Saturday, August 29, 2015

To Market, To Market, No More

"Ah Boon ah ki lai liao!" (Ah Boon wake up already). This was what I dreaded to hear in the mornings during my secondary school holidays. Because that would mean it's time for me to wash up, get ready and walk to the wet market a few blocks away. You see, my dad is a butcher (a pretty lean and muscular one too) at Telok Blangah Rise wet market. My three older brothers helped out at his stall as well, with two of them ended up choosing butchering career too. I do not particularly love helping out at the stall then. I mean which kid wouldn't want to enjoy school holidays sleeping in late and playing throughout the rest of the day?

That's my dad, the butcher in his simple and basic rented stall at Telok Blangah Rise wet market.
So what can exactly can 13 year old boy do? Not exactly a lot, but it was enough to relieve his older of the more mundane tasks, so much so that they can't wait to impart to me the basic butchering skills such as de-boning the thighs, extracting the pig brain, removing and cubing the fats from the skin and washing of the innards. I needed to operate the meat mincer too. Oh, since we are at the meat mincer part, do you know that there will always meat stuck in the machine from the previous customers' purchase and those health conscious aunties who demanded the leanest cut to be minced, will always get some fats mixed into their minced meat, no matter what.

He was one of the 5 butchers in the market then, and each had his own clientele. It's hard to imagine that such a small neighbourhood can support that many butchers.
Depending on how many pigs were ordered for the day, I would be hacking their jawbones into two with an axe, and then cutting into the cheek, twisting and pulling out one half of the jawbone followed by the other half. I then had to remove the entire face by hacking away at the skull with the axe. And finally when everything is completely removed from the skull, I can then split the snout into two with the cleaver, and open it up to extract the delicate brain whole, much like opening a durian. And how much is the brain worth? Exactly 50cents. It felt kind of yucky initially but I slowly got used to it anyway. 

This was his delivery vehicle and hitching a ride to school in it was awesome!
Slicing the thick layer of fat from the skin wasn't really fun, nor easy too. Can you imagine how slimy and slippery that was? I would have to make a cut in the skin so that my glove can hold onto it before working on slicing off the thick layer of fat from the skin. But that's not all, I would then have to cube the fats before they are being supplied to the hawkers. My gloves would be all gluey with the fats after that! But that was also the yummy stuff that adds that all-important flavor to the many hawker food we eat. Think oyster omelette, fried kuay teow, bak chor mee and many more! I played a part in the local food culture okay??? Albeit a very tiny part.

I wished I could dig out more photos but these was all that's left and I wondered who took this cool photo!
All the uncles and aunties in the market know me as Ah Boon, or the butcher's son. I may have resented the need to help out at the stall then but now when I look back, growing up in the market was indeed fun. It was also where I learnt things beyond the classroom, such as customer service and the importance of human relationship. Everyone knew everyone else, and I could go to the food stalls and just order with hand gestures, and the uncles and aunties would knew exactly what I wanted and how I wanted my food cooked. I could even bring my own egg and grab some sliced pork from dad's stall to be added into my char kuay teow. Aww... wonderful memories! Now 2 decades on, I am still meeting up with the son of the hairdresser and niece of the provision shop owner! That's lasting friendship forged too!

Found a rare photo of my Dad with former Minister of State for Defence, Mr Bernard Chen.
I had moved out from Telok Blangah Rise to my own place in my early twenties and my parents had retired for years now. I wanted to snap some photos of the market now, but never had the time to document it. The last I visited it though, it was a fair cry from the bustling time of yesteryears. Gone were the sons and daughters from the estate, leaving behind the old folks who may not need to cook that much or that often anymore. The wet market is also very sanitized now, when back then, there wasn't even the requirement for a chiller. Very clean but somewhat lacking in something. Something that I can't really describe or articulate. It just doesn't feel the same anymore. It isn't the same anymore. The wet market that I knew, and grew up in, is now all but a memory from the past.

This post is part of the ‘To Market, To Market’ Blog Train hosted by Life’s Tiny Miracles. To read about other local markets in Singapore, please click on the icon below.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Excuse me? What La Cure Gourmande?

