Sunday, September 29, 2013

On Military Reservist (23.09.13 - 04.10.13)

Counting down to end of reservist : 5 more days!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mid Autumn Festival 2013 at Gardens by the Bay

From now till 22nd September 2013, Gardens by the Bay celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 with new floral display in the Flower Dome and a colourful display of hand-crafted lanterns in the outdoor gardens and the Meadow! There are also stage performances, competitions and activities where proceeds will go to the President's Challenge 2013. Operating hours will be extended from to 11pm during this period as well! There will also be a 15% discount on admission tickets to the Conservatories as well! *Terms and Conditions apply. Do check out Gardens By the Bay website for more information!

Wow! There's a big dragonfly on the flowerbed! Not one... but three actually! 

 Do you know Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar? Which actually falls on the 19th September 2013 this year!

I've heard many versions of how the Mid-Autumn Festival comes about... this is one of them. The story of Houyi and Chang'er~

Some flowers from the Mid-Autumn Floral Display!

Looking at these flowers just warm and brighten up your day. ;)

 Chrysanthemum! This is for viewing harh... not your Chrysanthemum Tea!

More flowers!

This look like the rising SUN... 

For the rose lovers, do you like it in pink... 

Or yellow?

While walking around, pay special attention to some Mid-Autumn Decorations in the flower dome. They enhance the oriental mood in the dome!

'Whatever you do maybe insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Ghandi 
It maybe hanging there insignificantly, but I spotted it's importance. ;) 

Let these lanterns be your guiding light in the flower dome...

Chinese Drums! The tanggu (堂鼓) literally "ceremonial hall drum" is a traditional Chinese drum from the 19th century. It is medium in size and barrel-shaped, with two heads made of animal skin, and is played with two sticks.  

Thanks to Gardens By the Bay and Majestic By Seafood Restaurant for the good food and dinner!

My first piece of mooncake!

After dinner, we were out to view the hand-crafted lanterns!


The Confucius Temple. Have you seen double-image? ;)

There are also some lanterns featuring our different races...

And our Malay and Indian community too.

Come, let's do a selfie! Say Gardens by the BAY!!!

Not forgetting the Jurassic Park Theme Lanterns...

Do visit Pandora, you will be amazed with how close you are to the nature!

These 'plants' are made with recycled materials, coated with special paints. Put on your 3D glasses and see these plants comes to 'live'!

Do also check out some creative lanterns made by schools using recycled materials! Do you miss Singa, the courtesy lion?

Look carefully at this snake!

Find the material familiar? ;)

And then the creative dragon lantern.

Also made from everyday's materials. 

From left to right : Hong Peng, Darren Ang, Muiee, William Tan, myself and Juliana

It's a reunion with the bloggers! Long time no see guys!

Snap and win! From now till 22nd Sept 2013, add an unique caption to your photos and upload it to Instagram with the following hashtags - #midautumnatgb and #gardensbythebay. 3 lucky winners will each win a Gardens by the Bay memorabilia gift package worth $50! Winners will be announced on Gardens By the Bay Instagram & Facebook page!

Venue Operating Hours
Cooled Conservatories
& OCBC Skyway
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Last ticket sale: 10:00 PM
Last admission: 10:30 PM
10:30 AM - 11:00 PM (Fri 20 Sep)
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM (Sat & Sun 21, 22 Sep)
Supertree Dining

Hill Street Coffee Shop

Texas Chicken

Peach Garden Noodle House

8:30 AM - 11:00 PM

11:00 AM - 11:00 PM

11:00 AM - 11:00 PM (Weekdays); 8:30 AM - 11:00 PM (Weekends)
Satay by the Bay
Drinks Stall: 24 hours
Food Stalls: 8:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Steamboat Buffet Stall: 5:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Seventh Heaven
9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Outdoor Gardens Audio Tour
& Shuttle Service
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Weekdays); 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM (Weekends)

Monday, September 09, 2013

Outpost 903 Gastrobar Review - A place suitable for friends and family gathering

Located along the stretch of Bukit Timah Road, one will easily spot Outpost903 Gastrobar, which is also situated at the former Tin Tee House (Near Tan Chong Motor), quoted as the "oldest, and a rare single storey shophouse in Singapore". Originally built around 1902 and retouched in 2004, this place has become a fusion of the old heritage and modernize architecture.

