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Archive for April, 2014

One Fish Two Fish

The cousins were all in Penang for a wedding, so the boys ended up having a combined swimming session.  It was quite cute to see them having class together.  And as always, I amaze at how anyone can float on their backs, because for the life of me, I cannot do it!

Blowing bubbles

Blowing bubbles

Floating on their backs - something I totally cannot do

Floating on their backs – something I totally cannot do

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We were invited to Jo Claire’s “Under the Sea” party, so I initially thought the theme was going to be based on the Little Mermaid.  Then Jon met Joe for lunch a couple of days before the party and Joe said JC was going to be wearing an Elsa dress.  That made me think it was a Frozen party instead, so I went searching for Frozen stuff for the present.  In the end we hunted high and low for Frozen things (they were sold out in many places), and finally found someone who sold it far away from our house.

When we got to the party I was surprised to see JC in an Ariel dress!  And when I pointed that out to Jon and Joe, Jon said that it’s still somewhat a Frozen party because Elsa’s picture was on the poster.  I looked all around and couldn’t see it.  Then he pointed to the door and said, “There!  That princess in blue!”  He meant this princess:

Argh!  Men!

Anyway, thankfully JC also likes Frozen.

On a frozen note, the party was held at Ice Cream Frenzy, located next to West Coast Hawker Centre.  It’s a small little shop, but the ice cream is really good!  Everything is homemade and there are some really interesting flavours.  The most interesting one I tried that day was the avocado and almond flavour.  It sounds really strange, but it tastes very good!  Mild and creamy, the boys almost thought it was vanilla, though it had that hint of creamy avocado that I liked very much.  I also tried the salted caramel which tasted exactly as the name suggests.  It was a good pairing with the avocado ice cream.

We had free flow of ice cream during the party, though we couldn’t down that many scoops after lunch anyway.  For the birthday girl, the owner crafted a flavour just for her and called it “Jo Claire”.  It was a pink strawberry ice cream with sprinkles and marshmallows.  I passed on that one because it sounded much too sweet, but I thought it was so lovely that he did that for her.

Joanne provided a range of costumes for the kids to wear and even included a bunch of pirate stuff for the boys.  Asher gamely dressed up as a pirate and even pretended one of the poles outside was the mast of his ship.  Ellery was only interested in the inflatable sword and called himself Optimus.  The girls were all dressed up in various princess costumes, but they were gungho princesses.  Oh yeah, you betcha.  The princesses battled with the pirates/robot.  Running all around at the open space outside the shop, the pirates/robot tried to kill the princesses and vice-versa.  Very, erm, ladylike :)

Pirate Asher

Pirate Asher

Optimus on the ship

Optimus on the ship

En garde!

En garde!

The battle rages on

The battle rages on

Ice cream truce

Ice cream truce

The party ended with a mermaid cake (not Frozen…) and the boys fell asleep in the car.  Peace and quiet at last.

The Moks

The Moks

Met Iris there and discovered she was due soon after me!

Met Iris there and discovered she was due soon after me!

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I had heard about Sofra Turkish Cafe & Restaurant years ago but never got around to trying it until recently.  I love food that has robust and multi-faceted flavours, and Turkish food, it seems, falls in this category too.  The food is a reflection of it’s geographical location.  The flavours are a blend of Greek and Middle Eastern tastes, and come together nicely in a range of comfort food.

Jon and I shared two platters.  We had the Salad Plate which is a combination of the Sofra salad (a combination of spiced veggies, herbs and walnuts), eggplant salad (fried eggplant with tomatoes, peppers and onions), hummus, and vine leaf rolls (grape vine leaves stuffed with rice, pine nuts, currents and spices).  We had an order of sesame bread to go along with it too.  The hummus is excellent, and went perfectly with the sesame bread.  The different salads were light and refreshing, a good juxtaposition with the heavier hummus, and I especially liked the eggplant salad.  I also liked the vine rolls because of the subtle tasting leaves and added texture from the pine nuts.  The Salad Plate is a good way to sample the starter menu.

Salad Plate

Salad Plate

We also had the Chef’s Plate for our main course.  It consisted of a combination of doner kebab, Izgara kofte (Turkish meatballs, though these were flattened out), and Shish kebab in a mixture of beef, chicken and lamb.  I enjoyed picking at the different meats on the plate, and really liked the super lamby taste of the lamb kofte, although it would probably be too strong tasting for quite a lot of people.

Chef's Plate

Chef’s Plate

Though we were quite full, we decided to order two desserts to try.  The Helva (a dense sesame cake) was a much larger serving than we anticipated, and much more than we needed.  It was very sweet.  We liked the flavour, but it was just too sweet for us.  It reminded me of the peanut cakes you can get from Malaysia.  Yummy, but I could never eat many of those either.

Helva

Helva

We loved the Kenefe though!  It’s a dessert of thinly shredded filo pasty with cheese that’s fried until crispy, and topped with chopped pistachios.  We had to wait for this dessert to be prepared, and we were happy we did.  It’s somehow just very yummy.  We couldn’t quite put our finger on why exactly we liked it, but we just did.  And we’ll definitely order this again the next time we go there.  Together with Turkish tea, it was a perfect end to the meal.

