Category Archives: Food
the Albert Cuypmarkt
There are a few things that I always like to tick off my checklist when travelling.
- Visit a local supermarket
- Visit a flea market / festival of some sorts
- Try lots of different food!
I think that visiting the local supermarket and an open market are really the best ways to soak into a foreign land’s atmosphere. You get to see what locals buy, what locals consume and try out their local specialities!
The Albert Cuypmarkt is, in my opinion, a must-see! It’s the largest, busiest market in Amsterdam and stores there sell everything you can think of! From apparels to their famous Gouda Cheese and local favourites like raw herring (which the bf and I refused to eat because the fishy smell alone repulsed us…); but of course when it came to more delectable, appetizing items like roasted chicken drumlets (OMG DROOOLZZ), Stroopwaffles (the large round thing with a soft gooey caramel center) and poffertjes (tiny pancakes generously dusted with icing sugar). We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves that afternoon and it was truly an eye opening experience! Plus we were entertained by some buskers too, who played pretty nice music :)
Seasonal fruits in particular, are really cheap. However, they often come in little baskets that have no means of closure. It was rather heart breaking when I saw all these adorable small little strawberries but couldn’t think of a way to lug them around because we didn’t have anything to put them in. Note to self, bring a plastic bag to the market next time. hahaha.
The Albert Cuypmarkt is
Located: Albert Cuypstraat/Ferdinand Bolstraat, 1072 LL
Tram: Albert Cuypstraat: tram 16, 20, 24 & 25
Open: Monday – Saturday 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
The people in Amsterdam don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates. Much of their food is mostly white meat (i.e. fish or various birds), but frites (fries) are a huge part of their eating culture. Everywhere, you see stalls that have made MOUNTAINS of frites, all ready for serving. The bf and I were pretty stunned. However, given the ubiquitousness of these frites stalls, we eventually decided to give it a try. Imagine our shock when we ordered the smallest size and got such a huge serving.
I noted that the potato was more powdery and soft, compared to fries in Singapore. Perhaps it’s a different type of potato? One can pick from a variety of sauces – the most popular one is a yellow sauce known as frites sauce. It’s pretty good. Pictured above is chilli sauce because we missed it.
Hot chocolate is THE BEST DRINK for winter. ’nuff said.
Besides the Albert Cuypmarket, we also visited the Floating Flower Market (bottom left). Unfortunately, as it was winter, there were no tulips in bloom. We did however, see loads and loads of tulip bulbs for sale. but oh well, we live in a tropical country and the climate would kill the bulb before it took root. So not much for us to see there. One of the main reasons why the flower market is famous is because the whole thing floats on water. I had in mind the idea that I would be hopping from boat to boat to view their wares but the market was actually very well anchored to the street next to it and each store was on top of a barge. In fact, it was so steady that I didn’t feel any difference from being on land at all. I would love to visit it in Spring though, just to see the flowers!
Bloemenmarkt – Flower Market
The only floating flower market in the world
Speciality: Flowers, seeds, bulbs and rare flowers such as black tulips Located: Singel, 1071 AZ
Tram: Muntplein: tram 4, 9, 14, 16, 24 & 25
Open: Monday – Saturday 9.30 am – 5.00 pm
We also visited a supermarket and my jaw dropped when I saw this humungous pizza. Look at the size in contrast to my hand! The bf and I were standing there wondering how people carted such a huge thing home when we realised that oh, they would cut it up and sell it in standard rectangular-sized pieces. There are quite a few supermarkets in Amsterdam, but the one we visited the most was Albert Heijn, for its reasonable prices and wide variety of goods. Water (1.5 or 2 L) was about 34cents!
Next up… the museums we visited in Amsterdam.