Opened by former Channel 8 Good Morning Singapore 
(早安您好!) host, Lin Youyi, Outpost 903 Gastrobar is more than a place for chilling. Walking into Outpost 903, it's not difficult to see family bringing their kids, especially during the weekends. The main reason is probably due to the menu at Outpost 903 caters to both young and old, from Kid's menu to dinner/lunch dishes and beers which satisfy both the children and parents. 

Thanks to Outpost 903 and Youyi, was invited for a food tasting session, for some of it's popular dishes in Outpost 903. Here's my say!

Tomato soup - SGD 8.00
 Love the freshness of the tomatoes from the soup. To be frank, I'm not a fan of tomatoes. I took only a few sips at the start, but was surprised that the usual sourness of the tomatoes is somehow neutralized by some sweetness in the soup. The blending of both flavors is just right which kept my stomach yearning for more. I actually finished the whole vitamin C rich soup in the end. Served with toasted brioche, a pastry similar to bread, but based on records on the internet, it has a higher egg and butter content which enhances its rich and tender crumb. Mixing with the tomato soup is a perfect mixture as the brioche was not too soggy yet maintaining its tenderness in the mouth. Good choice of appetizer for the start.

Grilled Chicken and Rock Melon Salad - SGD 14.00
Many people who knows me well, will definitely shout out, 'Kevin Soh, are you sure you are taking Salad?!' Haha, I'm actually a heavy carnivore who hardly eats and/or even name any vegetables.  Main reason I find vegetables is either tasteless or bitter. But probably due to the rock melon, and also served in honey mustard balsamic vinaigrette dressing, the sweetness of both was able to cover the boring taste of the greens. I was able to chew the vegetables with ease. It's definitely too big of a portion for a person like me. But it will sure be a good start for those who hates vegetables, and yet will like to start out healthy eating. I encourage you to go for this dish!
And also a good choice for the mummies and daddies out there who have problem convincing your children to take vegetables!  Start with this! 
Tapas : Truffle fries - SGD 12.00
Do you know that truffle oil is commonly used to make Truffle Fries, which is often tossed in pepper, Parmesan cheese , pepper and sometimes other ingredients. The truffle fries from Outpost903 is nicely presented in a small woven sack. This probably helps to ensure the fries are always serve hot and crispy.The truffle fries are also slightly thicker than other places. But the thickness is just nice as bite size, convenient for many who likes to go along with the beers for chilling after a busy day. The taste is just right, but probably with alittle more salt will be better! Prefer the taste to be stronger.

Tapas : Cheesy mushroom - SGD 8.00
Though I'm a true carnivore, but I'm a huge fan of mushrooms. All kinds. Though mushroom maybe an easy ingredient, or probably most of the time acting as a 'supporting' ingredient in many main dishes, but it is actually not an easy task to get rid of the fungi smell yet making the simple and normal fungi to taste good. Outpost 903 Cheesy mushroom is actually a dish served with large button mushrooms, stuffed with cheese, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried till golden brown. I like it how the different layers is created. Upon taking the first bite, you will taste the fried bread crumbs fragrance, not too oily, and the best part was that the chef was able to ensure the tenderness of the bread, instead of letting the bread crumbs disintegrate sparsely in the mouth. In the split second you will then taste alittle of the cheese, together with the fresh mushrooms. Biting it further, the melted cheese splurge out from the mushrooms and filled your mouth with the mixture of the cheese and fungi taste. The bread crumbs, cheese and fungi complements each other so well together. I'm sure this will goes well with some bottles of beers. 
A healthy dish with little bit of sinfulness.
But careful, to cut into smaller bite sizes. It's freaking hot! Don't burnt your tongue yea. ;P 

 Herbal chicken - SGD 16.00
Available on weekends only.
MEAT! Chicken! *Opens eyes WIDE* You can imagine how fast my fork and knife was reaching out for this dish. First meat dish that was served. Youyi mentioned that because alot of time and preparation is required for this dish, thus it is only available on weekends. The first thing that hit me was like, HERBAL Chicken?! In this kind of place? You probably don't see such Cheena stuff in many of the American styled restaurants, so I was quite surprised. A smart choice was to use chicken thigh in this dish, the most tender and juicy part of the chicken. One can easily spot the mash underneath it, which clearly depicts the fusion of the east and west culture. Could clearly taste the rich herbal smell, little bit of bitterness with some sweetness from the wolfberries. The herbal taste seeps through deeply into the meat, not only lingering on the surface only. You can probably guess how much work and time the chef had spent on this dish. An interesting dish, but I felt it was kind of overpriced. I would rather spend my money on the next dish below.

