Monday, 30 December 2013

Mia's Review: Chock Full Of Bean Christmas Special

Yes, I'm pretty late but hey, there's 12 days of Christmas, no? So, Merry Christmas everybody! And Happy New Year too! 

I've recently just did a review on Chock Full Of Beans for my birthday month HERE, so do check that out if you're interested in a review of their usual menu. 
I dropped by on Christmas Eve itself with A, and of course I made a reservation in the afternoon. And thank goodness I did, for when we got there at 730pm, all tables were reserved with a name.
Like so. :)

There really isn't much choices for their christmas menu is pretty much fixed with a soup, salad, mains, dessert, a choice of coffee or tea, and comes with a complimentary x'mas drink. 
Everything comes at a fixed price of $39.90, which is actually a pretty good deal! 

Complimentary X'mas Drink. It tasted rather honey lime-ish. But can't really put a word to the taste. Oh well, it's complimentary so just enjoy it!

 Our choice of soup - Mushroom Soup
The soup was rather disappointing. It was really just salty with absolutely no fragrance of mushroom. Towards the bottom of the bowl, the saltiness got too much for me to bear and it's one of the rare times you see me leaving my favourite mushroom soup unfinished. The bun, however, was a pleasant surprise! It was served to us warmly toasted. Not too hot to handle, just nicely crisped on the outside, warm and soft on the inside. If I weren't saving my tummy space for my salad, mains and dessert, I definitely would have finished that entire bun, which you can see from the picture, is pretty big. 

Our choice of salad - Smoked Duck Salad
Serving for the salad is pretty manageable for me, filled to the brim of a bowl around the size of a usual zensai dish off the conveyor belt at our usual sushi franchises. The greens could have been fresher (in terms of colour, obviously) but were still crisp and good, topped with a rather generous serving of smoked duck and garnished with bits of cheese. 

My choice of mains - Turkey & Pork Roulade with bread pudding and cranberry sauce
Yes, I think you can guess my first complaint. Where are my overflowing mash potato gravy?! The mash potato, albeit not truly bad, was literally served gravy-less! I really had to scrap the meagre amount of turkey sauce off the plate and mix them into the mash potato while I eat miserably. 
As for the turkey (breast?), the meat was flavourful with a good tinge of herbs and spices, and typically dry as a turkey meat yet not tough. The bread pudding, however, was a horror. It was over-generously stuffed with big chunks of onions! One of my worst nemesis! I merely took an ant's bite of fhe pudding to find out about the onions and left that big piece of pudding uneaten on the plate, along with the cranberry sauce that was a tad too sweet for my liking as well. 

 My choice of dessert - Prune Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Even though it's prune brownie, I can hardly taste the prune at all even though I can 'chew' them out. The brownie was extremely rich and chocolatey so much so that the prunes really just add on the chewiness and not much additional flavour unless you really chew down on it and savour with care. Disappointment of the lack of prune taste aside, it's still a yummy brownie! :) 

A's choice of dessert - Rose Macaron served with Vanilla Ice Cream

Just gotta share this picture. Look at that oversized macaron served so prettily!

And for more prettily cute food pictures.... Yes, their famous latte art!

 I got a cute Santa on my Mocha!

YS got a cute snowman on her Hazelnut Latte! :)

For awesomely cute 3D latte art pictures, visit their FB page HERE

Till then,
Mia

Friday, 27 December 2013

Mia's Review: Nine Thirty by Awfully Chocolate

Earlier this month, YS and I re-visited the newly opened WTF cafe at East Coast Rd because she misses Lola too much. *aww* Maybe I'll do a 2nd post on them because they've changed their layout quite a bit. 
But first, let me bring in this awesome chocolate dessert place located just further down the shophouses, opposite Katong I12. 
Nine Thirty by Awfully Chocolate



I've been eyeing one of their dessert for quite a while, ever since one of my colleagues told me that it's superb. 