It’s the Christmas season, my favourite time of the year – & today my office had a really early Christmas celebration (whilst everyone is around and not on leave… as people tend to be in December)! We played a few games and had a very fun/stressful time gift wrapping hampers for each other while the timekeepers yelled at us & here’s what my team came up with :)
With the joy of construction paper, wrapping plastic, double sided and scissors, we entitled our creation
“Make a Wish this Christmas”
It came with some obligatory bullshit of course, haha! The wand with the star symbolises the magic of Christmas, the mistletoe is to hang over your significant other to get a kiss, & the stars pasted all over will make all your wishes come true :)
Yay! We won best team for presentation wise, but because we weren’t violently grabbing the goodies to stuff in our hamper, we kinda lost out on Overall Best Hamper. haha.
the BF & his sis also had their own Christmas gift exchange, & she got a Krups Coffee Machine! Retailing at $199 SGD at most stores (we bought this one from NTUC Fairprice), this tiny baby might not be one of those fancy gourmet coffee machines that uses those tiny little cups of coffee, but it certainly did the job. Plus, it’s not that expensive to maintain. at $10.90 a box for a refill of the Nescafe coffees, it works out to approximately $1+ per drink, which is way cheaper than Starbucks. I tried out the Ice Cappuccino and thought it was pretty good! very frothy, but a tad too milky for the BF’s taste.
And as is tradition, we accompanied the celebrations with a huge feast at her place. She always prepares too much! I ate more than enough for 1 day’s worth, because I spent the next day waddling around HAHHA.
& my gift to the bf was a RAZER mouse – the Death Adder! I don’t know what it does but it has a laser something which will help him perform better at gaming ( & he just purchased Modern Warfare 3 anyways so yeah!)
surprisingly, on his recent trip to KL, he noted that it was actually cheaper there by a few bucks! I always thought most electronics would be cheaper here in sg, but seems like I was wrong..
Enjoy the Christmas Season everyone! May your days be filled with joy, good health and self-fulfilment! :)
i think this is insanely adorable!
all pictures taken & edited with the iPhone 4S
mostly, with the smart-journal app Path
I’m probably torturing myself looking through tumblr blogs on yummy food just before lunch but seriously, some of these are just drool-worthy. I have a sweet tooth so most of my cravings are for anything chocolatey, creamy (fresh cream is THE best), cake-ish in texture and occasionally, pastries like apple strudel and the like. This one is in honour of Ruth and her nutella obsession…
I saw this and had some serious craving for cinnamon rolls… thank you very much How Sweet It Is. Anyone know where I can find good cinnamon rolls in Singapore aside from Macdonalds (which doesn’t quite hit the spot)?
And it’s only just this year that I tried red velvet cake and I really love it. The cream cheese gets me everytime and Sprinkle Bakes decorated it so nicely! Doesn’t the red stand out against the white and black?
And if a whole slice of cake is alittle bit much, then perhaps this little bite-size biscuit will do. Helps that it is so cutely decorated to look like the Instagram icon. Kudos bakerella.
And if you are a baking noob like me, then 17 and baking is a wonderful blog that has relatively simple recipes but it is sure to guarantee maximum satisfaction like this pretzel peanut butter combination. Genius!
And speaking of fusion foods, I’ve seen an oreo and a choc chip cookie, but never one that combines both together. Bizarre? Abit of an overkill? Perhaps but wouldn’t you love to sink your teeth in one just to try?
Ahhh the temptation…
One of the few things that I am thankful for at work is my fruit juice stall. Given the fickle weather of late (sunny and hot one moment, rainy and gloomy the next), we are all susceptible to the flu bug. I for one have been feeling under the weather recently and I feel like my voice is slowly fading away and this cannot be a good thing considering that I have lessons non-stop throughout the week. So I’ve been counteracting the lethargy and the flu-ey symptoms by taking lots of lots of vitamin C and chugging down lots of fruit juices.
What’s really special about my school’s fruit juice stall is the variety of names given to each concoction. There’s a strawberry and soursop duo that is called 9th of August, after National Day, a pretty pink drink that is made out of 8 different fruit blends called The Dancer and of course, my current favourite, a happy orange drink called 96 that has a unique blend of papaya, mango and pineapple. But of course, I do drink some other ‘regular’ juices and juice blends. Here is a quick rundown of some popular juices that you could try.
This is one of the more familiar juice concoctions around. ABC stands for Apple, Beetroot and Carrot and when blended together, this juice takes on a gorgeous red tinge thanks to the beetroot. I’ve tried this once and it’s an acquired taste I would say. I’m not quite used to the rawness of the carrot but thankfully the apple lends a nice sweetness to it so I would say it’s still drinkable.