W.T.F (What The Fish) SGD 32.00
Available on weekends only.
The presentation of this dish had already triggered me to swallow down my saliva and ready to have a taste of it. Interestingly, the Chef had filleted off the meat from the grouper, and served in 2 styles, one with Sherry's mushroom toppings and the other with 'Chef's secret sauce'. Being a fan of mushroom, I tried the former first. It is an unique combination to mix the sweet and sour sherry mushroom slices with the hot piping grouper fillet. The other Chef secret sauce gave me a refreshing experience too. Similar to Thai spicy sauce, I like how the hot and spicy flavor stimulate my gastric to go for the next bite. The sharp twist in the flavors, will give one the value for money experience! One good thing is that you won't get tired of the fish! Also, not to forget the crispy fried whole grouper, it's so crispy that you can eat the bone and fin. Good to serve as Tapas to go along with some beers as well. I end up using my fingers to break the fins! It's finger licking good! 

Crispy Pork belly - SGD 18.00

Crispy Pork Belly, or some call it 'Sio Bak', the Hokkien dialect translation from roasted meat. Many will recognize the success of a good roast meat by it's crispy skin. Somehow the crispiness of the skin had a hypnotizing effect which allow one to forget the fatness of the pork belly. I once heard from a colleague of mine, the secret to the crispy skin is vinegar. Vinegar has the effect to absorb the moisture and thus keeping the skin dry and crispy. Well, for sure the chef from Outpost did it. I liked how my teeth had to force through its ways to chew the crispy skin, so loud that the person sitting next to me could hear the cracking sound due to its crunchiness! The meat is just right, quite lean, which suits the health conscious consumer. Together with the mash and vegetables, this main course should be able to satisfy one meal, with carbo, protein and greens all included. But as for myself, who's more of a junk foodie, will prefer for a more fatty and juicy meat!

Outpost Carbonara- SGD 16.00

The Chef's choice of Fettuccine for the Outpost Carbonara is a thumbs up choice. Fettuccine is slightly thicker and flatter as compared to other pastas. In layman's term, it is the Atahs version of our local MEE POK. Haha! The wider surface also allows the pasta to absorb more of the creamy white wine sauce and Parmesan flakes. The Chef sprinkled the Parmesan flakes generously, so for the cheese lovers, you will definitely not be 
disappointed with this dish.
The best part is the egg yolk which is added to the hot pasta and starts to cook on contact. So when you break the half boiled egg yolk, it flows down into the pasta like the molten lava. As the egg slowly integrates with the pasta, you will taste the richness of the egg yolk bit by bit. And the best part of it is I don't feel too heavy, or better known as 'Jelat' . I still have room for more - DESSERTS!

 Mango Float - SGD 12.00

You can see clearly the Outpost Mango Float is made with layered graham biscuit with frozen mango cream, topped with mango slices. Initially I thought that the mango float was actually a ice cream cake, until Youyi gave us a introduction. Have to exert alittle strength to cut through the frozen mango cream. Likes how the graham biscuit crumbs filled my mouth, while the frozen mango cream melts and blends well with the biscuit. Goes along with fresh mango slices, you are paying for what you deserved! 

 Chocolate Lava - SGD 14.00
Look at the picture above. Do I still need to explain further? I like how the freezing vanilla ice cream blends with the warm molten chocolate lava and sponge cake. The sweetness of the ice cream is neutralized by the bitterness of the chocolate, I suspect the secret behind Outpost Chocolate Lava is the rich dark chocolate aroma. Some restaurant spoils the Lava Cake with too much sweetness. But Outpost 903 did the right thing of making the flavors of the ice cream and chocolate at two extreme poles.  Opposite poles attract, this makes the best combination! 

If you only have time for just 3 dishes... I suggest to go for this 3 MUST TRY dishes! 

Location and Opening Hours: 

903 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 589620
Tel: 6468 4903 
Opening Hours:
Mon: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Wed - Thu: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Fri: 5:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sat: 3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Sun*: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
*Outpost 903 has it's special brunch menu from 10am to 5pm. Only available on Sundays.