the price may be a bit unjustified, I'm still glad we got to experience this wonderful sweet prata. The banana bits were mixed with the chocolate and the chocolate literally OOZED out of the paper-thin prata! It was so delicious and wonderful. You hardly taste the oil at all, as the prata is so thin and crisp! After a while, though, the sweetness starts getting to you and you do feel a tad bit jelat. Oh well, sharing is caring, then!
Image#prataporn should be a thing
The bee hoon goreng was all right, but not as good as the one I've had at Adam Road Food Center!
The Milo Dinosaur ($3 each) was so rich and thick! The cream was actually pretty good too, despite being full of empty calories and fats. Everything in moderation!
The roti prata ($1 per piece) was quite small, so 2 pieces was just right for one person. The prata was nice but bland (because it's plain, duh). The dough was slightly thicker than the average prata, but it was still good. Actually, it's comparable to that at Roti Prata House along Upper Thomson!
Egg prata
The curry chicken ($5) was not that good, in my opinion. The meat was rather tough while the curry mediocre.
The food at Thasevi is actually not that expensive, if you order the right things. The food is good enough to warrant a visit, but perhaps not good enough to earn repeated visits, especially if you, like me, live in the west. I did enjoy my visit here, but I believe other prata places will also be good enough to satisfy a prata craving when it comes (hopefully not in the near future lol #eatclean)
Thasevi Famous jalan Kayu Prata Restaurant (that's quite a mouthful)
239 Jalan Kayu, Singapore 799463
Tel: 64811537

Swatow Seafood Restaurant Dim Sum High Tea buffet

I stumbled upon a review of Swatow’s dim sum buffet and…here we are! (or were…)
Located above Giant supermarket in To a Payoh, Swatow can be pretty difficult to find. It’s literally a hole-in-the-wall restaurant! The outside is pretty drab-y but the interior is very elaborately decorated to its oriental theme.
Theirs is not an a-la-carte buffet, but rather a push-cart-style buffet, where you grab (not literally) whatever food you want as the waitresses push the food trolleys around the restaurant. The downside to this is that you may not get offered all the food items that they serve. We almost missed out on the har gow, if not for a waitress asking us if we had any last orders nearing to the end of the buffet. :-(
Nevertheless, the food at Swatow hovers around average/slightly above, though the service staff could use some improvement. (The waitresses were gossiping with one another while serving customers/some blatantly walked past our table without letting us get our food!)
ImageThe mini egg tarts were really mini, but that’s good because they weren’t that good to waste calories on. The shell was a bit too thick though buttery, and the egg custard was just meh. Actually, it was just too small to get any real kick out of it.
The BBQ pork bun (char siew pau) was really good! I enjoyed the fluffy bread casing that I actually finished the whole thing, for once. I usually just eat the filling and not eat the bread but this bread was really nice. The pork filling was sweet as well, and it was overall a really good pau. Hehe. 
Black sesame pau! It was molten inside which was really fun to see, but I don’t like black sesame much so I didn’t really enjoy it. BUT it’s always fun to watch fillings ooze out of paus!
ImagePaper-wrapped chicken
Each person gets one serving of abalone kueh pie tee, Peking duck crepe and shark’s fin soup. The KPT had wasabi mayonnaise in it and was too strong for my liking. I ate the duck crepe without realising that the sauce was meant to accompany it so it was quite bland for me (serves me right right :() but thankfully I got to enjoy the shark’s fin soup! I know it’s not really in the world’s best interest whenever we consume shark’s fin soup but it’s so darned delicious! Plus it’s not as if I had a choice…so please don’t rage hahaha.
ImageImageImageImagePandan-flavoured salted egg yolk paus! The “must eat” at every dim sum feast, and the pau which has dozens of hashtags dedicated to it. I loved the salted egg yolk custard filling but the pandan was quite out of place when contrasted with the custard.
ImageSome durian-banana fritter thing which was pretty gross, IMO. 
Other unpictured-yet-delicious food items include the red bean-banana pancake, curry chicken pau and mango pudding (!!!).
I rolled out of the restaurant, despite eating only one of each food item (and I didn’t even try all!) This goes to show how big the variety of dim sum Swatow offers. I probably wouldn’t be back soon because it’s never good to over-eat but I would recommend it for a value-for-money dim sum buffet fix! :-)

Swatow Restaurant Pte Ltd
Blk 181 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh
Singapore 310181