[Media Invite]

I had never been to Paris, and the closest I had been would be Bali, and that's only because Bali sounded like Paris in Mandarin! So sorry for being so ignorant and so "mountain tortoise". When we got the invite from La Cure Gourmande, my mind went "erm... what's that?" I had to google and later found out that it is actually a famous french confectioner of sweets and traditional french cookies, with fancy names such as Navettes and Mantecaos. That sounded interesting and having a sweet-tooth myself, it was enough for me to haul the kids down for a visit after work!

Pre-packed chocolates with Almonds and Hazelnuts.
The kids got to try out some yummy chocolates!
So there were milk chocolate,white chocolate and dark chocolates to choose from.
I would usually not have any business walking pass all the "atas" boutiques on level 3 of Takashimaya, since everything would be too high class for me.  To have a boutique selling cookies and sweets between rows of fashion boutiques was kind of weird, but I guess the confectioneries definitely got class too! The friendly staff or "Sunshines" as they were called, introduced us to the many different types of cookies, cakes, sweets, caramels and chocolates, out of which many, their names I can't even pronounce properly (or remember now)! But I do know that all of them were made in France and flown in weekly to ensure the freshness!

I loved the filled cookies and there are quite a few varieties to choose from.
The chocolate-filled ones are yummy too. Much like giant "panda" biscuits.
Lemon-filled ones would go well with a cup of tea!
There are bite-sized ones that comes in a beautiful tin. Great for gifts!
There's even a special tin just to commemorate the opening of this flagship store and for SG50 perhaps.
Safe bets like artisan chocolates tasted delicious to me while many others such as the Calissons and spiced Navettes are probably acquired tastes. Although I wouldn't mind having some of those savory ones as snacks. I tried some spiced ones that reminded me of garlic bread, while others tasted like Indian cookies! It was definitely an eye-opener for me, and it was fun trying out the different types of confectioneries the store offers, and learning more about them too.

Madeleines I do know, and they come in a variety of flavors as well.
Super excited kids when told that they each get to choose ONE Choupettes each.
The Choupettes are also available in tins printed with the images of the founder's children.
Happy kiddos with their Choupettes (French lollipops) and the friendly "Sunshines"
Now the question is, will I return for more of these cookies? I am always price-sensitive hence I decided to check out how much these would cost me. The filled cookies were nice and I loved those with chocolate fillings, as well as those with raspberry or lemon jam! 6 big pieces of these filled cookies would weigh around 200g or $11, not exactly expensive if you compare them to high class macaroons but yet not cheap enough for our regular consumption. So the answer would be a yes, I wouldn't mind buying those filled cookies from France, albeit only on special occasions or whenever I feel rich!

Anyway La Cure Gourmande, may just be the cure to your sweet cravings!

Delicious artisan chocolates!
Lots of different flavored caramels.
As well as nougats with different fillings.
These are Navettes alongside the filled cookies etc.
There are some with chocolate chips too and they are all eggless.
These are the savoury ones. Quite unique I must say.
All the different cookies are displayed here for selection.
And this is how you select your cookies at $5.50 per 100g. Free tin for purchase of 900g.
Useful Information 

Address: Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #03-09, S(238872)
Operating Hours: 10.00am –9.30pm daily
Telephone: 66842983

Monday, August 24, 2015

Cheap Dental Treatments in Johor Bahru

Good dental hygiene is very important, not only because it can cost serious cavities and infections that could lead to super bad breath and pain, but the heartache when having to come up with a big sum just to fix the problems hurts bad too. I should know better. For years I had procrastinated on getting the crowning done for my upper molar after its root canal treatment (which was really expensive too!). I wasn’t able to find anywhere in Singapore that charges any lower than SGD$600 and had depended on temporary fillings all these while. But there was still a need to get it re-filled as the filling doesn't hold for long.

The dental clinic I went to, was just across the street from Pelangi Mall, on the 2nd floor.
The stairs leading up the clinic actually looks quite dingy.
So I decided enough is enough and ventured elsewhere to get my problem fixed. Singaporeans had been known to travel to Johor Bahru (JB) to save on petrol and groceries and no one would bat an eyelid. However when I mentioned that I did my crown in Johor Bahru, almost everyone gave me the “wu nyia boh” look and asked if it was safe to do it in JB. I was like, walau a, where else would Johoreans go for their dental treatment anyway? I felt safe too, because the dentist I went to, was "recommended" by my Malaysian friend.

