Sunday, June 29, 2008

Random Bites - Singapore



Just to show you how old I am, I still actually recall when Hawker's markets were just empty parking lots where food vendors congregated at night and sold food to the populace (usually satay). This was my first time at a modern (newly opened) hawker's market in Novena that my friend Suyin and her husband Patrick brought me to (thanks guys!). It's much more organized and sanitary while still retaining that "rustic" ambience.

The best discoveries were Pepper Crab (an alternative to the ever-popular Chili Crab) and Thai Shrimp (for that eat-the-shrimp-whole goodness!). Also had my first Laksa (yum!). Then there was the usual Chicken Rice, satays, soups, oyster omelette and white carrot.


PEPPER LUNCH - Raffles City, Singapore

I've wanted to try Chuvaness' Pepper Lunch at Rockwell in Manila but I don't have the patience for long lines. Luckily, I ran across this one at The Food Emporium in Raffles City in Singapore. No lines! I actually went back for seconds! On the left is Chicken Pepper Lunch and on the right is Salmon and Hamburger with Egg Pepper Lunch. Both were delicious! Here's more about Pepper Lunch.


Black White Carrot - Food Emporium, Singapore

I'm not quite sure how to explain this dish.

Let's start with a dish called "white carrot". At first I thought this was daikon but it's not. It's more like some sort of root crop based alimentary paste shaped into cubes and usually served up as an omelette of some sort. As far as I can tell, there is no actual carrot content. I'm guessing the white carrot moniker is another Singaporean quirk.

So, now if you take the "white carrot" and sauté it with some black bean sauce, you'll come up with "Black" White Carrot which is absolutely velvety rich in your mouth and you can't have enough of it. Only the spiciness will stop you from sitting there and devouring platesfull till you explode.


SOUP RESTAURANT - Suntec City, Singapore

As many of you know, I'm not a big fan of Chicken Rice but I think I discovered the closest thing to it that I like.

My friend, Suyin took me to Soup Restaurant which specializes in double boiled soup. I first had Double Boiled Soup in Lei Garden Restaurant at Chijmes in Singapore and from what I recall, they serve you the broth first then they serve you the rest of the meat and components, in this case, clam and chicken. The closest thing to it in Western cuisine that I can think of is Pot-Au-Feu.

Then, there is the Samsui Ginger Chicken.

The Samsui women of Singapore who originated this dish were very poor and they only served their Ginger Chicken once a year on Chinese New Year. So this was really an extra special treat for them. The chicken is steamed cooked very much like Hainanese Chicken Rice. But, the chicken is not served with rice. It is served with some lettuce leaves that you place some of the chicken on and top with some ginger sauce and that is how the dish is consumed and enjoyed. And I must say - much more refreshing and delicious than chicken rice. Maybe I'll find a satisfying dish of chicken rice someday but I'll take Samsui Ginger Chicken any day!

Other mentionable dishes is the Claypot Tofu.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Random Bites - Philippines


CAFE MARCO - Marco Polo Hotel, Cebu, Philippines

Great Weekend Buffet!


FISH OUT OF WATER - Greenbelt 5, Makati, Philippines

This is a new restaurant at Greenbelt 5. They use local seafood, meat and poultry cooked in gentrified versions of native cuisine. Sounds promising but the dip for the bread (on the right) tasted like vomit.

A lot better is the grilled bangus on paella (left) and the baby back ribs in black bean sauce (right)


Rustans Supermarket, Greenbelt1, Makati, Philippines

These make the greatest pasalubongs. It's compact and comes in a tin can, cello-wrapped and tied with a ribbon so you can just toss it in your luggage and go!

It contains a generous amount of polvoron (powder cookies) and cashew tarts. And it's tasty too!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Singapore 2008

It's been almost a year since I decided to take a break and I feel blessed to have visited Singapore twice already!

I revisited old haunts and discovered new ones.