Tel: 6363 1717 
Fax: 6252 2342

Friday, February 14, 2014

Take 5 2014

As other Singaporean schools celebrate a somewhat solemn Total Defence day, Raffles celebrated it by organising the annual Take 5, which is basically The Day To Play! This year’s Take 5 was held at Tanjong Beach in Sentosa Island. I wanted to sign up for the games (volleyball, handball etc.) organised but the slots were filled up pretty quick. :-(
Arrived at VivoCity at the ungodly hour of 6.45am, and met Cheryl at the monorail place at Vivo. It was already swarming with Rafflesians, making it virtually impossible to find other people.
We were the first batch of non-games people to get on the monorail. So when we arrived at our stop (which I’m not very sure of oops) and walked (TWENTY MINUTES AT LEAST!!!) to Tanjong Beach, it was still relatively empty and ~free~. Cheryl, Erica, Zhi De and I played with his frisbee for a while, and were later joined by Thu and Rachel. I finally got the hang (kinda) of throwing a frisbee using the forehand method! YAY. I realised frisbee is quite popular in RI haha, as many people were also playing with frisbees, and my classmates and I played around with the frisbee yesterday as well! This is a weird sentence.
There were also carnival-style games to play! I didn’t win anything as I’m terribly hopeless at these sort of games, but I got to meet Kylie!
ImageSeventeen years of friendship! :-)
It’s Friendship Appreciation Day (what is Valentine’s) today, yay!
Afterwards, I went to the main stage to support Jonathan and Daryl who were in a band (!e) performing! Hui Ru was right in front so I sat (well, squatted) with Damien and Qing Kai at the back and had our own private jamming session hehe.
Technically not a shameless selfie because you can see Daryl at the back ;-)
I’m so thankful for this group of friends/batchmates that I can be completely myself with. If not for Mr Lim (conductor) making us come together to do the Firebird presentation, I doubt we would ever have become friends! Maybe yeah we’d be friends with certain people, but not this whole group together! I also find it quite odd that though we don’t really know one another, we really really like one another (am I using “one another” too much hahaha). I honestly haven’t spoken to each of them separately one more than ten occasions. Yet, I feel this strange attraction towards them (don’t take it the wrong way). I just mean that we click really well together! We have really good chemistry :-) I’m really really excited to be spending the next two years of band with them!!!
 After the whole Take 5, we went back to VivoCity but I couldn’t join my OG-mates for lunch, sigh pie.
Oh! The guys worked together to make V-Day (Friendship Appreciation) cards for all us girls! It was so sweet because the cards were really very nice and just…wow. :’-) BIG THANKS TO THEM!
And thus ends my Take 5 2014. Hopefully Take 5 2015 will be even better! :-)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kaleidos 2014

Day 2: 
I started school in RI yesterday, which was the second day of the Orientation, named Kaleidos. I had to go to ACS(I) to settle the administrative stuff for the transfer and thus only joined the rest of the Year 5s around 11am. Then, I had to go for the placement test for Raffles Academy (RA) for a whopping two hours and thus missed out the entire War Games! The test was the Year 6 Common Test paper so it was pretty difficult and made me wonder if it was worth sacrificing War Games/BONDING WITH MY OG for. :/ Anyways, that left me with little time to be engaged in other activities throughout the entire day. :-( What a bummer, I know.
*Awkward transition* My OG is BB06, Kandyfloss. I’m in the house Buckle-Buckley, which is super cute because the names are so similar! My OG consists of only four JAE students, so the demographic is (again) not very balanced. The boys, being all (but one) from RI, mostly talked amongst themselves so… Meh. Anyway, I don’t want to judge so quickly because to be fair, they hardly even know me so it is quite natural that I don’t feel as at home and comfortable with them (YET!!!) I do hope I will get to make friends with them on Monday and Tuesday, because it’ll really be a shame if I missed out on the friendships formed during Orientation (which is part of the whole JC experience!)
ImageAfter the day's programme, we went to Junction 8 for dinner as an OG. Many other OGs had the same idea, which resulted in a sea of Rafflesians flooding the open-area in Junction 8. We ate, played games, did silly forfeits and just talked to one another! It was quite fun because I got to know more about my OG-mates and yeah making friends is always fun!!! Then, this group of dancers started to set up their speakers and music, and the next thing we knew, all of us were dancing with them! I’m not too sure, but I think they are affiliated with the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in getting people to exercise more (through dance). We danced to popular K-Pop tunes and the occasional English pop hit, as well as a Spanish-sounding song! It was SO fun because almost everyone was dancing along! #Rafflesianpride LOL who cares if it’s too early for that, because during that half an hour or so, I really felt a strong sense of unity with everyone. :’-)
After the whole dance “lesson”, my OG-mates left and I stayed with Kylie’s OG to play games hehe. They were really nice and welcoming to me!!!!!! It also doesn’t hurt that I know a few people there from band, such as Eunice, Daryl and Qing Kai! It was all fun and games and though I did feel a bit paiseh for crashing their OG, I got over that after a while and warmed up to them! :-)
So I guess the night saved the day from being a tragic story ^_^
Day 3:
Day 3 was almost entirely devoted to External Activies (EA), which had to components: External EA and Internal EA (the irony). Anyway, we had to travel around Singapore and compete with another OG during each game at each station. Some OGs had to go to Gardens by the Bay which is pretty far from school. I’m quite glad we were relatively near the Marymount area (Marymount>Serangoon>Woodleigh>Seng Kang) and didn’t have to spend too much time travelling on the MRT!
It was pretty fun, though tiring. After the whole EA, I was so drained both mentally and physically – not the best state to be learning the batch dance in. :-( Anyway, it was a fun fun fun day YAY!
After dismissal, we went to Botanic Gardens and got dinner around the Coronation area. I felt this strange sense of pride as we were walking past Serene Centre etc. because it felt like I was bringing people to my “home” (???) This is such an odd feeling haha but it goes to show that I’m actually proud to be an SMSS girl, more than I thought I was, anyway. :’-)
Day 4:
The last day of Kaleidos! We had War Games in the morning. Our first game was in the field and involved wearing muddy socks, muddy hats and muddy beanies…you can just imagine how dirty we got hahaha. Thankfully it didn’t rain recently so the ground wasn’t muddy. Super tiring, aggressive but fun. The rest of the games were much more mild/tame in comparison, but also equally fun! I can’t remember much of the details but I do remember having a good time playing with my OG to WIN. (hahaha competitive feelings arising)
Afterwards, we prepared for O’Nite, which basically just meant sticking cotton balls onto our masks. Our theme was Kandyfloss and we wanted to wear party masks which were covered in cotton balls, cotton candy-like. It wasn’t that spectacular but hey, we tried! We thought the theme of our costumes had to be related to our OG name so…(turns out it doesn’t) The OGs which won best dressed dressed up as Plants vs. Zombies (that was rly good), chess pieces, poker cards and Trash Titans! It was all so so so good haha. I heard there was one OG who spent close to $200 on their costume! They intended to come in loofas (?) and it was rly cute, I thought they would win Best Dressed! Oh well.
O’Nite was really amazing – the whole cohort singing the batch song together, dancing together and cheering together. What a great end to the past four (well, three for me) days!
We had OG dinner at Pizza Hut. The guys eat a lot. I’m just amazed at how much they eat without feeling overly full/getting fat.
(Samuel, Jie Ren, Diya, Mui Yee, Erica, Cheryl, Tania, Thu, myself, Joshua, Naresh (sp?), Ariel, Rachel, Humaira, Ann Gie, Leeyon)
Presenting (part of) BB06: Kandyfloss! ^_^