The furniture were so retro that I felt as if I was transported back in time!
Brought Stacci along during one of the trips and nagged her to take good care of her teeth. 
Even my wife tagged along for her dental treatments too!
My experience with the tooth crowning in Johor Bahru wasn't exactly as smooth as I hoped. The entire treatment should have been completed in just 2 trips, one preliminary assessment plus mold-taking, followed by a return trip to fix the fabricated crown. Unfortunately it turned into 5 trips because my porcelain crown cracked a day after it was fixed. It appeared that the porcelain crown may have some manufacturing fault and I ended up needing an additional 3 trips! She was apologetic over it and luckily I needn’t have fork out any more money. Otherwise this post would have turned out to be a very different story. I also ended up with a metal crown in the end because I chose to play safe this time round.

High tech one ok? Gotta take X-Ray to check first to ensure my root canal was ok. Cost RM$100 if I remembered correctly.
My pretty new porcelain crown for my upper molar before it was fixed.
Unfortunately the crown chipped one day after it was fixed, and this piece was dislodged.
So why did I choose to do my crowning cross the causeway? Because it only cost me RM$800 to get my crown done in JB, as compared to the cheapest quoted price of SGD$600 back home. I tried asking many dentists in Singapore, but the cost are all around the same. Yes, it may have taken me a lot more effort to go for the dental treatments, but I always took it like a day shopping and makan trip. And I also brought the kiddos over for their (much cheaper) dental check-ups. Kill multiple birds with one stone. I really cannot comment much on the treatment I got over in JB because I seldom have any dental treatments done in the first place. However it definitely wasn’t painful, or as irritating as I feared, and the dentist was quite friendly. 

I brought one kid in with every trip and they all got their dental checkup, scaling and polishing done as well, It should cost around RM$80 if I recalled correctly.
Steffi looking apprehensive? No lah, she steady one. 
According to my wife, some of the dental clinics back home specializes in seeing young kids and the dentists are generally used to crying kids. They are also really patient with kids and knows how to pacify them. However, you do pay a lot more. This Malaysian dentist is what I would describe as a no-frills dentist. My kids are okay with going to the dentist, hence I wouldn't know how she would fare with crying kids. Thus, please use at your own risk! For me, I am going to ensure that the 4 kids take good care of their teeth and go through the proper brushing regime lest I spend lots more money for their dental treatments in future!

This is NOT a sponsored post, although I am tempted to ask the dentist for discounts should I go over again. Oh wait a minute, my Malaysian friend had kindly sponsored my accommodation and transport whenever I needed to go into JB the night before my appointments. A big thank you to you! This post is just to share with all of you that if affordable dental treatment cannot be found here in Singapore, you can always try find cheaper alternatives over the causeway (which shouldn't be a surprise anyway). It worked for me, for even though I have a SGD$200 dental benefit from my company, it is still worth it for me to do it in JB. With the exchange rate of ringgit at an all-time low against Singapore dollar, the savings would be even more!


I have been bombarded with emails on the contact details of the dentist so here it is. At you own risk hor!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Happy 10th Anniversary Old Friend!

What's there about Skyline Luge Sentosa that you cannot already find via a simple search on the Internet? The first time that I took the ride was in 2007 when it was still fairly new. I was in Sentosa with a group of close friends from my previous workplace, and we were there for a floral exhibition actually, together with our partners. We chanced upon Luge and decided to try it out for the very first time. Although there was only one trail then, but we still enjoyed ourselves!

A photo of us having some Luge fun back in 2007 sans the kiddos (not born yet!)
Time flies and Sentosa had gone through lots of changes over the years. Attractions come and go, and I could still remember Fantasy Cove and Volcano Land which have all closed. But Skyline Luge still stands after all these years, and it still doing very well for an old-timer! In fact so well that we almost always had to queue for our turns! We were invited back to Skyline Luge last year for a blogger event and that was when I introduced Luge to my own kiddos for the first time. From then on, Luge rides became synonymous with Sentosa for my kiddos. They were hooked and we had already been back countless times! 