What’s really awesome about the ABC juice is how much vitamins and minerals it packs in! Carrots are good for your eyes and it contains calcium and magnesium that helps maintain your intestinal walls, strengthens bones and teeth and it cleanses your liver. Beetroots are great for cleansing your blood and kidneys and apples can help prevent the formation of kidney stones, it lowers cholesterol and aids in digestion.
Another popular drink is the Virgin Mary, the non-alcoholic sister of the Bloody Mary. It’s basically a combination of tomato juice, lemon juice, peppers, tabasco and includes a celery stalk. It’s not exactly practical to order this at your local fruit juice stall so I suggest that you order a blend of tomato, lemon and celery juice instead.
I actually quite like tomato juice, it’s something that I always order on the plane and I find that it really helps to detox the body and the lycopene content is an anti-oxidant helps to fight cancer. While I don’t particularly fancy the raw taste of celery, it is actually really effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and lowering cholesterol levels. Lastly, lemon has high levels of vitamin C that helps support a healthy immune system and it can help prevent diabetes.
Vit C Boost
Lemon, lime, star fruit and orange juice is one of my favourite combinations to have when I feel like I’m losing my voice. This is a power-pack Vit C drink courtesy of the lemon, lime and orange juice but as a result, it might actually taste too sour. So what I do sometimes is to cheat a little by adding some honey or I will replace the lime or lemon juice with apple which is alittle sweeter.
This is probably the best option for someone who isn’t too comfortable with blending vegetables together and chugging it down because there is none of that raw vegetable taste. Though I must say that the combination of so many citrus fruits could create a raw sensation on your tongue due to the acidity (that sensation is kinda like eating a pineapple if you get what I mean). I think we are pretty much familiar with the health benefits of lemons, limes and oranges so I’m just going to talk about the star fruit. Apparently, star fruit is a really good cure for hangovers and prickly heat (dunno what that’s about though!) and it’s also used to aid in digestion and to quell nausea. Some have even used it to treat sore eyes (though I don’t recommend that you try this out at home)!
What other juice concoctions would you recommend? Let us know!
with my hectic work schedule, it’s a wonder that I ever get to eat regular meals, particularly since my average work day ends at 8+/9pm. I’ve pretty much been on a heavy-breakfast, medium-lunch, light-dinner type of diet, so it hasn’t affected me greatly, but that hasn’t stopped me from fantasizing about bringing a cute lunchboxes to work! :D Of course, I say this all without thinking about making the extra effort to wake up early to cook & pack food, but hey! It could be the best way to ensure that I don’t oversleep AND I save money (since I spend less buying outside food) AND I can “force” myself to eat healthy! haha. oh plus it could really amp up my cooking skills. *hmmm* now this option seems more & more attractive..
I’m not into cartoon characters etc, but I have to admit that this domo-kun is pretty darn cute XP In case you’re curious, domo-kun (hello boy), is the official mascot of Japan’s NHK TV station. i wonder why Mediacorp Channel 5 doesn’t have a similarly cute mascot! haha. That said, the Japanese are the best at coming up with weird (but cute) things.
Simple & elegant design. very work appropriate. Adults wouldn’t look foolish bringing this to work – & I have to admit, the design of this seems to inspire images of salad and other healthy foods. I somehow can’t picture putting a fat juicy sausage in it. eeks. I’m unsure about this, but for $24 USD, it’s not too bad. Check it out at the Omoi Zakka Shop
I used to have something like this as a kid!! I loved WONDER WOMAN, she was soo much better than HE MAN or the THUNDERCATS. but of course, Ninja Turtles ruled all. hahaha. Unfortunately, whilst tin boxes are very cute and vintage, they really wouldn’t be suitable or convenient for the workplace at all.
Honestly though, I’m not really hunting for design or specific colours/characters per se, I’m inclined towards the practical! (*sigh* a sign of growing old.. practicality over impulse..) I wouldn’t mind a plain container, with shiftable compartments so that I can partition my food. I’m quite particular about my food touching each other, unless I have no choice. Perhaps I shall take a look at the little boxes in Daiso, they seem like quite a good option!