Kenefe decorated with pistachios

Kenefe decorated with pistachios

Turkish tea

Turkish tea

Sofra Turkist Cafe & Restaurant is found at:
100 Beach Road
#02-42/44
Shaw Tower
Shaw Leisure Gallery

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I took the boys to watch How to Catch a Star presented by ABA Productions and the Blunderbus Theatre Company.  It’s based on the book by Oliver Jeffers and is about a boy who loved stars so much he wanted one of his very own.  It traces the story of how he tries different ways and means to get hold of one.

We borrowed the book from the library prior to watching the show so that the kids would be familiar with the story.  It’s a simple yet sweet story.  Asher and Ellery’s  favourite part is when the little boy in the story thinks what he sees in the water is a fallen star, when really it is the reflection of a star in the sky.  And they laugh gleefully when he thinks the starfish that washes up onto the shore is really that fallen star.  They connected with that simple story and were really excited about going for the show.  When I went to pick them from school they ran out of class yelling, “How to Catch a Star!!!!”

While the flow of the show followed the storybook, it was embellished with a lot of fillers – common for a stage adaptation of a children’s book, especially a short one.  But they managed to stretch the fillers in such a kid-pleasing way though.  I’ve never seen Asher laugh so hard in a show before.  He was laughing, guffawing, squealing with delight, giggling, and every other form of laughter you can think of.  And perhaps a bit too loudly because the people in front kept looking back (eep!), although they were smiling too and looked amused at how tickled Asher was.  To be honest, much of it was quite slapstick, but that’s what the kids love!  Seriously, the kids just lapped it all up!  For me, it was a wee bit too much slapstick for my adult sensibilities, but there is no doubt at all that the children totally loved every bit of the show.  Asher and Ellery declared that their favourite parts in the show were when the little boy got sprayed with water, and when a lollipop got stuck all over the place (watch it and you’ll know what I mean).

The little boy and his favourite star (Picture taken from Blunderbus website.)

In the show there were also two additional characters, Aurora and Ariel, who were the ‘star keepers’.  They served as narrators, and also helped the little boy in his quest to obtain a star.  I liked that the characters interacted a lot with the audience.  Before the show, they went around chatting with the children, and during the show they sometimes called out the names of the children they’d met.  They also kept turning to the audience for help with a variety of things, whether it was getting rid of horrid hiccups, blowing boats, or waking the little boy from his sleep.  Everyone (adults included) were more than happy to join in.

Catching sight of the star through his giant telescope (Picture taken from Blunderbus website.)

I do wish the last bit, where the boy sees the reflection and thinks it’s a fallen star would have come through a little more subtly, rather than just telling the children that he saw the reflection of the star in the water.  That part all the way to the end was the most poignant part of the storybook, I thought.  So it was a bit of a shame that it got glossed over at the end of the show.  But that’s probably an adult preoccupation. The kids were more than happy with the way it was presented.

Overall, the kids had a blast!  It was definitely a show that thoroughly delighted them.

If you’ve not read the book, you can watch a video of it on YouTube.

There are only 7 shows left and the show ends its run this Sunday, 27th April, so book your tickets soon.  Tickets are available through SISTIC.  You can also check out the poster for the show here.

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On a side note, we had a real surprise today!  We bumped into Asher’s old classmate, M, and his sister L.  And by sheer coincidence, we ended up sitting right next to each other!  What are the chances?  The two boys had a great time playing with one another.  It’s so lovely to see that they remember each other and get along so well even though they have not met for more than 1.5 years!

Old buddies catching up before the show

Old buddies catching up before the show

Asher, Ellery, M and L with two of three cast members from the show

Asher, Ellery, M and L with the cast of the show

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Disclaimer: I was given tickets to review the show.  All opinions are my own.

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I don’t care, this counts towards my red meat quota however questionable the nutrient content is supposed to be!

McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese

On an arguably healthier note, this braised duck at Tanglin Halt Market is absolutely delish!

Braised Duck with Rice

Braised Duck with Rice

Braised Duck Noodles

Braised Duck Noodles

Also, beef stroganoff from Swensons, which was totally lacking in vegetables, but tasty nonetheless.

2014-04-24 19.03.03

Beef Stroganoff

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It’s the bard’s 450th birthday today, and he’s celebrating it in Singapore!

He’s out and about today doing the Singapore thing.  Why not give him some recommendations on what he should do?  If Shakespeare decides to do what you suggest, you stand to win a Häagen-Dazs voucher or a pair of tickets to catch SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park – The Merchant of Venice!

Check out what he’s doing via the live feed on SRT’s Facebook page, and make your recommendations there too!

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Shakespeare on the MRT

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Posing with commuters

 

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Just opposite Thomson Medical Centre (TMC) there is a nondescript coffeeshop called Sin Mee Eating House with a few poorly lit stalls.  One of them is Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant, and they sell a very tasty beef hor fan (like a wider kway teow).  I was recommended this beef hor fan by my cousin, and I went to check it out since it fit in just nicely with my red meat hunt.

The beef is extremely tender and comes in generous portions.  I also like that they do not skimp on the vegetables.  My favourite part is the noodles though.  The texture is firm yet chewy, and it has the smokey smell that I love.  I could just eat the noodles plain and be very happy!

Seafood restaurant with good beef hor fan!

Seafood restaurant with good beef hor fan

Makes for a yummy lunch!

My yummy lunch!

Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, especially if you’re visiting someone at TMC!

Bee Kia Seafood Restaurant is located at 1 Thomson Road, 326 Balestier Hill Shopping Centre.

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