Unfortunately I have lost touch with that group of old friends and colleagues. The ones I had gone through the baptism of fire at work, as we handled the avalanche of complaints from walk-in customers back then. We must be all too busy leading our own lives, with the kids and all. Sure hope that we could do a catch up soon, maybe even back to the Luge perhaps? Meanwhile I wish all of you and your family, the very best!

And you, Skyline Luge, our family wishes you a fantastic tenth anniversary and many more happy decades to come! Sorry that we had to miss your party, but the following clip sure brought back memories.

Ok, maybe there's something that you should know! Skyline Luge is having a 10-tastic! carnival from 21 to 30 August 2015 (2pm and 6pm on weekdays and 10.30am to 2.30pm on weekends)! Besides your usual rides, there will also be games, caricature, balloon-sculpting stalls, magic performances as well as popcorn and exclusive Luge 10th Anniversary sticker tattoo giveaways. 

Have fun, and Luge on. Once is Never Enough.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The dreaded Kawasaki, when it isn't a motorbike brand.

Kawasaki? That sure sounded like brand of motorbikes, and I didn’t know until end of last year, that it was also the name of a disease. But I wished that I never found out the way I did. 

We just happened to return from a family holiday to Tokyo in Sept last year, our first ever trip to Japan and we had a great time there. Louie was just 5 months old then but we decided to bring him along as well. It might have been coincidental, but exactly 2 months after our trip, Louie came down a low-grade fever for about 4 days. We didn’t think much of it then, for his appetite was still good and he wasn’t lethargic or anything. We have had our fair share of experience with the usual “no medication for infants, he/she will just have to sit out the fever” type of advice /conclusion from family doctors and PD with his older siblings. Hence that was what we did, trying to sit the fever out, but it didn't. 

Our first trip to Japan, with the entire family no less.
My wife was the one who noticed that it was different with Louie this time round, as he had developed rashes all over his body and his hands and feet were swollen as well. She brought him to the PD and was referred to the hospital as a suspected case of Kawasaki disease which was a very serious-sounding name to us and had me googling about it. And what I found was that it is basically a disease with no known causes and there are also no tests for it. The only way it can be diagnosed is test by exclusion. Meaning that Louie would have to be tested for all other common bacterial or virus infection to be a confirmed Kawasaki patient. In extreme cases, it can even cause death and those who recover from it may still suffer from coronary problems later. 

Louie on the first day of admission. You can see that his lips were all red and dry. Cheeks were also rosy and had a constant fever despite me sponging him down the whole night through.
We were given two choices by the PD, go to Mount Alvernia, a private hospital where they would have specialists who deals with Kawasaki, or to the public KK Hospital. By a stroke of luck, I had actually bought hospitalization plan for all of us even before Louie's birth (that included Louie automatically after he was born). However the kids were only covered up to “A” class in public hospitals. Hence if I were to admit Louie to Mt Alvernia, we would probably have to fork out many thousands of dollars extra. We ended up going to KK instead. So parents, please ensure that you have proper medical / hospitalization coverage for everyone in the family and do buy the best you can afford, for you never know when you might just need it. Let me just say that my experience at KK despite being in an “A” class ward wasn’t as pleasant as I would have hoped for and hearing from friends about the wonderful experiences of Mount Alvernia made it worst. 

(He was basically without much strength and could only moan to indicate his discomfort) 

The symptoms that presented itself in Louie were quite clear. He had red eyes, rashes all over his body, swollen lymph nodes, red lips and a persistent fever which all pointed to Kawasaki disease. BUT, these symptoms could also be due to other causes. We were told that if immunoglobulin treatment was administered within 10 days from the onset of the disease, it would greatly reduce the risk of him developing coronary aneurysm from the disease. We would have wanted the treatment for it to start immediately, but the doctor would need to clear him of any possible bacterial infection through urine and blood testing and the only medication he got for days was only Paracetamol for fever management. 

