Monday, October 31, 2005

Banner: Ver 2.0 Roadside Trees

Picture this! A city with conrete jungles, mind-boggling roads, people & chaos. Now add well kept trees & plants along the roadside, softening the dull bureaucratic looking buildings. Gardens & Parks sprouting around the island providing people with much shade & relaxation. This was the brainchild of our former Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Today, we enjoyed lush greenery, beautiful flowering trees if one bother to slow down and "smell the flowers" along the way.

Banner Ver 2.0 shows Cassia fistula or commonly known as the Golden Shower Tree planted along the roadside, nearing its peak of flowering season. They bloom several times a year, producing drooping branches with clusters of bright yellow flowers that seems like showering down, and hence the name "Golden showers". At the end of flowering, long dark brown cylindrical pods appear on the branches. The barks, young leaves, seeds are used in traditional medicine around asia.

And if you are interested to know more about our greenery. It's gratifying to know that we have a bunch of young Green Culturers, very driven, ever keen to share their joys & knowledge in Gardening & Plants.

Do drop by and give support to their course :)
Green Culture Singapore

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Food: Cafe Van Xuan @ Vietnam, HCMC

I have just finished my Bun Oc (Snail Noodle, yes yes, will blog that later) and was about to walk to Bach Dang for my Ice Cream fixes. This distinctive building caught my eye.

Being a nature lover, I was very attracted to the copious amount of greenery used in their decor. While Cafe Van Xuan is not a ice cream parlour, I'm pretty sure ice cream are typically on the menu. Besiding being able to test ice cream from somewhere different, I could also indulged in the lush greenery as well as resting my tired legs. "So why not?" I asked myself.

Sadly, while the decor is great, the ice cream wasn't. Their Danlan Naomi (Price? 28000 dong) is basically 2 scoops (Vanilla & Chocolate) with various fruit toppings, chocolate sauce and wafer stick. The main issues was with the ice cream, they taste floury and the chocolate scoop wasn't chocolately rich as well.

Fortunately, their excellent Vietnamese Drip Iced Coffee (Ca Phe) @ 16000 dong makes up for everything. Vietnamese way of coffee extraction itself is pretty therapeutic to your senses. First you patiently wait for your coffee to be dripped into a cup prefilled with condensed milk.

Next you remove the drip and give the coffee& condensed milk a good stir. Smell your coffee before you pour into the ice glass provided. This smell of deliciously good caramel & cocoa, just like the Moka Coffee Beans.

And finally, relax, enjoy your cuppa while lazily watching the world go by :)

Next to this Cafe is yet another interesting building. Apparently it's a drinking pub. And what's so INTERESTING is that they got transparent flooring. WOW! I wonder how short skirts, hot skirts will look like when standing on this flooring. Obviously I will be back in the night to see if I can capture any "beautiful moments" hehehe ... Watch this space :D

Food: Bach Dang Ice Cream @ Vietnam, HCMC

Sitting right at the cross junction of Le Pasteur & Le Loi, unmistakably one of few popular tourist streets, Bach Dang Ice cream serves up quite a variety of cool desserts and ice cream. While the variety of ice cream wasn't as extensive as Fanny, they seems to be extremely popular with locals as well as tourist. Perhaps being situated right in the middle of prime tourist strips makes them more easily noticable. Probably not known by tourists, Fanny ice cream is just about another 100m walk from Bach Dang.

Services are prompt & efficent but they seems to hurry you with your order. Also, local seems to use a menu that is different from tourists. I'm suspecting that there may be different price lists between locals & tourists. That said, the pricing for tourists are comparable to Fanny price list.

And since they are situated along major streets, tourists should try to sit inside to avoid being pestered by Shoe shiners, post card sellers & the likes.

Creme Eskimo
Price? 30000 dong (approx S$3)
Romantically shaped like a Heart; Vanilla ice cream, half coated with Chocolate; Whipped cream toppings, 3 chocolate rock candies; Slices of Chiku,dragon fruit, Water Melon, small grapes & pineapple sauce. I love the presentation & taste ice cream. However, do wait a while for the ice cream to soften as it's a little harden when taken straight from their fridge.

