Archive for April, 2010

Coastal Park Connector

Yes, pretty places do exist in Singapore. And it’s not hard to find either. Everyone is familiar with East Coast Park. If you continue cycling towards the Changi Airport, after the Safra Golf Course, you will come upon the Coastal Park Connector, which was only completed a few years ago. Go about 6pm when the sun is not so harsh, then the pictures will turn out nicer. We were lucky enough to also be able to see a rainbow, which is certainly not an everyday occurrence. But you will be able to find pretty things, if you take time to smell the flowers.

Once, during the morning rush hour, I spotted a beautiful rainbow in the sky. It was so pretty I kept looking until I nearly bumped into someone. Then I realised that hardly anyone noticed the rainbow because everyone was staring vacantly ahead zooming along like robots. Isn’t that so sad?

Bring along your picnic basket and picnic mat and have a rest when you arrive here (the 1st 2 pictures). It’s probably the least crowded part of East Coast Park and you can have a good view while you relax.

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Milo

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Milo at Toast Box. $1.70. Thick, sweet and chocolatey. You don’t always have to have tea or coffee at Toast Box. In my opinion, the Milo is the best drink there is there. Nice especially on a wet and cold day, not forgetting that chocolate wards off the blues.

Best Chocolate Brownies ever

Chocolate Brownies

These are not only the most delicious chcolate brownies ever, they are the easiest brownies ever! Mmmmmm……send me your address and I’ll send you a piece.

Brownies are literally the easiest things to bake! Throw all your ingredients into a mixing bowl. Whisk away. Dump it into your brownie pan and bake for 20 minutes! What could be easier? Read on for the recipe….

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Ippudo Ramen

The Partner wanted to have ramen for his birthday lunch some weeks back and suggested Ippudo at Mandarin Hotel. So we went there again, our 2nd time. This time round, there wasn’t much of a queue even though we arrived smack during lunch time. We had almost decided not to go because the last time we went at 11.45am and managed to get the last free table before it became full.

Ippudo is one of those ramen places that specialise only in ramen. So if you don’t like ramen, or don’t like their style of ramen, you are pretty much in for a not so enjoyable time. The menu is just 1 laminated piece of paper. The noodles are basically the same, the difference is in the soup broth. I forget the name of the one we prefer but it is the $15 one halfway down the menu. The soup is really delicious and flavourful and the noodles are so bouncy you want to just keep chewing and chewing them. There isn’t much meat in the soup, only about 1 slice of pork? On the whole, I don’t know how Ippudo and other ramen stores can charge so much for a bowl of broth with noodles in them. Would you pay $15 for soup? I suppose you just have to pay that to get your ramen fix because most other places are also charging about the same. The best deal out there that I know of is at Tom Ton, where their black pig ramen is $13 and you get about 5 strips of pork.

We also asked for the complementary garlic and they gave us a dish of nearly 10 cloves of raw garlic plus a garlic press! After the initial shock (I suppose this is the norm in Japan?), we dutifully squished the garlic into our broths. One or 2 cloves is enough for the average person, but being greedy, I squished half the garlic into my spoon and slurped it down with the broth that was in the spoon. It was a big mistake. It travelled down and I could feel it burning in my stomach! It was quite painful but yet pleasurably tasty, if that is possible. The simple garlic really gives an extra kick to the soup so you must ask for it if you’re there!

Starbucks – Not so cheap after all

Despite common perception, I think that there aren’t many places to have a coffee and relax late at night. We were driving around the Katong / Marine Parade area and we just couldn’t think of anywhere unique to go. I know there are numerous Hong Kong Cafes around, but we’d just been to one last week, and going to a different chain would just be the same. Besides, we wanted cake, coffee and chocolate, lots of it.

In the end, we decided to drive to Old Town Coffee at East Coast Park Big Splash. At least the prices are fairly reasonable compared to cafes, and if the food and drink does not satisfy, well we can console ourselves that we haven’t spent too much. Wish Yakun or Toastbox would consider opening 24hours because I rather prefer those than Old Town.

As we parked, we spotted Starbucks. I’ve never been a fan of Starbucks because their coffee is really lousy, but recently, a lot of their outlets have been spruced up and the decor is really inviting. So we ditched Old Town and hopped over to Starbucks to give it another chance. We got a nice quiet seat outside and ordered 2 cups of hot chocolate plus 1 chocolate chip muffin. I wonder who or what gave me the idea that Starbucks is cheap. It is EXPENSIVE for a cheap coffee chain!

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$3.20 Chocolate chip muffin. Despite the abundantly studded chocolate chips, the muffin did not taste chocolatey at all. On the contrary, the muffin was gluggy and tasted somewhat of banana. Not the fragrant banana cake type mind you. Wonder if the Starbucks people had too much banana muffin batter and didn’t know what to do with it.  What a waste of money and calories. The Chocolate Chip Muffin at The Coffee bean is much better, moist, light and literally oozing with chocolate.

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$6 Hot Chocolate – Can’t get much more expensive than this for just a plain cup of hot chocolate. It was thick and tasty, so at least it satisfied my chocolate craving when the muffin didn’t. However, the hot chocolate had a powdery texture which I didn’t like. I used to think that things at Starbucks are cheaper than the other coffee chains. I was wrong. Once again, The Coffee Bean has a much larger and better tasting hot chocolate served in a better looking glass for the similar price.

But really, I think if you want a quick and cheap chocolate drink, just go to Toastbox and order the $1.70 milo. Thick, Chocolatey and satisfying, although I must forewarn you. The “condensed milk” they use at Toastbox isn’t milk. It is a non-dairy sweetener made from palm oil. Betcha didn’t know that, did you? And I wouldn’t be surprised if many other places did that to save costs.

Apr 24, 2010 @ 17:20

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