This was probably taken in the wee hours and this is how I had to hold his hand so that he feels secure. Ended up staying in the crib together with him.
I hate and fear needles, especially having to fix a tap on the hand for any drips to be administered. But having to watch my own flesh and blood go through the ordeal was heart-breaking to say the least. The drip was to keep Louie hydrated prior to any treatment, but that restricted my carrying of him and it also meant that throughout the entire night, he didn’t sleep well at all. He would sleep at most 30 minutes at one stretch and would wake up groaning. I then had to hold on to his hands so that he would feel secure before he would drift back to sleep. However it would only be short-lived, for the nurse would be back into the room for the hourly temperature taking. That meant Louie will be awakened again and I had to repeat the same process all over again, multiple times throughout. 

Poor Louie had to endure having IV on both hands because his right hand was swollen from the drip and they had to insert it through his left.
This was the "miracle" intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) that got him feeling better almost immediately.
Louie was only given the intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment 2 days after admissions after the battery of tests came back negative. His fever subsided almost instantaneously following it and he was discharged two days after. We were all keeping our fingers crossed, that he heart valves will not be affected by the disease. Despite us catching the disease early and having the treatment started before 10 days from the onset of the fever, Louie still managed to be in the “lucky” 25% minority. He was put on aspirin after discharge as a precaution to prevent blood clots, and his checkup one month later revealed that his coronary arteries were indeed affected. His arteries were significantly larger than average. An echocardiogram 3 months later showed slight improvement in his situation while his last review another 3 months after that, finally showed that they were back to normal. Unfortunately this is not the end of the story, for Louie will need to go for regular checkups in future to rule out any possible coronary problems developing later. 

This was his first scan one month after discharge. Unfortunately he had to go back for another 2 more times before he was given the all clear.
This post was actually drafted many months back, but I never finished it, partly because I do not want to relive the bad experience again. I always try to forget about unhappy things if possible. But then I thought that it might be beneficial to share our experience and what we know with the other parents out there who may find it useful. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank friends and family who took precious time off to visit the little one, deliver gifts of essential oils and balloons, and also made those phone calls to me, offering kind advice and support. Although Kawasaki disease is quite unheard of, it is not exactly rare in Singapore even though it still mainly affects Japanese and Korean children. There is even a support group on Facebook for Singaporean parents here.  

Had to carry him like this at times because that was the only way to make him comfortable and yet the drip was often in the way.
Had the help of his siblings also, to place an assuring hand on Louie as he napped. A baby needing to be hospitalized affects the entire family and is really unpleasant.
Kawasaki Disease / Syndrome

Causes: No known causes. Although it was thought to be environmental as well as genetics and even though we had been to Japan just 2 months before the onset, it might just be coincidental.
Symptoms: Prolonged Fever >5 days, Rashes, Red Eyes, Strawberry Tongue (red tongue with white tips), Red Lips, Skins on hands and legs peeling and swollen lymph nodes at the sides of the neck.
Diagnosis: There are no tests on the disease. Only diagnosed through exclusion of other bacterial / viral infections.
Treatment: Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG).
Prognosis: For Louie’s case, where the aneurysm was not big to start with and had already returned to normal, his prognosis would be rather good. Having said that, he will still need to get checked once a year just to be on the safe side.

We are definitely not alone, for after publishing this post, I got lots of encouraging messages from many other parents who had gone through the same. Read about the story of how Dana, daughter of our friends from Life's Tiny Miracles here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Late Night Musings of a Dad of 4

[Sponsored Post]

Reading about deaths and human mortality on my smartphone in bed late last night, prompted me to look back and think hard about my own life for the past 10 years. What exactly have I achieved? Besides the only promotion and the usual salary increments, my career was nothing spectacular despite feeling that I could have been better rewarded for my efforts. I mean, who doesn’t feel that way most of the time? But I am not complaining since it also gave me the means to enjoy the bigger things in life, and I enjoyed it, colleagues and all.

I have also lost a couple of friends and family members over the last decade. Some met their early demise and were gone forever. Surely miss them. While some others probably decided that our relationships were less important than money, or anything else for that matter. I lost friends who took loans from me and also lost family members from whom I tried seeking monetary assistance when I needed most. Thank you for the memories and life lessons taught. I wish you all the best too.