Oh but seriously i would die from self satisfaction and pleasure with a cute lunchbox like this!
Another concept I really like though, is the bowl concept – or as the Japanese prefer to present it, the pokeball concept.
Looks really cute to carry around! Especially if there’s no space in my workbag :)
So yep I’ll be hunting around for the perfect lunchbox. What kind of lunchboxes do you prefer? The cute type? the practical type?
Last Sunday, Mark and I decided to wake up earlier than usual to go for an early morning brunch and our place of choice was Riders Cafe. I’ve heard alot about this place but haven’t gotten around to trying the food so I was mad excited! Riders is tucked away along 51 Fairways Drive where the Bukit Timah Saddle Club is located. So behold the lovely scenery…
I totally need to take my wedding photographs here! You don’t even feel like you’re in Singapore! It’s like we’re in some pastoral part of Australia/New Zealand or something. And check out the horses…
It’s like I’m in Desaru all over again! It was such a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yes, I definitely felt relaxed. Brownie points for ambience for sure!
We had to wait awhile to get a seat. I called beforehand but apparently they only take reservations 2 days in advance so keep that in mind if you want to make a booking. When we got there, thankfully we were first in the queue so not much of a wait. Maybe 10-15mins?
This here is my sleepy, just woke up face. And I did just wake up in time for the food…
Poached eggs, smoked salmon, avocado, asparagus, cheese, rocket and sourdough bread. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? I thought everything tasted great until I bit into that sourdough. Man, they weren’t lying. It was sour alright. I can’t say I like it very much and so I proceeded to finish off everything except the bread. I admit, I’m an English Muffin kinda girl.
Mark had “The Usual” and that was sourdough bread, bacon, mushrooms, poached eggs, rocket and tomato. He didn’t think it was totally rave worthy and that’s mainly because he prefers crispy bacon to well, the smoked floppy kind. And the berry, banana, yogurt and honey smoothie we ordered was a little bit of a let down. It wasn’t cold enough. It was actually room temperature so yeah… not too appetizing.
All in all, I thought that Riders was a little over-rated. Love the scenery and the ambience but food-wise? I prefer Hatched. They just have a more comprehensive egg menu and I love eggs. Price-wise, it’s cheaper too! Service, well there’s not much to say considering refilling of your glass is self-service though they were prompt in settling the bill.
Perhaps next time when I do head to Riders, I’ll try the pancakes. The lady sitting at the next table ordered some and they look absolutely delicious!
Mark loves steak. Okay, even that is an understatement. He loves steak so much that he eats it at least twice a week. So it’s no surprise that we are constantly on the lookout for good eats in the red meat department. I have thus taken the liberty to take note of the places that we’ve tried so far. Please help us add to the list if you know of any great steak places!
This is one of our most favourite places not just for steak, but for all things Italian. Tucked away in Tanjong Katong, this little gem serves authentic Italian food. Anything from pastas, pizzas to tiramisu and pumpkin pie. There’s nothing there that I’ve tried that I didn’t like. The steak is juicy and it comes with a really yummy mushroom sauce for $44. USDA prime ribeye mind you. Don’t play play.
2. Outback Steakhouse
Oh yes, this australian franchise serves awesome sides. Buffalo wings, bloomin’ onion, fried shrooms… it’s all good. Especially that special ranch sauce. WOW. I usually have burgers there but I just tried the steak recently and it was good! Nice bits of fat. Marbled beautifully. Australian ribeye cooked to perfection (it’s one of the rare places that gets medium rare right)… Good cut of 300g meat for $45 inclusive GST. What’s not to like?
If you are into the whole fine dining kind of mood, then Tao’s is great. You can have your choice of everything from appetizers to desserts and drinks for something like $32 which is a pretty good deal. Where main courses go, I usually order the steak or the lamb. The portion is rather generous and usually the steak is juicy and not at all difficult to chew/cut. But once again, the highlight is the sauce. It’s a thick creamy mushroom sauce. Can you imagine your bite-size pieces of steak slathered in it? *drools*
4. Black Angus Steakhouse
Did a review on this fairly recently when Mark brought me there for my birthday. Decent food, huge portions and it’s at a rather standard price. You can read my full review here.