It was also SALE time at the stores! Sadly, beacause of the sad state of the U.S. Dollar, there wasn't much to shop for.  It actually turned out to be much better to shop back home.  The food, however, is something else! I'll tackle that in a separate entry.

The Raffles Hotel Courtyard

The Raffles Long Bar

View from the Fairmont Hotel

New Art Installation at the Singapore Art Museum
The Singapore Art Museum admission is free during lunch hours!

Art Gallery at Raffles City

Best Deal at the Singapore Art Museum
Got this mini leather-bound notebooks and leather-roll sketch books at the Singapore Art Museum Gift Shop at 30% off!  (I added the gift labels.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Madonna Goes On, The Beat

One of the songs that's getting heavy rotation on my iPod is Madonna's "Beat Goes ON" with Kanye. Old School Disco Madonna - luvs it! Can't wait to see the video!

In the meantime, axluiz gives us a placeholder on YouTube.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dress For Guess

This is the "tire track" print I created for Guess last year. Here, it is seen on the Sandra dress. Buy na!

(Photo from

I've been asked to do a follow up print but I had to go back to Manila for family events. Check out! There are more prints that I worked on in there.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


We went to a fudge factory in Juneau. The Alaskan Fudge Company!

They make the fudge on premises.

They have a lot of varieties and it was very tasty. Just a word of warning - the first ingredient in fudge is SUGAR.

I got these in Ketchikan (Alaska) because I thought the logo was cute. Sort of a take on the Candies Shoes logo:

Too bad the chocolates didn't taste much better than Candies Shoes. To be more specific, the chocolate was tough and didn't have that crumbly goodness after the initial crack-of-the-bite. I suspect these were leftover from last season.

I bought a bunch of candies that are available in Canada.

Bueno is pretty good and also Cadbury's Mister Big. They have a KitKat and Reese's variations which I have not seen in the States - yet. I dunno what the appeal is with Aero. It's OK, I guess.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

SAM Taste

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Taste Restaurant is a restaurant that prides itself on buying local produce which sustains the farmers and artisans in their community.

The restaurant is designed well and serves very tasty, healthy food.

Main Dining Hall.

Green Tea.

Bar Moderne.

Background: Margherita Pizza. Foreground: Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich.

Space Age Coat Rack.

Baby Clipboard for the check. Adorable!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


From Prince Rupert, we arrive in Seattle on a rainy Saturday morning. The dock is walking distance to Seattle attractions like the needle and Pike Place market.

We participated in the BAGS program and had all the luggage checked-in at the airport ahead of us, which left us with our carry-ons to lug around Seattle for a few hours before we proceeded to the airport to catch our afternoon flight to Los Angeles.

We were docked very close to the Edgewater Hotel (above) where the Beatles stayed in Seattle and had that famous photo taken of them with their heads sticking out from their room. You know which one I'm talkin'about.

We decided to go to Pike Place market to visit the birthplace of Starbucks coffee. They just started to re-use their original logo of the very controversial double-tailed mermaid with the exposed titties.

The Seattle Art Museum (aka SAM) was very convenient because we could check in the carry-on's at the door while we looked at some art. After a quick lunch at the Museum Coffee Shop (called SAM Taste–see next entry), we took a cab and went home.

Prince Rupert

The roughest part of the trip was on the way to Prince Rupert. It was a day and a half at sea. The waters were very rough, as in rocking and banging. Brings a whole new meaning to Rock and Roll!

We arrived Prince Rupert on a rainy afternoon and we only had a couple of hours to spare so we did not bother to book a shore excursion although there are many to choose from.

There was a small group of buildings that had shopping and a local artists showcase and if you walk up the hill, there is some sort of government building and a Safeway, where we replenished supplies for the return trip to Seattle.

Along the way, we ran into a crowd having photo-op with two Canadian mounties.

The Filipino staff takes this opportunity to make calls to home. This was common at every stop. It must be really difficult to be separated from their families so I can have a wonderful cruise experience. Looks like Calling cards make excellent tips to your favorite server/attendant!