Damn! I lost a fair bit of money doing what I thought was preserving wealth. Bought shares at their highest prices because I just got my bonus then. Bought gold at the highest point because I thought the rare metal could fight off inflation. Bought silver units as a form of saving because it was easy to do and supposedly gave a better return. Needless to say, it was also good as gone too. I am by far, the worst investor (if I could even call myself one) in the world. ANYONE would have actually made money just by doing exactly the opposite of what I did. In fact, the old currency notes I kept in my safe probably would have done me more good!

My four musketeers, Steffi, Leroy, Stacci and Louie!
Not all dark and gloomy though for we have 4 kids in the past decade too! The kids, despite being unruly and having a knack at doing exactly what I didn't want them to do, added much sparkle to my otherwise (boring?) life. My life just don't belong to me anymore and I cannot explain exactly or describe fully how it felt but I know that at times I would just like to escape it all too. Imagine a long hard day at work and yet still needing to come back home to face 4 kids who never comprehend the command "stop"? They will go on and on with their incessant questions and whys despite my very best effort to answer them. Or just go about irritating each other, and then start complaining about one another, despite my pleas for some peace and quiet in the house. Sibei stress lor!

BUT yet when I needed to be away from the kids, something magical happens and I start to think about them. What would they be doing now? Have they taken their meals? Is anyone keeping them company? Even the silence would be deafening sometimes. They have stolen my heart, each and every one of them. How and whether it's in part or whole, I never really know, but steal they did. My last decade was full of ups and downs, highs and lows. From the lows of both me and my wife trying so hard to conceive and losing our first child through a miscarriage when we finally did, to the highs of having 4 rambunctious kids running about in the house and adding much joy and laughter in my life, our lives.  

Four kids may sound stressful to cope for some, but it sure is rewarding too! 
There ain't that many decades in anyone's life. I stop now and take count of my blessings. It has indeed been a good past decade of my life. Ok, make that past 3.5 decades. As much as I hope to look forward to a few more good decades with the family, some things in life are simply beyond our control. To have lived, loved and fathered, that's simply amazing! But there are definitely other things in life that you can have a say. Starting a family can be full of uncertainty, anxiety and even stressful at times but the rewards are very real and totally worth it. You would want to make sure that your loved ones are protected right from the start, even while still in the womb. Find out how you can do just that with AXA Family Advantage.

And for those of you who want a break from the household chores or to run away from the stress brought about by your kids, just follow the instructions below.
(p.s. I wouldn't know how I would react to their singing but my helper would appreciate some work done and I am surely looking forward to a babycation (whatever that is)!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

No Birthday Celebrations but...

[Media Invite]

Kakis Bistro and Bar 

My wife always says I am like a big kid and I do agree with her. I think I stopped remembering my actual age after my 21st birthday! Birthdays for adults in the family are almost non-events, and it was no different this year, except that we happened to get two media invites on my actual birthday that involved the whole family as well. The first place we visited was Kakis Bistro and Bar that is located at 289 Farnborough Road. As it was for the launch of their weekend breakfast, the event started at 9.30am! I had never heard of the place before but a quick search on showed that it was right at the Eastern tip of Singapore, near Changi Village. I even harboured the thought of bringing the kids over to Pulau Ubin for a short visit!

The entrance of Kakis Bistro and Bar.
A live band plays here in the evenings. You would just have to make do with crickets chirping and the sound of nature in the mornings though, and simply relax.
No free WiFi here as you are encouraged to talk and interact with your friends!
Or you can choose to play a game of pool or two.
You can also have a look at vertical planting and see how the system works.
There should be ample parking for customers just outside if you drive.
The bistro gave me the resort kind of feel when I first set eyes on it. The type of place I would go for a relaxing meal when on holidays in Thailand perhaps. You get to see quite a fair bit of DIYs when it comes to the décor and the wooden furniture. I believe the owner of the place wanted it to be a cozy, relaxed place, and for customers to be in tune with nature too. Hence the beautiful landscaping with live fauna, fake carpet grass and wooden furniture and fittings.