Ice Cream in Young Coconut
Price? 40000 dong (approx S$4)
3 scoops ice cream (Vanilla, Chocolate & ?i forgot!?) in young coconut, various fruits toppings with dollop of whipped cream. While I'm less impressed with this, it seems to be very popular with locals & tourists. I feel it shouldn't cost 10000 dong more than the Creme Eskimo. Well, perhaps the extra cost is for the young coconut. Fair enough, but I DO want my coconut juice back. :-P

Vietnamese love their dessert. You can always see Vietnamese family packing into Bach Dang Ice cream for their after dinner treat. And another interesting observation of mine, Vietnamese ladies also seems to love their pajamas as well. I have not only spotted them wearing pajamas for ice cream in the evening, they are even seen in pajamas walking around Shopping Centres (e.g Diamond Plaza) during daytime hehehe...

26 & 28 Le Loi Street, District 1, HCMC . (848) 829 6381 . info @

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Food: Fanny Ice Cream @ Vietnam, HCMC

Of the 3 ice cream parlours I tried while in Vietnam HCMC, I loved Fanny ice cream the most. Will blog about the other 2 later.
I have read about that igredients were all imported from France and follows traditional french fomula. With 3 branches located in Hanoi, HCMC & Hai Phong, have supplied their products to many reputable hotels & restuarant around Vietnam. You can read more about them from their Website

The ice cream that I blogged yesterday and this (Caramel ice cream topped with Meringue) are just some of their awesome ice cream products. Lovely to look at too!!!

Caramel ice cream enclosed in Meringue with soft caramel center (not shown) . And at 39000 dong (approx S$3.90), it doesn't hurts your pocket either :-)

I should also mentioned they serves a good variety of fanastic french crepes as well. This sugar crepes goes for 15000 dong (approx S$1.50). Delightfully soft with nice aroma.

Finally, comes complete with a french-like environment. Perfect! I was telling myself, if not for the unpredictable weather, I would certainly have my dessert fixes here everyday.

And since the location is away from the main streets, you are spared of disturbance from shoe shiners, postcard seller, beggars etc. However, I do have a minor gripe, not only I'm "popular" with taxis, cyclo, motobike. I'm also "popular" with kids -____-;;;

These cute kids were so restless, "teasing" me and only to settle down after their ice cream have arrived. phew ... finally, I can take photo peacefully hehehe ...

Ho Chí Minh :
29-31 Tôn That Thiep, Q.1Tel : (08) 8 211 633 - (08) 8 211 630

p.s: Do let me know if you need more detailed direction.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I'm back finally!!! But .........

After days in HCMC struggling with great heat & humidity, incredibly chaotic traffic, dodging taxi + cyclo + motobike etc

I'm finally back!!! phew .............

But wait ... I need to dive into work immediately. There is so much to do becoz 2 weeks later and I'm on my working trip to Down Under :(


However, I will try to post whenever possible. But in the meantime, please have some french style ice cream dessert. I think the french would have called them Creme Glacee. I can't believe I actually forgot to copy down the name of this dessert. Must have been enjoying too much :P

Anyway, here the breakdown of the assemble.
- banana split
- one scoop banana sorbet
- one sccop mango sorbet
- one scoop chocolate creme glacee
- topped with whipped cream
- drizzled with hot chocolate sauce

Sounds good? :)
How Much? 36000 Dong (approx S$3.60)
More details to come later ............

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Travel: 16 Oct 2004 & upcoming trip

OH NO!!! Yet another filler hehehe ...
and where was I on 16 Oct last year?

Thanks to M who brought me to 九份(Jiu Fen) in the little red hot riding hood ((小红). It's a very beautiful & nostalgic place that deserves at least a night stay. Not to mention that the food are great as well!

As we went back Taipei (台北) in the late afternoon, I can't help but to admire the beautiful skies & sun rays along the way.

