Nuffnang

Thursday, March 31, 2011

SINGAPORE DAY 1: MY FIRST TIME AT A VICTORIA (FOOD) COURT


Instead of "Shhhh".. the girl in their logo goes "Buurrrrpp..."

        After our Night Safari trip, we got home at around 10:30 pm. Rina, Chaikka and I were totally exhausted, but starving at the same time. In the end, our hunger prevailed (As it usually does) and we decided to shake off the fatigue and trek down the mean streets of Geylang for some thing to eat. 

     In my opinion though, the so-called "Mean Streets of Geylang", looks closer to Makati's Legazpi Village than it does to Tondo, which was my first perception of it when I was told that I would be staying in Singapore's "Red Light District". I imagine any gangs that would come our way would look more "Sharks and Jets" from "West Side Story" than they would "Blood" and "Crips", but that's just me. 

     Throughout my entire stay there, we were never even approached by a street urchin (in fact I never even saw one) or pimp or prostitute (wait, should I be insulted? Do I not look rich even for them!?). 

      Before we left the hotel, I asked our hotel receptionist for her opinion on where to eat, and she said, at this hour, our best options would to walk out the street and to pick from the places we're open. I said the only thing I wanted to be sure of, was the place was clean. She said with a smile, that should be the least of our concerns, because Singapore has a very strict health code or something, which was good to hear. 

     Practically everyone who had given me advice about Singapore before my trip, told me that you can basically choose any restaurant on the street, and expect an awesome experience. I had no doubt in my mind that the food would be good, but I'm just a bit finicky with cleanliness. I'll be honest with you - when people told me to go to the Hawker places of Singapore, images of  rat infested local carenderias entered my mind. But our Filipina receptionist even assured me, "It's cleaner than the food  courts of SM".

     So there we were, walking down the streets of Geylang, watching guys oogle middle aged women in low cut blouses, but running away the moment the girl makes eye contact with them, when I saw a sign that caught my attention. Perhaps there was an air of familiarity with the name that intrigued me.. 

        Victoria Food Court.

Monday, March 28, 2011

WILLING WILLIE & THE NOT SO WILLING JAN-JAN


          I rarely go off the topic of food and travel, but this time I just couldn't sit back and not say anything. As a soon to be father, the video of Willie Revillame and Jan-Jan, the little boy who was made to dance like a male stripper in front of the live studio audience was just too disgusting to be left alone. 

          If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch THIS VIDEO first.

             First of all, I want to go on record to say that I have never EVER thought Willie Revillame possessed any semblance of talent. Have you heard any of his songs? He can't sing for crap. Hell, I'll even go on record as to say that I sing better than him. As a comedian? He's an obnoxious boor whose humor revolves around either A) Insulting someone's physical appearance or B) involving jokes with hidden sexual innuendos. That pretty much is the extent of his comedic repertoire. Not to mention, he's an ego maniac. Every business he has, bears his name. From a production house, or a building, or a shopping mall.. everything is Wil this or something with "Wil" in it.

       But despite all that, I'm willing to put that all aside because the incident in the video had nothing to do with his (lack of) singing or comedic talents. It was Willie Revillame's lack of a single shred of human decency that has motivated me to write about him.


SINGAPORE DAY 1: JUNGLE FEVER AT THE NIGHT SAFARI SINGAPORE


from richiez168 on Vimeo.

         While we were waiting for our Duck Tour craft to arrive, the tour staff (comprised mostly of Filipinos by the way) suggested we check out the popular "Night Safari". Honestly, I'm really not into the whole "Zoo" thing. Don't get me wrong, I'm no animal activist or anything like that, but recently I've become more aware and more sensitive to their plight. My trip to Sun Weh was a real eye opener for me. Although I was sure that the conditions of the animals at the Night Safari were far better than the Animal Prison Camp of Sun Weh, I still thought twice about it. Of course any attempt at a protest was easily thwarted the moment my pregnant wife said, "Ah basta, I want to go!".  

      Word of advice to all you men out there- and I don't care how tough you think you are:

      Do NOT mess with a pregnant woman. 