Rich Chocolate Cupcake - $5.50

I know $5.50 is really pricey for a cupcake, but this is truly worth every cent of the money you paid for it. Well, that's coming from a chocolate addict like myself. :)

The cupcake, significantly bigger than a usual cupcake you get from other cupcake franchises, is topped by a thick layer of chocolate fudge, which is then topped with a glob of rich chocolate sauce. Once you get pass the fudge layer, be prepared for some soft and very moist, rich chocolate cake.
Truly decadent, simply divine.
Not for people with just a mild sweet tooth, though.

For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

AgeLoc TR90: IT DOES NOT WORK AS WELL AS IT CLAIMS

Yes, 3 months is not up yet, but I've given up on TR 90. And if my title is not blatant enough, I shall repeat myself. 
AgeLoc TR 90 does not work. 

Before I get to my own opinions, let's share a few comments I've gotten along the way.


And the same goes for TRA (TR90's predecessor) 
 one after another, 'no results' 'no results' 'no results'

and finally, one that claims to have lost substantial weight via TRA, who didn't sound as much as a hardcore distributer....
 
Basically she just slapped it on me (or us) that it's really all about controlling food intake.

And tell me, do you need to spend 1.8 to 2.5k to learn discipline? Chances are, like me, if you cannot be on a strict diet, no matter how many grands you throw in, you will not be able to stick to it. 
Say, even if you did manage to stick strictly to the 3333 diet with shakes for that 3 months, can you stick to it forever? 
No snacking, no chocolates, no ice creams, no sweet treats, no fried food, no fast food, more veggies, less meat, less carbs.... FOREVER
Or do you believe that this brilliant (-ly expensive) product will really confirm you no rebound regardless of what diet you revert to after the 3 months? 

I know I'll probably get bombarded by their distributors for coming up with this post. But I really hope that those ladies (and gentlemen) out there who are currently being prospected by these distributors can really think it through and make a wise decision. 
If it's not for my cousin, I would have used the money on a gym membership instead. 
The golden rule of weight management is always to exercise more and eat in moderation. And in my own humble opinion, this set of products that cost you as much as an annual gym membership is lacking in every single way to be comparable to the latter. 

If, in spite of all these true stories on how this product will not work as well as those distributors claimed, and you'll still wish to spend the money to try it out for yourself, I highly recommend that you buy them through amazon.com to avoid getting prospected by unscrupulous distributors instead.

Till then,
Mia

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Mia's Recipe: Crunchy Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

It has been a while since I've baked, being bogged down by many other nitty gritty issues recently. I had actually planned to bake some rainbow cake in a jar for my colleagues as x'mas presents but somehow chucked that idea into the refuse chute.... :( 
Nevertheless, I still have to share this recipe I've tried a while ago. It's CRUNCHY chocolate cookies with chocolate chips! 

Let's get on with the ingredients you'll need:

1. Butter - 125g
2. Brown Sugar - 50g
3. Caster Sugar - 40g
4. Semi Sweet + Unsweetened Baker's Chocolate, MELTED - 125g
(you can tweak the ratio you want by yourself to get varying level of sweetness)
5. Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp.
6. Egg - 1 no.
7. AP Flour - 150g
8. Cocoa Powder - 30g
9. Baking Soda - 1 Tsp.
10. Salt - 1/2 Tsp.
11. Chocolate Chips - 100g

This recipe will give around 4 sheets of 16 bite sized cookies each.

First up, if you do not have baking soda on hand, you can always substitute it with 2.5x to 3x (actually in terms of actual content, it's 4x, but it might change the texture of your cookie if you used too much) of Baking Powder. But it's always better to stick to Baking Soda. 

