Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Meme: The Liebster Award

First up, I do apologise if this is actually not considered an internet meme. However, it really feels very much like so hence the title. I was tagged by my ex-colleague and fellow blogger Airmeli.
Rules are as follow:
  • Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the awarding blogger has posted for you.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) for the award and link them in your post.
  • Let the bloggers you have nominated know that they are nominated.
  • No tag backs!
Let's start with 11 random facts about me, shall we?
  1. This is my 3rd blog, excluding the shift of the "same" blog over from wordpress. My first blog was another account with blogger and I had it after I graduated from secondary school for a few years until I abandoned it in 2009.
  2. Livejournal was my fangirl blog, I spazzes over Akanishi Jin, Yamapi, Hyunjoong & Shinhwa over there.
  3. I'm the youngest child in my family and the only daughter.
  4. I'm 1.71m tall.
  5. I graduated from NTU with a Bachelor of Engineering (CEE).
  6. I was with my first job for 3 years.
  7. I recently switched job. Today marks my first month!
  8. I'm a sucker for cute trinkets. Print Stitch, Mickey Mouse, Chipmunks, Doraemon or Rilakkuma on anything and I'll buy it.
  9. I could (not confident enough to use present tense) speak and write Japanese.
  10. If money wasn't an issue, I'll be working as an animal keeper at Singapore Zoological Gardens.
  11. I'm obssessed about losing weight but never ever start on any action plans.
And for the 11 questions from Airmeli:
1. What is your favourite country and why?
I haven't been to much countries before (only Asia region so far) and so I guess it should be Japan. I've only visited the Kansai region, and I love Kyoto! The culture, the people, the place, everything!
On a side note, I always wanted to visit England. Can't be sure if I'll get myself a new favourite if I ever get to visit England, though.
2. Who is your favourite blogger?
I don't really follow blog. I don't even read xiaxue's blog, or dawn yang, or.... whoever. The blogs I read are from people I really did interact with, so I really can't choose.
So no favourites, sadly.
3. What is the achievement that you have achieved so far?
I've survived NTU and successfully graduated (and got a job immedaitely after) even though I've strong thoughts about giving up during my 2nd yr.
Subsequently, I've survived 3 years with my first job and then successfully job hopped into the company/sector I've always wanted to work for.
4. Cat or a dog?
Both! But it's kitten over dog, and puppy over cat. Ahahaha!
5. Which part of the body are you most satisfied?
None. :(
Oh well, if it's a must to choose... my hair? They're still pretty decent in spite of frequent chemical treatments.
6. Apple or Samsung?
Samsung FTW!
7. What is your favourite 3 apps in your phone right now?
Fun Run, Laurier Period Log, Line
8. What are the 3 things you cannot live without?
Mobile phone, internet (& laptop), friends & family (yeah, they're not 'things', but....)
9. What character from a book, TV show, or movie do you identify with the most?
None, really. I can't think of any.
10. Why did you start blogging?
Graduated from secondary school, and someone from the clique suggested we start blogging to keep each other updated on our everyday lives.
As for MollyMia, I've decided to start it up upon adopting Molly from the shelter.
11. If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be and why?
I wanna be oyhz walk into a prada store and impulse buy another 3k pink tote! *rofl*
Actually, I think I'll wanna be Uee. She's my favourite female celebrity of all times and it'll be awesome to be able to be her for just one day.
And now for my nominees, I'm going to ignore the rule of having less than 200 followers & 11 nominees, yeah? To be honest, I have no idea which blogger has how many followers, and I do not have 11 bloggers' contacts! T.T
3. oyhz
5. Riyon
And because I only tagged 5 bloggers, I shall be smart-alec and only post 5 questions to the nominees:
  1. Why makes you decide to join the bloggers' circle?
  2. Name the current love of your life, and tell us why.
  3. If you're left with 100 dollars, how will you spend it?
  4. Recommend me a blogger to follow.
  5. What's the number 1 item/to do thing on your bucket list?
Haha, don't worry if you don't wish to do this meme because I'm really just tagging for the sake of tagging.
But if you're posting this meme up, do let me know!
Till then,

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Mia's Review: Sarang Korean Bistro

A while ago, finaldust gave us some vouchers at the korean restaurant he worked part time for and recommended us to a couple of good dishes there. Initially we planned to have a small girls' outing but nobody really took the idea with much thought until it was too late (vouchers expiring end of this month, yikes!), and so.... it was left with SL and me. And yup, we went to Sarang Korean Bistro, located at level 7 of Orchard Central.