5. Les Bouchon
If you are looking for a more romantic atmosphere, then you’ve found the place. Located at Ann Siang Hill, this small little restaurant has a lovely rustic ambience. Be sure to book a reservation early though because it’s quite popular and the place can’t really accommodate so many patrons. The magic is really in the french fries. It’s crisp and slightly salted (I don’t like my fries too salty) and the fresh garden salad goes so well with the steak which is beyond awesome. It was a huge slab and I finished it all. Quite a feat for me. Price is good too! About $70 for 2 people.
If I’m ever around Katong area or Suntec City, then Astons is my de facto makan place. It serves good quality food for such an affordable price. $16.90 for a ribeye. It’s hard to beat that. I always have mine with baked potato (loveeeeee the melted butter) and onion rings.
7. Botak Jones
Mark’s favourite chill out joint. I first fell in love with this place because of the Caesar Salad and Cajun Chicken. But then they started serving steaks and well, we’ve never looked back since. I have to say though that ambience ain’t that great and I can’t quite reconcile the fact that we’re paying $30+ for a steak at a hawker centre setting. But hey, if we’re just looking at the food, then yes. The food is da bomb. Word of caution though: standards do change at different branches. My favourite is the Simpang Bedok Branch which also happens to be halal so it’s a great place to hang out with Muslim friends. Bonus marks for that.
8. Jack’s Place
I loveeee the set meals at Jack’s Place. So so affordable it’s almost mad. You get a coffee/tea, soup and dessert with your main course for under $20. How do they even make money?! So for the price that you are paying, I think it’s fabulous. The steak’s probably not fantastic all the time, but I love how it’s served on a hot plate with that baked potato smothered in sour cream, onions and bacon bits.
9. Lucas @ Klapsons
This is one of the latest places that we’ve tried. It was a recommendation from Mark’s uncle and it was so-so only. $32 for a premium rib-eye but it tasted rather tough and slow cooked? Kinda like Hogs Breath? And somehow I don’t quite fancy my steak prepared in that way so yeah… probably not going back again. Ambience is great though and the toilet there is AMAZING. It had Molton Brown hand soaps and moisturizers! So atas! So yes, definitely a place that is known for the ambience rather than the food imo.
There you have it, all my steak eats the past year. Is there a place that I’ve missed out that I should really try? Do share!
It’s the end of a long work week. The marking has been crazy. The wedding preparation even more so. But hey, this is real life happening right here so no more shirking responsibility. It’s time to be a (wo)man. I think things are beginning to feel all the more surreal cos Mark and I went to the bank to open a joint account. So that was a HUGE step for us both. To have a shared pool of money. To see our savings grow. Together. For the distant future. Suddenly everything feels so serious and adult. It scares me sometimes. Like today, we were talking about names for our children. And we haven’t even made it to the altar yet! (We decided on Kate and Caite btw. Couldn’t decide on a boy’s name cos he hates Caleb, Colin, Connor and Lucas. *ultra sad face*)
Scariness aside, I decided to seek solace in some good ol’ company and food. With the long weekend looming, my colleagues and I decided to head down to Bedok 85 to have a major makan outing. It was only later that I found out that it was a celebration for all June babies… that’s me! So it was a pleasant surprise especially after such a tiring week.
Pork porridge (awesome recommendation from my colleague Ivan but too bad they don’t have liver and kidney, just pork meat) and of course the famous bak chor mee! Sorry I haven’t got any pictures of those two dishes cos they were consumed too quickly. I love the soup base for the bak chor mee and how springy and chewy the mee is. It’s absolutely heavenly!
I think Bedok 85 is an awesome place to eat. The food is good, cheaper than Chomp Chomp and Newton, and there’s so much variety! Only drawback is that it is super duper smokey and you’ll smell of barbecue afterwards for sure. That and the heat. The boys were sweating so much even though they downed several cups of sugarcane. So perhaps it’s not as cooling and breezy as Newton. But as far as hawker food goes, I am satiated. No more cravings yay!
haha by now I think there’s an overwhelming amount of wedding stuff on our blog, but hey! At this point of time, Caroline & I are looking for inspiration everywhere for her perfect wedding. As she’s pretty keen on a customized wedding cake, I’d thought I’d look for cake inspirations this tumblr tuesday :)
Carol’s wedding dinner has a maroon theme, courtesy of Shangri-La. However, her day theme is lilac/purple, white & pink, so I’m thinking of something inbetween those themes, to suit the mood and her wedding. Plus, she LOVES roses, so those would be a beautiful accent to her wedding cake :) Then again, flowers always look pretty on cakes!