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

One of the joys (or is it?) of working is meeting new people, and during our time at Cedele, Jamie and I made friends with this girl called Noelle! She worked at Max Brenner for about a year previously, and promised to bring us there to try their signature chocolate-y desserts, on the house! (Ok, I know what y'all are thinking,...we felt bad and paid for the meal...with a discount hehe) ((still counts, right?)) 
Truffle Heart something. ($16) MB has really long fancy shmancy names for all their items that it's hard to remember exactly what we ordered. :(
This platter consisted of a chocolate lava cake, a strawberry, a shot of chocolate (like an espresso?) as well as a scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream. I enjoyed the chocolate lava cake, a bit too much. It is a pity that its size is not as great as its taste. :-( The chocolate shot was average, tasting like chocolate milk but much richer, while the ice-cream had, unfortunately, NO VANILLA BEANS! It tasted really ordinary. Between the two of us, this was gone in five minutes, tops.
It isn't really that good to warrant the pricey tag, as I have tasted chocolate lava cake just as good (or even better), at less than half the price of this. 

Chocolate pizza featuring milk and white chocolate chunks, bananas and roasted marshmallows, drizzled with melted peanut butter. ($11.50) (I think)
This was just half a pizza, and made us really full and jelat. I would not suggest ordering this because, as fanciful as its name and description is, it really isn't that spectacular. It tastes like something that anyone could make at home! Admittedly, the roasted marshmallows are sticky, gooey and just heavenly, but I think it would still not justify the money and, most importantly, the calories.
(We ended up scraping the toppings of the pizza, leaving the tasteless pizza base)
 BIG shout-out to Noelle, thanks for accompanying us to Max Brenner and getting us the discount! :-) 
(mandatory train selfies, viewer's discretion is advised) 

Picnic with KMJJ

I went for a picnic at Botanic Gardens the other day (CNY Eve) with my friends from Secondary 2, Kelley, Min Hui and Joanne! It was quite a last-minute thing and also, we haven’t spoken much in two whole years! So the potential for awkwardness was really high. Thankfully, it was (kind of) just like old times, and we did have fun trekking through the Gardens and eating and singing and swinging!
Food for the picnic! There was sushi from Cold Storage (satisfying) and lots of other biscuits and smallish nibbles. It was really filling but felt rather unhealthy, though. :-(

We all swung on the swing to songs such as Wrecking Ball (it was hilariously apt) and a few other crazy songs we always sang/butchered in Sec 2 HAHA how #swaggy.

Played (?) with the ducklings and pigeons and swans! It was really funny because we saw two birds mating and the pigeons eating the swans’ poop. Also I (kind of) got over my fear of birds….ok actually no, I would always be afraid of flapping wings *shudder* 
There are a whole lot of other pictures but well they are more or less the same so bye!!!!!! :)
(Felt great to catch up with old friends)