Really felt funny. As soon as I started my blog, I have to go hiatus next week for a short trip to HCMC. Hope to return with some memorable photoshots & adventures for this upcoming trip.
Till then, see you soon .....

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mumcooks: Weekly Luncheon

Saturday Family Luncheon was a simple affair, which was a relief for me as I was trying to shed off weight after heavy dinner at Makan x10/05 @ My Mum's place

So what did my REAL mum (not to be confused with "My Mum's Place hehehe...) cooks for Lunch.

Char Siew Fried Rice
Fried Rice with juicy bits of Char Siew.

Bean Sprout Fritters
Well, actually it's prawn fritters minus the prawn. That's what she usually do when she have extra batter after making batches of prawn fritters. I like it without the prawn as well, it was savoury & delicious even on its own, but we usually dunk them in chilli sauce.

Stir Fry Mee Siam with Fried Bean Curd skins
hmm .. this is the first time. Instead of making Mee Siam sauce, she stir fry the spice mixed along with the Mee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli). That was a refreshing change.

And the fried bean skins was another of her experiments. We recently tasted some really delicious deep fried skins which looks like Bean skins / Sticks. However, when she tried this using Bean Curd skins, we found that it's taste rather bland. So it's back to searching for the right igredient & recipe again :)

And lastly, wash down with cooling chin chow drink. Simple & pleasurable home cooked meals that never fails to bring smiles to our whole family.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Makan Session Oct 2005 - My Mum's Place

Durian Brulee
Originally uploaded by slurp.

On 13 October 2005, I have yet another great makan session with my regular friends.
Thanks to eslim for organizing yet another satisfying & good value dinner at My Mum's Place. Can you imagine we had all these for only $25/pax!!!

My Mums Place 328 Joo Chiat Road, (S)427585 Tel : 6344 3343

Please visit my Flickr Albums for more food photos.
Makan X10/05 - My Mum's Place Flickr Set

Hope you enjoy them!

Checkout more excellent writeups here by
ivn (recent runes)

p.s: As I'm still new & struggling with my blogging. I have, at the moment, place all my comments in Flickr. Please be gentle with me ;P

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Travel: Where am I same day last year (12 Oct 2004)

My 2004 trip to Korea Seoul. it was my 2nd Day and I was preparing trip to Mt Sorak the next day.

Getting my Bus Ticket to Sokcho, travelling during midnight to Sokcho and then catch the first Bus from Sokcho to Mt Sorak National Park.

My Trusty Guidebook (borrowed from library) & Bus Ticket; Bus Ticket Lady was kind to write a note on the Platform Number (i.e No. 16) to board the Bus. After that, it's train trip straight to Suwon City to visit the Fortress

Well, it's a long walk around the fortress which offers paranomic view of Suwon City

Before heading back to Seoul, happened to pass by a market which sells Piggy head, jellied meat and Blood Sausage (as shown below). Wasn't in a good mood to try after the long walk around the fortress.


"A journey begins with the very first step …"
Though infamously known to procrastinate, I'm happy to have make my first baby step towards blogsphere.

This going to be my experiemental blog. Not because I'm not serious towards blogging, but because I not sure if blogging will be for me (forever or not).

One year goal, beginning during birthday month, all this makes rememberance easier hehehe .... Nevertheless, I do hope this blogging will be my journey toward self-discovery.

So what you will expect to see here?

Writing doesn't seems to be my forte. Expect non-lengthy articles here in simple English.

Photography is in thing. Expect to be littered with pictures, pictures & more pictures.

Travels is an annual must-do list (be it for work or leisure). Expect to go places with me.

Food is our national past time. Expect simple & non-expensive pleasures with occassional indulgence and silly experimental food at home.

Of course it will be punctuated with humourous & interesting (hopefully) anecdotes when available.

So, if you manage to read this far, I sincerely welcome you to my little adventures (& experimental) in life!

About Banner
This will be change periodically. And what could be better then lovely sunrise depicting a fresh new start. Taken last year (2004) around West of Singapore, one of the more lovely sunrise/sunset I have seen.