Archive for October, 2008

Ju Shin Jung (East Coast branch)

I normally like to write about places I’ve enjoyed, but this place takes the cake as the most spartan restaurant I have been to, that I just have to give my 2 cents worth about it.

September 08 (146)

Several weeks ago, I thought I would give Ju Shin Jung East Korean Charcoal BBQ Restaurant a try. The restaurant is actually on the 2nd floor although the entrance is on the 1st floor. As I was ascending the steps, I was already regretting because the staircase looked so unkempt and dirty! When I reached the restaurant itself, I must say I was quite overwhelmed! By the “spartan-ness” of it all!

September 08 (141)

The entire restaurant, if you can call it a restaurant to begin with, had bare concrete floor! The restaurant is quite cavernous actually, so the bare concrete really hits you. Plus there are rows and rows of tables, making it feel like some army camp or the like! There were pipes going along the floors, so they had black rubber ramps for you to walk over the pipes. It just makes me wonder if they decided to “build” a restaurant here in 3 days or something!

I felt like making a U-turn to leave the restaurant, but since this is at East Coast Park, there is no other restaurant nearby except Waraku and the ultra crowded Long Beach seafood restaurant. In fact, perhaps Burger King downstairs would have been better. Surprisingly, the restaurant was quite packed! Most of the patrons were families having their charcoal bbq. I tried to look for suffering patrons, but it seemed everyone was engrossed in cooking their food than at the ambience.

My partner and I ordered their Bi Bim Bap instead of the Charcoal BBQ because we weren’t there for the BBQ in the first place. It was a bad move. Maybe the restaurant’s core competency is in the Charcoal BBQ, because the Bi Bin Bap was TERRIBLE. It was edible, but it was in my opinion worse than what I normally get at the Food Court. And I had to pay $13+++ for it! The only consolation was that they gave lots of small side dishes, I think about 10.

Maybe it’s just us, but we had an experience to forget at Ju Shin Jung. Maybe we should have ordered the Charcoal BBQ. Who knows, perhaps that’s why the place is nearly full despite its surroundings. Maybe this place has to be compared to why people don’t mind rude hawkers just to taste the most heavenly Char Kuay Teow or something. But for me, you won’t be seeing me here in a long time.

September 08 (144)

This was the Bi Bim Bap served. Looks as spartan as the place itself.

September 08 (143)

The side dishes.

Ju Shin Jung 1018 East Coast Parkway #02-01

Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie

Feel so depressed watching the market drop drop drop. I thought I was good at analysing, but apparently not. I almost don’t care anymore (yeah right), so that’s why I’m here, trying to forget it all. Might as well blog about my latest find in the food arena, if I cannot advise in the financial.

Yeah anyway, after exhausting all our dinner options at Raffles City, we decided to go back to Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie. The reason for the hesitation is that Canele strikes us as a rather expensive place to dine at. Have you seen the price of their cakes??? Those tiny exquisite little things cost like $7,$8,$9 !!! They may be well worth the price, but because of that, it makes one feel like Canele is for Fridays and the Weekends rather than for a mere Tuesday.

Well, we were pleasantly surprised. The menu $ is actually no different from that of the Coffee Club and TCC. The stews are going at about $12.50-$16.50, the sandwiches at about $13.50-$15.50 and the pastas at about $12-$17.50. The menu selections on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air, when compared to the other eating establishments of this price range. As mentioned, they have stews. But what I like are their interesting selection of sandwiches and their Crepes. I tried the Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg sandwich which was very nice. The foccacia bread had a very generous helping of eggs and smoked salmon in it. But if you really want GENEROUS, try the Smoked Salmon and Cream cheese Crepe. I tried that some months back and seriously, I have never had so much smoked salmon before in one sitting!! I could not finish the crepe myself!

Definitely am going to make another trip there in the near future, before it gets crowded when everyone finds out that it’s actually not so expensive to dine there, as long as you don’t order the chocolate cakes! In fact, drink tea instead. One order gives you a nice pot of tea that can be shared between 2.

Check out the menu here. You can find Canele in several locations, namely Paragon, Raffles City, Robertson Walk and Shaw Centre.

~Update 23 May 2010~

Canele at Raffles City is currently closed. In fact, half the restaurants at Raffles City basement are closed for some sort of renovations. It is scheduled to be reopened in September 2010. As to whether Canele has closed down for good at Raffles City, or only temporarily, is anyone’s guess. Click here for Canele’s website.

Learning Chinese

I was trying to teach my friend Chinese, and I found this website which has all the nifty tools to learn Chinese. I’m quite amazed actually! Here’s a brief description of the most important tools that they offer.

Learn Chinese:-  Click here if you are total beginner. Here they will tell you about the phonetic way to read Chinese, as well as sound out the tones. Click on the lessons for a structured way to learn. It has the audio also, so that’s fantastic. See, the best part about this website is that they have all 3 types, meaning they have the Han yu pin yin (the phonetics), the chinese characters, and the English translations, all on the same page. I went to a few other websites, and strangely, they mostly provide han yu pin yin, supposedly because beginners would have no clue how to recognise the chinese characters anyway. But still, I feel it’s better to have the characters there, then at least you will begin to gain some familiarity, rather than not see them at all.

The Phrasebook:- Click here for a list of sentences based on various themes like Travel and Food.

The Vocabulary list:- Self explanatory…

The Chinese Annotation Tool:- The best find for me in my opinion. Type some Chinese words or sentences here and they will give you a breakdown of each individual word’s meaning as well as phonetics. It’s a godsend to me, because my problem is that I often can’t read the words, but with the phonetic help beside the words plus dictionary, I will be able to read them, as well as understand them! I can paste in stuff from the Chinese newspapers and finally understand them! I know Chinese experts out there will probably snigger at me, but coming from a non-chinese speaking family, I think I’m quite good already.

Now I just need to find a reader that will read out Chinese passages aloud to me!

Blue skies!!

Currently watching Scandinavian cooking with Tina Nordstrom on the Asian Food Channel. Sweden is sooooooo beautiful! The skies are just so blue! I just wanna get a plane ticket and fly there straight away! It’s unfair! How can some countries be so beautiful?

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