Staying right in front of the fan blower helps bring the temperature down and make the kids happier.
We got there pretty early and my wife managed to find a seat right in front of the fan blower which was a really smart decision. I cannot imagine how cranky the kids would get under the hot sun and in the humid weather that ensued (you can find a seat under the shelter though, but kind of defeats wanting the alfresco dining experience). The place was full of greeneries (as the owner was in love with botany), just beside a golf course and will probably be a great place to relax and chill out in the evening.

Nasi Lemak ($6.00) - Chilli was not bad, the drumlets and mid-wing were crispy. Overall an ok dish but you pay for the ambiance.
Kiddy Pancakes ($6.00) - Simple pancakes that comes with one banana. The kids thought it was cute but only the glutton, Stacci finished the banana and one pancake. I took the other and it was rather plain, despite the syrup.
Little Hero Big Breakfast ($8) - This actually looks like what I would get for the kids from the breakfast buffet line when on holidays (except for the tomatoes).
Rosti with Jumbo Hotdog ($11) - Unfortunately the very thin rosti was burnt and thus we didn't try it. The sausage was okay but a little pricey for me though.
Detox Infused Fruit Drinks ($6.50) - Very mildly flavored drinks. The type of fruit combo / flavors available depends on the seasonality of the fruits. The kids were probably too used to sugary stuff and didn't like this healthier choice.
I will really have to think twice or thrice about having breakfast there again though, for getting there would require one to drive or take a taxi and it gets ridiculously hot in the late morning. One would need take a short walk in if coming by bus as the nearest bus stop is quite a distance away. The breakfast will need to be REALLY awesome to entice one to make his/her way down. We tried the Nasi Lemak, Kiddy Pancakes, Little Hero Big Breakfast, Rosti with Jumbo Hot Dog and some Detox Infused Fruit Drinks. I found the Nasi Lemak chilli not too bad, but unfortunately that was about it, the rest we had were nothing to shout about.

Having said that, the place must be lovely in the evening and would be great for those staying in the East and wishing to escape from the hustle and bustle of town. But as we needed to take a 1hr 20mins bus ride back home, this would not really work for us unfortunately.

Useful Information 

Address: 289 Farnborough Road S509747
Tel: 62142956

Durian Mobilization 2015

Durian Mobilization rocks for the whole family!
And here's one with our blogger friend, Hong Peng from Hpility.
The gals got a photo with Dr Leslie Tay!
The hardworking peeps behind the scene, opening one durian after another for the hungry participants walking for the durians "to drop" onto their picnic mat.
After getting some rest back home, we got ready for our second event of the day! And that was none other than Durian Mobilization 2015 hosted by Dr Leslie Tay from ieatishootipost and supported by Singapore Kindness Movement, which took place at Marine Drive Communal Hall. My experience with durians was limited to eating whatever my older brothers brought back home in the thick brown paper bags when I was still a kid, and the 3 for $10 / $20 pack of opened, pre-packed durians in styrofoam boxes when I had to buy them myself then. Of course I knew about the existence of different cultivars and the famous Mao Shan Wang, but I probably wouldn’t be able to really tell them apart. Being a durian lover who only knows how to eat, I knew that I shouldn’t miss this feast.

No worries! There are lots of durians to go around for everyone!
Happy Stacci with Dr Leslie introducing us to the different types of durians!
D??? I can't remember what cultivar it was but they all sure tasted yummy!
Stacci loves her durians too!
Dr Leslie got the crowd warmed up with his very candid and humorous hosting for the 7-course durian degustation, which consisted of cultivars such as D1, D88, Red Prawn, Green Bamboo, Golden Phoenix, Kampong Durian and Mao Shan Wang. From him, I dlearnt more about the different types of durians and their origins from him. It was truly a great experience to have a durian picnic with so many fellow fruit lovers and it’s heartening to know that the proceeds all went to a good cause - We Care @ Marine Parade, a community enabling network that supports needy families in the estate. I would stronger suggest forming a group of 5-6 pax and participating in the next installment of this yearly mobilization. Satisfy your craving and you do good at the same time!

This is how a durian party should be like! Everyone sitting in a circle, eating and chit-chatting too!