First up, cream the sugars with the butter (soften, at room temperature) until it turns light and fluffy. 
Add the melted chocolate after it has cooled down (I did this because I didn't want my butter to melt along with the hot chocolate mix. Plus, we gotta wait for it to cool to add in the egg eventually) and stir well until thoroughly mixed. 
Crack in the egg and add in vanilla extract. Mix well. 
Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and sift well. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. 
Add in the chocolate chips and fold until just combined.Remember, do not overmix!

Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 170 degree Celsius for 25 mins. 
Do tweak your baking time depending on your oven and size of your cookies. The batter is also very firm so you can either work with your hands or with two spoons. 



After reading up on whether keeping the cookie batter overnight will produce better tasting cookies, I've decided to do an experiment on it. I separated my batter into two batches and kept half of them in the fridge overnight, wrapped in cling wrap.
My verdict is, there is no difference. However, a cookie batter can typically be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to months. So for convenience sake you can always prepare more batter to keep in the freezer and bake them as and when you crave for some freshly baked cookies. But taste-wise, I'll say skip it. 

Till then,
Mia

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mia's Review: The Garden Slug

I remembered it was a couple of years ago when I first visited The Garden Slug. A recommended the place to us and drove YS and I there, claiming it's more worth the money than *cough cough* wild.... hon...ey *cough cough* After that, I vaguely remembered bringing Sa over, and then revisiting one more time with A and someone else again. 

And now, my review will be based on my 4th and 5th visits. Yes, combined! (there was a 6th recently but I didn't snap any pictures... so no review.) 

On my 4th visit, it was a gathering with 3 of the TK girlies, M, A, and KK. 

 Yes, that's a super adorable signboard of the cafe. We actually did a silly 'vandalism' on it using my smartphone's photo editor app because of a mispronunciation of the word 'slug' by M. *rofl*
The Garden Slut.
 There, the cuteness in colour! :)

 They do serve a rather extensive menu. I've left out the starters and all day breakfast page of the menu. They also do serve some decent looking desserts, which I always told myself, "yes, today I'm going to try their desserts!" since my 2nd visit... But up till my 6th visit, I've yet to try any. :(
IMO, they're really pretty generous with their food serving portions, so having a dessert after the mains can be rather challenging.

My drink for the evening, Nutella Hot Chocolate - $5.50

Yes, I bet you have the exact first thought as me when I first saw this, going through your head right now. 
"Huh, their nutella free one?"
Oh well, didn't I just said that they're really generous with their serving portions? 
This mug of nutella hot chocolate, albeit not very big, is packed full of rich rich RICH chocolately nutella flavour. There's so much nutella all over the mug I didn't even know what to do with them. The drink was so rich, the leftover nutella just wouldn't dissolve in. 
Every sip of the drink just fills you up with an overwhelming richness of chocolate and nutella. Really too much, even for a chocolate-addict like me. 
I wished they've wasted less of those nutella.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms - Price forgotten. 

This is a must try for mushroom lovers! These huge portobello mushrooms were roasted till tender and juicy, and served with (if I didn't remember wrongly) garlic olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette... something. We all didn't enjoy the balsamic sauce for it was acutely sour. The garlic olive oil was much better, but you really do not need these sauces to enjoy the mushrooms, for they're already packed with savoury goodness of their own.


My Seafood Sandwich - $19.50

It might seem a little pricey for a sandwich, but IMO it's really worth the price. The sandwich was stuffed generously with chunks of tasty battered parmesan fish and salad lettuce, which actually did make eating it a challenge for me. It also came with my favourite potato wedges, fried calamari and cherry tomatoes! The best sides combination I can ever ask for. 

My 5th visit was with OHYZ, Finaldust, and M after playing with Munchkin & Einstein at Pets Republic opposite the cafe.
My Bangers & Mash - $16.90

I like the sausages, chewy and flavourful. Plus, they were of the perfect serving portion that kept me full yet not sick of the taste. However, the mash potatoes didn't match up to my expectations. I found them at an awkward interval between smooth and gritty, which failed to impress my taste buds. They were also too dry and the gravy obviously wasn't enough to save it.