A badly taken picture of the restaurant. 
The place is quite nice, with two sections to the restaurant, one air-conditioned and one outdoor (as seen in the picture), both generously packed with tables and chairs. It was vastly different from what I read/seen from older online/blog reviews about the place. Turned out Sarang has recently renovated the place and revamped their menu as well that gave me a second surprise, which I shall get to it later on. 
SL and I reached the place at about 6.15pm and we were told by the restaurant usher/greeter that they're fully reserved for the day, and can only squeeze out a table that they will need it back by 7.15pm. We took the offer without a second thought. No matter what, the vouchers must be spent! 
We were then ushered into the restaurant, through a glass door clearly labelled 'manual sliding door' using masking tape and teen-girly scribbles with a blue marker, to the air-conditioned section of the restaurant and then further in to a small table for two at a cramped corner. The next table lies just inches away, the space in between just enough for a grown adult to wedge through. I can only say, Sarang has really fully maximised their restaurant place and yet still cannot fully accomodate their walk-in customers.

Knowing that we only have 1 hour to spare, SL and I were quick to look through the menu and I got a shock. Items are pricey, unlike what I've read on the reviews online. Turned out that when Sarang revamped the menu, they had also "upgraded" their prices with the consideration of the renovated environment.

 My cold Yuja Cha (Citron Tea), $6.80.
Yes, it's just a small mug of it. Pretty much felt like a rip-off. The taste is a little bit more to the bland side, for I've tried much strong yuja cha elsewhere. The only good thing is that it wasn't too sweet. Some places serves yuja cha that are so horribly sweet it leaves a "sweet film" on your teeth after drinking it. 
And for the oatmeal cookie served together with the tea, I really don't understand it. This is the first time I'm served yuja cha with a cookie and frankly speaking the tastes don't compliment each other like how English tea biscuit goes well with black tea or how biscotti goes well with coffee. 
It was definitely a head-scratching moment as I took a sip of the yuja cha after one bite of the biscuit. 

And you can see the pathetic tray of side dishes behind my tea. Yup, that's all that was served. I have no idea if it's refillable, but even if it is, the variety is also pathetically little compared to a more authentic or traditional korean restaurant. Taste wise, nothing fantasic & nothing bad. Mediocre. The kimchi was okay, not too sour and still pretty crunchy. The black beans was rather hard to chew down on (I wonder if they're cooked) and my teeth hurt after a while. The corn was... well, just corn. As I've said, mediocre was the perfect description.

And then now for two more pictures to make me feel that my yuja cha was a total rip-off.
SL's orange juice, $5.80

The amount of preserved yuja I found in my tea. I do remember sucking up a bit more with my straw, but heck! It's still a miserable amount compared to the yuja cha served pretty much everywhere else.

And moving on to our main courses for the evening....
 Army Stew (Bu Dae Jji Gae), $32 + 2 (for ramyun noodles, pathetic 1 serving)

Okonomiyaki-Style Korean Scallion Pancake, can't really remember the exact price of it but I reckon it was about $7-9. Do note that the sauce dish is just a normal sized sauce dish. Yes, I'm once again hinting about the food serving size.

Being a Korean foodie (I LURVE KOREAN FOOD!), I really cannot dislike the taste of the food, especially the army stew. For those who wonders what on earth is army stew, I can only describe in a very layman's term that it's basically kimchi stew (kimchi, pork belly, tofu, rice cake) added on with luncheon meat & sausages. It tastes perfect with the added on ramyun, and will also be awesome with a bowl of steaming white rice. I absolutely loved the luncheon meat, tofu and oyster mushrooms, for these had absorbed a good amount of the stew soup. A bite into them will release the sourish spicy goodness in the mouth, awesome. Same goes for the rice cake, which reminded me a bit of the authentic deokbokgi selling on the streets in Korea (minus the subtle sweetness). The sausages weren't as good, though. It would have been better if they've just used the normal chicken franks, but I guess to justify the price tag of $32 dollars, Sarang used a more expensive alternative of the black pepper chicken sausage, which not only is tougher but the black pepper taste also didn't really go too well with the stew. The tiny pieces of pork belly swimming around in the stew was also overcooked and tough. The radish and ramyun was also not too fantastic as the latter was overcooked (soggy) while the radish was undercooked (tough). It's even more disappointing for the radish as it has the potential to be as heavenly as the oyster mushroom, tofu and luncheon meat. Radish is the perfect vegetable for stew, and they just had to kill it. 