I love the design of this cake, classic yet modern!
Colour schemes aside, I think she’ll also love textured cakes – with patterns, lace inlays etc.
:D Next weekend we’ll be trooping down for a visit to a few bakeries to check out their baked goodies & hopefully *crosses fingers* settle on a design & a baker waay in advance! :) Recommend us a few local cake shops if you know any!
Last weekend, my bf’s jc classmates & I decided to hop down over to KL for some shopping & food. As one who doesn’t frequent Malaysia all that munch, I was pretty impressed by the food. omg the Klang Bak Kut Teh is seriously TO DIE FOR. If anyone knows where I can get similar tasting Bak Kut Teh in Singapore, do tell me ok! :D
Klang is about half an hour’s drive from KL city, but with my boyfriend’s trusty GPS, it was pretty easy to navigate there. Though the two Bak Kut Teh were pretty much packed to the brim, the rest of the town seemed completely empty and abandoned. All the other shops were closed and I’ll admit that I felt a sense of uneasiness as we came to this abandoned place. So don’t expect any shopping here, just really good food that was gobbled up too quickly for me to take a snapshot. haha.
The shop was very generous with their servings of youtiao.. and the rice was insanely yummy! Something like chicken rice, but different (oh I suck at food descriptions..). As it was quite a “traditional” shop, one had to go through the routine of washing the cups in boiling water, before making the tea. I’ve never drunk tea with Bak Kut Teh back in Singapore, it doesn’t seem to be the practice here. The tea wasn’t much to scream about, they gave us prepacked sachets of tea leaf bits.
Another food place we visited in KL was the famous Robson Heights Seafood – known for its cheap, good and chinese-style seafood dishes.
Their star attraction was apparently this crab claypot rice, which was quite interesting but sad to say, we’ve had better claypot rice in Singapore. I suppose the heated rice dries up the crab meat too much, or maybe our tastebuds weren’t suited to the taste.
As you can see, (on the left) the crab was cooked in quite an interesting way not seen in Singapore restaurants. Unlike our lavish chilli, black/white pepper and butter sauces, this crab was cooked simply in soya sauce and left in the claypot. An interesting taste I’d say, but again, I very much prefer to eat my crab Singapore style :D
However, what the crab lacked in oomph was more than made up for with this glorious chicken dish. Somehow peanuts worked really well with this soya sauce + garlic chicken. *yums* We also ordered a few other things but again, they got gobbled up in no time. Overall, it was a pretty good meal but don’t order the fish at Robson Heights. It’s insanely expensive, even compared to Singapore prices.
& last but not least, how could we miss out on Madam Kwan’s famous Nasi Lemak? Done in a way that’s distinctly different from Singapore-style Nasi Lemak, this nasi lemak includes dishes like rendang, curry chicken and even sambal kangkong. Unfortunately, these dishes were only available in sets and we could not pick and choose what we wanted, like Nasi Padang. Madam Kwan herself was at the restaurant greeting customers, and there were many who asked to take a snapshot with her. Once again, everything was gobbled up and I forgot to take pictures. I completely suck as a food photographer hahahaha.
I have to say I didn’t shop much in KL, prices weren’t that much different and clothes weren’t really my style. The only place that’s really worth going to would be Aldo! The prices look like those in Singapore, but the value is in Ringgit :D
so tada! here’s my very pretty aldo wallet that will replace my (dirty) fossil one :) it cost me $15 SGD! I’m unsure how much it costs in Singapore coz I’m not really the type who’s obsessed with gloating over shopping savings HAHAH. Aside from this, I only bought a pair of flats from Malaysian brand Vincci that has now disappeared from Singapore. The rest of the time we spent there was pretty much spent eating & being massaged. All in all, a great weekend trip to rejuvenate & grow sideways! :)