But what's really memorable for my 5th visit was...

 LA DU REE~

Even though The Garden Slug serves their own cakes and desserts, they're really very nice to allow us to bring our own macarons in, and very thoughtful and sweet to lend us one of their plates and help us do up a macaron-art piece! The staff even collected all our used utensils and wiped the table clean before bringing this to our table.

Yes, that's a lit candle you see on the 'cake' and the word 'Birthday' was blocked by the chocolate macaron.

The staff actually got their chef to draw this up for us, isn't that really wonderful of them?
My apologies if you think that I'm being too easily pleased, but I've experienced restaurant staff who don't even bother helping you getting the birthday cake out of the PLASTIC BAG and just pop the cake in the box, which is in turn, in the bag together with the plastic cutter, candles and all onto the barely cleaned up table and left just like that.
I'll give them a million thumbs-up for their excellent service from this group of very service-oriented staff.

For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Black Paint Singapore Launch @ Alkaff Mansion Ristorante

Earlier this month, I was really honoured to be able to be part of the Singapore Launch of Black Paint held at Alkaff Mansion Ristorante.

Alkaff is a really pretty (and pretty secluded) fine dining restaurant located at 10 Telok Blangah Green. 

Spectacularly pretty at night, with a small lawn (that wasn't in the picture) in front, where the flight of stairs lead to. 

The reception area was done up in a relatively simple and clean matter and decorated with the phototaking area decorated with pretty pink balloons.

 I just have to share this because my nametag was right smack in the middle of this awesome shot their photographer took. :)

Here's the autograph board the invited bloggers signed on. 

We were seated at proper dining tables and served beverages and a couple rounds of yummy appetizer snacks from Alkaff, which looked equally pretty as well.



And some final photos of the event location before we get starting on the main focus: Black Paint SG

Black Paint is founded by Maeda Miyuki-san, and is highly popular in Japan, having a over a 100 stores mainly in departmental stores in Kyoto.
Black Paint is an all natural, organic skincare brand established in Kyoto 15 years ago, with the concept of not killing beneficial bacteria in our body, but nourishing them for them to do their job. This concept is supported by "moisture care", which involves supplying the skin with mineral element rich water, and not disinfecting the skin, focusing on the body's own natural healing force instead. 
Apart from focusing on using natural ingredients with no synthetic preservatives (and also no alcohols, yeah!), the other 2 main focus of Black Paint are Pore Care, and Supporting Skin Microbiota (microscopic organisms living on our skin).

And in order to help us achieve beautiful flawless skin like Maeda-san herself, Black Paint has got a set of wonderful products to get the job done.

 The event started off with a pretty in-depth presentation of Black Paint's skincare concept by Maeda-san herself in Japanese, with an English translator to help with our understanding.
 And with the completion of the insightful introduction, every table was then handed out their product samples to try out as the presentation continued.


For ladies who wear eye make up on a regular basis, our first step will definitely be to remove the make up. Named as Vegetable Oil, this cutie sized tube of 50ml product is actually a cleansing oil for our eyes area. Apart from helping to remove all out our waterproof and 'solid' smudge-proof eye make up, it also contains 11 kinds of organic oils and essential oils, which helps to prevent fine lines around our eye areas caused by dryness of the skin.
A brilliant 2-in-1 product indeed!
As seen on the back of my hand, the product is very liquidy and spreads over the skin effortlessly. This is actually a very crucial aspect of eye make up remover products as it minimises unnecessary tugging on our delicate skin, which may result in premature wrinkles.
Even though it's a cleansing oil, there's actually no need to emulsify it with water before washing them off. Just a few gentle swipe across our eyes and we can speedily move on to the next step!



 And here's their famous facial cleansing Bar Soap, which obviously gives you a few seconds of unglamorous charcoal black face in exchange of thoroughly cleansed, smooth skin.