Sorry for saying this, but I got to take off another 2 brownie points for the pathetic amount of ingredients and the price tag. I seem to enjoy as much luncheon meat, sausages & kimchi (maybe even more) when I ate bu dae jji gae at MANNA, located at most Kopitiam foodcourt. On their good days, the soup will be thicker and even more flavourful than what I had at Sarang. The best part of it is that I will only need to pay $7 and will even be given an extra bowl of rice and equal amount of kimchi as my side dish.

The scallion pancake seemed to go quite well with SL, but not for me. I guess I would have enjoyed a kimchi pancake more, but that's really besides the point. 
The pancake was rather thick and chewy (which sadly, makes the ONLY plus point), stuffed FULL of scallions with very little seafood (I only managed to find half a shrimp in the amount I ate, twice. Perhaps SL was luckier.), and topped with a generous amount of katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and mayonnaise. I'm not sure if I'm unlucky or what, but I keep getting pieces choked full with the lower end part of the scallion, which I absolutely hate. The amount of katsuobushi was way too much and overwhelming, killing the whole idea & taste of a korean pancake. I mean, yes I know it's okonomiyaki-style, but it's still a korean pancake I've ordered. To cut my long story short, I've ordered a Korean pancake (or at least I thought so) and was served an Okonomiyaki. It's still tasty, yes. But it just didn't make the cut. 

Doesn't get it? Imagine that you've ordered a korean kimchi ramyun, but what came to your table was Japanese miso ramen. That's the whole idea. It definitely won't be a pleasant feeling, regardless of how tasty the miso ramen is. Because what you wanted to eat was kimchi ramyun. 

Actually there's still the japchae and heotteok, which I really wanted to try, along with a cute mini burger that both SL and I totally got excited about by just seeing it. But I guess I'll have to give it a harder thought about revisiting Sarang without vouchers. My take is that they do serve decent food, but it's really easy to get the same elsewhere, at much lower prices. 

So is the new Sarang a go or no go? Comment below and share your thoughts with me. 

Till then,

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Mia's Review: Poulet - Amazing French Roast Chicken

Yup, apart from going to Bangkok Jam while YS was back in town last two weeks, we also had a small gathering with the rest at Poulet located at Bugis+.
The restaurant was pretty small and hence, rather packed when we reached there at 7pm on a weekday. Nevertheless, we still managed to get a table for 7 (at one 'private' corner to ourselves) without much hassle.

Just a few selection of the menu. (Ron asked if I'm planning to open my own restaurant hence taking pictures of the menu) Prices are really affordable, nothing ridiculously overpriced.
My favourite soup flavour, mushroom soup! It's priced at $6.80 for a relatively large bowl.
The soup is relatively thick and creamy, with a strong fragrance of my favourite mushroom! It tasted like the cook has dumped a good load of mushroom into the blender, topped it up with cream and blended away!
Even though tiny bits of mushroom (the brownish specks) are visible, the soup is smooth and creamy, not lumpy at all. It's neither too runny (which will make me feel rip-off) nor too thick (which makes me sick of it easily), just nice to my liking. The soup is flavourful on its own (no additional salt and pepper required), with a brilliant tinge of mushroom fragrance to it. I'm using fragrance here because let's face it, mushrooms hardly have any taste.
The soup is also topped up with nicely toasted croutons cut in generous sizes, and 7 of them! I love how these croutons are toasted to perfect crispiness, just falling short of the bitter "overtoast".
As the soup is not too runny, it'll take a good while for the soup to thoroughly seep into the croutons, thus it's a plus point for me as I dislike soggy croutons. I ate up all the croutons, coated in the creamy goodness of mushroom yet not soggy from being seeped through, before finishing up the rest of the soup.

 And here's my Poulet Roti, priced at $15 dollars for half chicken. It's a pity they're not flexible enough to give quarters, because I couldn't finish half a chicken!
The chicken comes originally with creamy mushroom sauce, and they recently have a new addition of cranberry sauce. Being a mushroom fanatic, I didn't need to think twice to go for the mushroom sauce (which I regretted).
As you can see from the picture, the creamy mushroom sauce is obviously very creamy, albeit falling short of being mushroomy. It reminded me very much of a white cream sauce for pasta, and topped up with just one pathetic piece of mushroom (that was hidden by the chicken), which added absoutely no mushroom taste to the sauce. So why name it the creamy mushroom sauce?
The sauce was way too creamy for my liking, didn't like it one bit. In fact, it made me sick with the overpowering creaminess that very much covered up the fragrant sweetness of the roast chicken. I ended up painstakingly slicing the chicken in a manner that will allow the minimal amount of sauce getting onto it. I wasn't the only one at the table that hated the sauce, but I got to be fair and admit that there are others who literally wiped their plates clean. So I guess it's a definite hit or miss, you either love it or hate it.
For me, sauces are supposed to enhance, not to overpower or worse, contradicts the taste of the actual main. In my humble opinion, this sauce has tipped over the line of "contradicting" the taste of the roast chicken. I hated the combination of it at the very first bite. There's just this face-scrunching moment that I couldn't really put the experience of the taste into words. You really got to try it to know how much you love it or hate it.
Note: Sa later on told me on IG that their cranberry sauce is much better. So for my readers who already dislike creamy sauces, you might want to go for the cranberry instead.