     Please watch the video before you proceed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

SINGAPORE DAY 1: I HAVE PLEDGED MY ALLEGIANCE TO FOOD REPUBLIC !






I'm applying for citizenship as we speak
      As soon as Rina, Chaikka and I hopped down from our Duck Tour Amphibian craft, we entered one of the Towers of the perplexing Suntec City Mall. As I mentioned during my first visit there just a few hours earlier, the place is really hard to figure out, not just for a tourist, but for a human being in general, so I didn't want to go on any more long walks. Being the notorious sleepyhead that I am, I actually just really wanted to go back to our "hotel" to rest for an hour or so before we head off for our next stop. Rina and Chai though, understandably, wanted to go around to possibly do a little shopping. 

    So there I was, in a foreign country, completely drained of all energy at four in the afternoon, due to my being awake since two in the morning. As I entered the mall doorway, I was trying to think where I could muster up the strength to troll around the busy shopping mall. 

    And Just like that, I saw the huge sign that would light a fire under me, and give me the strength I needed to carry on (*tear*).

   In big bold letters, the sign said, "FOOD REPUBLIC". 


 (*Snappy Salute*)


Monday, March 21, 2011

SINGAPORE DAY 1: BY LAND AND SEA ON THE DUCK TOUR!



 


      As soon as we arrived in our "hotel" in Singapore (I use quotation marks because.. well.. if you saw our room, you'll know what I mean) I spoke to the resident "Tour Specialist" for suggestions on how to go around the city. (We didn't really have any plans on how to go around, so we thought we'd just wing it, since everyone was saying that Singapore is so small, its easy to get to where you need to go) If I wanted a quick tour of the city to give me an idea of the places I could go to in the next few days, he strongly suggested I go on a "Duck Tour". 

    Our starting point was the Singapore Flyer arcade and we would end in Suntec City Mall. 



Thursday, March 17, 2011

SINGAPORE DAY 1: FIRST STOP - CHEN FU JI NOODLE HOUSE!

Bring it on, Singapore!

         Since we were traveling to a country we were unfamiliar with, for the first time in my life, I found myself totally lost when Rina and Chaikka asked me, "Where are we going to eat?". All I knew was that we had to be at "The Singapore Flyer" by 1:30pm to start our tour. Where that was, and how long it would take to get there, I had absolutely no clue. I asked our receptionist Charmaine, (who after our 15 minute English dialogue, ended our conversation with a very Filipino, "Salamat po, ingat po kayo!") what would be the best place to grab something to eat before we went to the Flyer. She suggested going to Sun Tec City Mall, because we would find a lot of choices there, and we could easy grab a cab en route to the flyer. 

    As mentioned in my earlier post, everything you've heard about Singapore is true. It's sparkling clean, it my four days there, not once did I find myself caught in any form of traffic, and whether you're commuting or driving, there's a strong sense of discipline among its people.

      We got to Sun Tec City Mall at around 11:30am, and started going around, trying to find a place to eat. I wasn't really impressed with the choices, especially since Charmaine made it seem like it would be a food paradise. (I would later find out that she wasn't lying, but that's a whole other post) Since were were pressed for time, we couldn't explore the mall, so I had to make a choice right away. 

     With the clock ticking, and my wife and her sister's stomach growling, I decided to go with Chen Fu Ji Noodle House - The restaurant with the best tasting noodles I would try in my short stay in Singapore.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

THE PICKIEST EATER'S SINGAPORE SWING!

from richiez168 on Vimeo.


      During some time in November 2010, I was alerted about one of Cebu Pacific's half off sales. (But aren't they ALWAYS on sale?) It was perfect timing too, because Rina's sister Chaikka, had stayed over the house and got excited at the thought of going out of the country for the first time. Our first target was Hong Kong again, but since we had already been there for our honeymoon, Rina and I thought it make more sense to go to a country we had both never been to before.  Rina has one requirement when traveling out of the country: there HAS to be a theme park, while me, my only requirement is that there has to be awesome food.

       Given our criteria, there was really only one other obvious choice- Singapore.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MY "UP" MOMENT **"UP"-DATED!!**

I've been so busy sorting through the tons of pictures from my Singapore trip, that I haven't been able to work no a new food post, so here's a non-food post to make sure ya'll don't forget me..
  