Do not underestimate what this block of black stuff can do for your skin, for it helps with expelling the pesky blackheads from our pores as we massage our face with our hands.
First, we got to soak it in (preferably) warm water for up to a minute to get it 'soft and slippery' before rolling the entire bar of soap all over our face to give it a good coat of the product. We shall then proceed with a simple facial massage to aid the product in performing its magic with our dirty pores before washing it off with lukewarm water.

A small tip: Being a non-fan of bar soap, I know the idea of working with a palm-sized slippery black bar is rather unappealing. But fret not! We can always chop it up into smaller, workable sizes and keep the remaining big chunk nice and dry in the box until we're done with the small piece. :)

For a more thorough cleansing, we can also use their Black (konjac) Sponge to massage the skin with a tiny bit of black soap (or without) to remove the layer of old keratin and giving us translucent skin.

And of course, after cleansing comes nourishing.


The Best Water is a skin lotion that helps to tighten our pores with moisture. There's absolutely no alcohol or preservatives used in this product, so yay for all those sensitive-skinned ladies! 



We can also make use of these special facial pads together with the best water for some quick fix at localised dry spots on our skin. Just pump out a generous amount of the best water onto the pad and stick it on your skin for a few minutes.
I really love the refreshing feeling of the product on my skin. Felt as if my hand was totally rejuvenated.


 And after tightening our pores, it's time to give it some moisture and oil for nourishment. With that, comes in the Oil Water, which is infused with all the goodness of Rose and Argan Oils. As seen in the screen, it comes with a layer of oil on top of the water so we need to give it a good shake before pumping it out.

And even though it's named Oil Water, it's surprisingly not oily at all. Somehow it has this very watery and subtly gel-like consistency that spreads effortlessly over the skin. The best thing about this product is that it smells like a bouquet of roses! So relaxing and feminine.



And finally, we will end the skincare routine with the Water Cream to give our skin for long continuation of moisture.

 I know it looks really thick and scary (especially for ladies with oily skin like myself, yikes!) but it's really manageable. A small amount of it spreads out really well over the entire surface of the back of my hand and turns into this water-like consistency as I rubbed it in gently.

Even though it's stated to be both a day and night cream, I do believe it does better for a night cream instead of a day cream because time is needed to get this product fully absorbed into the skin. You wouldn't want to pile on foundation onto that layer of sheen, do you? 
Plus, I seriously think that I've taken way too much product for I couldn't seem to 'complete' the massage and get it fully absorbed into my skin. So yup, even though it comes in a really small package of 50g, but a little really goes a long way.

 Lastly, Black Paint is really sweet and generous to also give the bloggers a full sized product of their Ostrich Balm, which has yet to make it to the shelves in Singapore.
As the name goes, this super rich balm is made up of ostrich oil, shea butter and macademia nut oil. It is the best product to combat the worst dryness in your skin to keep them moisturised and hydrated.

 And because my cuticles are pretty dry lately..... :)

I personally feel that this product is simply way too rich to be used on the face. It has the thick consistency of vaseline, just that it absorbs better and is very much less sticky.
Nevertheless, it will be a product I personally turn to, for my chapped lips, dry peeling cuticles, cracked heels, patchy elbows and knees.

Here's a snap shot of the goodie bags Black Paint has prepared for the bloggers. They were really sweet and generous to give each blogger a full set of their retail sized products to try out.

Was informed that the model for Black Paint is Maeda's daughter herself. Look at her flawless skin! 

And finally, a group shot to end the awesome night.

Thank you Black Paint, for having us that night. It was surely enjoyable. :)

Black Paint is available at Isetan, B2 Westgate Mall.
You can get more details on Black Paint at their Facebook, Website or Instagram @blackpaintsg

Till then,
Mia
  • Nuffnang

  • SampleStore

  • foodpanda Curator's Network

  • BloggerBabes

    Blogger Babes are Sophisticated Bloggers Seeking Simple Solutions and Support