Now on to the roast chicken. I love it! The chicken was well marinated and roasted to just how I like it. The meat is flavourful yet tender and not "overly-juicy".
I know many love those extremely juicy meat but not me, I call them slimy.
I could easily poke my fork into the meat, give it a quick slice with my knife and pull the entire chunk of meat out from the body of the chicken. Being well roasted, the chicken skin is also not oily, slightly crispy (when I say crispy here, it's the roast chicken kind of crispy, please don't expect KFC style crispy skin) and infused with the "roasted fragrance". Hence, it was a rare sight of me gobbling up the skin and all. In more common cases, I'll remove the skin and push them to the side of the plate. Not a health freak, just not a big fan of skins.

So for those girls out on a date, there's no fear of showing your date the less than demure sight of you battling with a half roasted chicken, trying to tear chunks of meat of the body and then ending up with the most unslightly sheen of oil on your lips. *rofl*

To conclude, I'll definitely revisit Poulet to try out their cranberry sauce before I decide if this Amazing French Roast Chicken is a go or no go.
For those who have tried, please tell me how was it.

Till then,

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Review from Mia: Bangkok Jam @ Marina Square

Actually, review on Poulet at Bugis+ should come before this. But I've decided to do Bangkok Jam first because this is actually my second time dining at Bangkok Jam, albeit at a different branch. I apologise beforehand for the lack of pictures for this post because I didn't intend to do a review on it, since I've already been there once (PS new wing) and the experience was, well....mediocre. Mediocre service (even at a less packed dining time of 5pm and most of their crew was idle), mediocre food (had their Pad Thai & special item Earl Grey Milk Shake then) Nothing good, nothing bad.
Not blog-worthy.
But this time round at Marina Square, the level of service & food seemed to make a turn for the worse. Was actually reluctant to dine at Bangkok Jam, but since YS kept suggesting we go there as they have a shorter queue compared to Hi Fu Mi and the others (with the exception of this sorry looking cafe called Addictions, which was empty) and I sensed that she was eager to try it, I agreed.
There were two couples in front of us in the queue, and from the outside I can easily notice that the restaurant is horribly understaff. There're dirty tables left uncleaned, along with a few empty tables staring invitely at us to just walk straight in and take our own seat as those particular few servers just threw us a blank stare as they zoomed by to tend to other seated customers. Finally, one staff dressed in white oversized chef coat came out to ursher us to our respective tables. Or perhaps, their resturant manager dress up like a chef unlike other servers in black? I doubt so.
Anyway, YS and I ordered similar dishes. Seafood in Red Tom Yum for her (plus an additional sunny-side-up), Clear Tom Yum for me, and we both ordered iced Thai Milk Tea. Our orders took roughly 20 minutes to arrive, yes for a soup dish it is friggin long waiting time. Never mind, see how our (or rather my) food was served.

Let's not even complain about the tiny bowl of soup (with exactly 2 small pieces of fish, 2 squids, 2 shrimps ONLY) selling at $7.90 (a total ripoff, yes!). My main focus was, where are my utensils and serviettes?! How do you expect me to eat? Soup with that black mini ladle and rice, with my hands?
Now, obviously not very happy, I reminded the waitress about the missing utensils, and also our missing drinks (which restaurants serves drinks later than cooked food, and mind you ours took 20 minutes to come!) YS also took the chance to remind her that her red tom yum has yet to be served, to which the waitress interrupted curtly, "I can speak Chinese."
YS and I exchanged glances of bewilderment before she turned back to the waitress and told her again in English, that her red tom yum wasn't served.

Seriously, what has your customer's language abilities got to do with the orders not served?
And yes, we do speak Mandarin too, but sorry to say YS doesn't speak it well.

After a few minutes, YS's red tom yum was finally served and our utensils handed over by the same waitress, just as YS pulled out a strand of long hair from her bowl of rice, to both of our horror. The waitress immediately apologised and snatched up the bowl of rice, saying she'll change it for us. She returned shortly after with a bowl of rice that seemed to be 'disrupted' instead of how it looked like in a pretty dome shape. I really hoped that they didn't just pul the hair out and re-served it to YS.