             Today's post is going to be a little different. In fact, since it has nothing to do with food, I'm going to have to say that it's going to be a lot different from what you're used to in my blog.  A video came out this week that caught my eye. It was first brought to my attention by the lovely Mrs. Joanne B., the wife of My Giant, Joel. She posted the video on her facebook account and tagged me in the video. As a sign that I picked the best "Foodie Community" to be a part of, even the Myfoodtrip.com Facebook page featured this video!

       It was a segment from "Good Morning America" about two guys, obviously with too much free time on their hands, that decided to see if they could actually make a house fly using balloons, just like in the Disney Pixar movie, "Up". Of course, they had to use 8 foot rubber balloons instead of your traditional party ones, but it was still quite an achievement.

     Throughout the day, I got a few people asking me, "Hey, did you see the real life "UP" on youtube?".  I found it amusing how my friends associated me with the movie. UP ranks high among my favorite movies of all time. And to be honest, it's the only movie that has ever brought me to tears more than once (3D glasses are godsend, btw). To this very day, I'm lucky if I can get through the first ten minutes without shedding a tear. 

      Though Rina and I were not Childhood sweethearts, I could totally relate to how Carl and Ellie Fredricksen were partners in everything they would do. At that time, we were having difficulty having a baby as well, and though I never said it out loud, I was slightly concerned that Rina and I might have the same trouble as well (Thankfully, as my mother and the rest of our family found out, that would not be the case). But it was the thought of losing Rina the way Carl lost Ellie that really hit me hardest. And it is that thought that brings me to tears every single time. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

SOMS ENCHANTED EVENING


If you want "Authentic Thai Foods", go to Soms. Remember, not "Food". "Foods".

       My trip to The Mango Tree Bistro made me want to revisit an old favorite of Rina and I. Perhaps the only place we think of when we crave for Thai food, mainly because it's really cheap and, truth be told, pretty darn kick ass. While The Mango Tree Bistro gives you a sophisticated and authentic Thai dining experience at an upscale rate, Som's cuts through all those "unnecessary" luxuries, and gives you no frills, delicious Thai food. 

      My first few Som's experiences were rather interesting. Their dining area was actually the side of the road, across the front of the restaurant. As it was very possible that a waitress could get run over by a passing car while crossing the street to serve her customers Pad Thai.

       Som's didn't have much in terms of ambiance, but what they did have, was excellent Thai food, at a very good price. I had heard about Som's "modernization, and I for one was elated at the thought of finally being able to enjoy Som's food with the benefit of air conditioning, or watching my waitress turn into roadkill.  

     One night, Rina and her BFF Lia made plans to have dinner. Lia had promised Rina and I that once she started at her new job, she would treat us to dinner at Som's, since we took her to lunch at Bob's one time. 

     Since she had been at her job for a few weeks now, and I was running low on things to post, I thought it was high time for the lovely Lia to pay up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

OUT OF THE TOAST BOX


 
Talk about Great Expectations

       If you are reading this post sometime between March 2-5, then that means I am now in Singapore with my wife Rina, her sister Chaikka, and hopefully her boyfriend Don. At this very moment, I am probably feasting on some chicken rice, or riding a roller coaster in Universal Studios, or having pictures taken at the Merlion statue (I wonder if i'm allowed to eat that hehe).

       In honor of my trip, I'm posting my two visits to the Singapore based "Toast Box", the newest coffee shop from the people who brought you the very awesome, "Bread Talk". I'm a big fan of Bread Talk, (especially their Cheese Floss), so hearing that they were the brains behind this operation got me all giddy. 

     One of my Bosses at work, Miss Menchu, had been here already, and she suggested I try a few things. Unfortunately, she and I have the complete opposite tastes when it comes to food (I'm a firm believer that bacon should be a part of everyone's diet, while she can live on salads and tofu and all that gunk), so i wasn't sure what to expect from her suggestions. 

    Nevertheless, Rina and I trooped over to Greenbelt 5 (I'm there a lot, I know) to get us a taste of some of Singapore's finest food. (Not to mention, to meet up with our friends Ted and Karen as well).


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