And yes, with our food served, we finally started eating our dinner. The first sip of my clear tom yum brought a frown to my face. It wasn't spicy at all. NOT ONE BIT. Previously when I visited the PS branch with Ade and Boon, Ade had red tom yum and she liked it because it's spicy. I remembered Boon commenting that the clear tom yum will be even spicer, for that's how it's supposed to be, because clear tom yum is cooked with chopped chilli padi. Then, I asked to try YS's red tom yum to compare. Hers was much more spicier than mine.

Clear Tom Yum is spicier then Red Tom Yum. Really?

Oh, nevermind! Being really hungry, we just gobbled down our food quickly. I shan't give much comment on the food because it really isn't fantastic. The ridiculously small serving aside, the fish definitely wasn't fresh as I can taste the fishiness even when it's cooked in Tom Yum soup. The squid was overcooked, hence tough and rubbery. Shrimp was too, but at least not as horrible as the squid. And when we're both halfway into our meal, YS exclaimed, "Where's our milk teas?"

Ahh, yes! Our milk teas weren't served. So once again, we desperately raised/waved our hands at the pathetic few servers, only to have the chef coming to tend to us again. It took a couple more minutes after he has left our table before he returned with our milk teas.

Which really isn't fantastic. It's just a tinge sweeter with a slightly stronger tea fragrance as compared to any other milk teas.

And back to my clear tom yum, I finally realised the reason why it wasn't spicy at all when I polished it off (not because it tasted heavenly please, because it's really a tiny bowl!)

There's only a pathetic 1/3 piece of a chilli padi inside the entire bowl of soup. How to make it spicy?!

I remembered when I told Sa I enjoyed dining at Porn's (Pornsak's Thai restaurant), she scoffed that I have no taste for Thai food.
I don't blame her for being overly critical. She hasn't tried Bangkok Jam.

Till then,

Monday, 8 July 2013

MollyMia's Update: Random snippets

I've been wanting to share on these two sites for a while, but didn't get the chance to do it. Bascially I'll categorise them as places to go to when you need to kill time or have a few minutes to spare, and at the same time, earn a cup of starbucks coffee in a week or two. :)
First up it shall be iPanel SG. Basically it's a online survey website, which pays you for every survey that you do. Daily logins and posting of 1 opinion per day is also credited for cash.
High chances of fraud? Nope, because here's the proof.

In about 2 weeks time, I managed to check out 10 dollars from my daily logins & opinions, completing NONE of the surveys (yes, you didn't read it wrong, till date I've still completed ZERO surveys because I qualify or none or those I qualify for are quota full... and yet I still get my payment!), and persuading my friends to join in. And as I'm drafting out this blog post, I've managed to clock up another 12 bucks for checkout to my paypal account.
And yes, do note that payment can only be made via paypal. So do remember to get one before you check out iPanel SG HERE!

Next up, is a paid forum called Discuss SG, yes you got it. a PAID forum. Credits are award for every actions (such as starting of thread, starting of poll, posting etc) taken on the forum and such credits can then be either exchanged for cash or vouchers (such as robinsons, sushi tei, capitaland, swensens, imax, gv etc)!

Once again, fraud? Nope, here's the proof of my payment, a $50 cheque from Discuss SG!

So what are you waiting for, check out Discuss SG HERE now!
ps. and if you don't mind, do credit MollyMia as referrer too!

Next up, updates on Molly. Molly has been shedding rather excessively these days. I reckon it's her heavy shed this time round. It's so bad furballs are flying everywhere, and she has developed this huge balding patch on her back.

See the huge balding patch right across her entire back? T.T
and yes, she was grooming herself and happily cleaning her ears when she realised I was videoing her and quickly switched back to wary mode.

and needless to say, the only time when Molly doesn't mind being caught on camera is...
when there is food!

Till then,

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Mia's Nail OOTD: Minion Nail Art!

and so just recently ZD tagged me on facebook on cutepolish's Minion Nailart, asking me to tag him back if I ever wanna recreate it. And I did!
I didn't had the blue for minion's overalls, so I actually went out to buy a blue polish the very next day and recreate the nail art! :)

Cui-ed the blue tip because the nail tip was too rounded. I work better with squared tip.

And of course, a close up shot of MINION!
products used:
PA nail colour in A20
Etude House nail colours in YL802, WH706, WH702
Silky Girl in IN81 Silverado
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