My Journey Through Life..

~Some people believe we only live once, so have fun while doing it.~


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 7)

Finally, we come to the last part of my trip in Singapore. Since this is the last and the climax at the same time, I’m gonna present about my most expensive dish I’ve ever had there :D.

*WARNING : PORK (MIGHT BE) DETECTED*

One evening, we (my bro & I) were confused about deciding our dinner. Maybe, we could buy dinner, a quiet expensive one was OK once in a while. Besides, I’ve never tried European food before. So, looking some info on the internet, then calculating the price and place, we decided to go to JP (Jurong Point, quite close from the apartment) to buy our dinner. The restaurant we’re about to visit was called ‘Ambush‘. At first thought, I didn’t know why it’s called Ambush, such an uncommon name for a restaurant. When we reached JP, we got the idea already, why it’s called Ambush. Our assumption. by looking at the location of the restaurant, it’s in the middle of the main alley in 1st floor (ambush (English dictionary) : ‘an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise’ , here for website I used as reference). That’s why they gave ‘Ambush‘ as their restaurant’s name, they made an encounter with customer in a place that they don’t really expect, LOL.

Designed as an elegant restaurant, even it’s in the middle of the alley, they gave the best service to their customers. It’s similar to a high class hotels’ restaurants. The menu books were designed elegantly, the interior was absolutely amazing, and the waiters gave the astonishing services. With no doubt, the cuisines were expensive enough, especially for me. We ordered 2 differents dishes, mine was Grilled Salmon with Sesame Crisps and my brother’s was Octoberfest Meal.

This was what my dish look like :

Ambush - Grilled Salmon Sesami Crisp

The salmons slices was covered by both yellow and black sesame seeds. Maybe the cooks used blowtorch after grilling process, hence there were black sesame seeds there, but I wonder :-?. Or it’s just the seeds that originally black hahaha. Anyway, the grilled salmons were great, fresh, and amazingly delicious. It’s cooked at perfect tenderness, crispy outside-juicy inside combination. The side dishes were salad with black sauce and yellow rice mixed with chopped grapes. So… that was European dish, no expectation. The black sauce was a mystery ’til now. Maybe it’s a mixture of wine and some kind of signature sauce common in European style dishes. The rice anyway, was good when combined with grapes. It’s savory and sour and a little bit sweet flavor that the rice had. The bebverag I had was a combination of mango syrup and soda (forget the actual beverage’s name).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the table, my brother ordered Octoberfest Meal set (hope I don’t write it wrong :|). This is the picture of it :

Ambush - October Fest

By the look of it, it was a heavy meal. A big portion of meal. The dish consisted of 2 pieces of sausages (probably pork), mashed potato, and fried duck skin. From the picture, maybe you can tell which one was what, but the far left corner was mashed potato, with salad (same as mine), far right was the sausages, and between them all was the duck skin. Now 1 by 1. The mashed potato was delicious. We had a salt and pepper-seasoned mashed potato. The flavor was quite balance between the potato and the seasoning. The sausages was unexpectedly big for each piece. It’s dense and thick, even not too long. It’s like you give full volume for that size of sausage. The taste was savory, though. Being well seasoned, the sausage had a bit salty taste in it and the texture was chewy, but not too hard. The special one was the duck skin. It’s was fried to a perfect and amazing crispy level. The flavor was salty, not too salty but perfect salty. The chef really gave a perfect amount of seasoning for that. Even after you swallow, you can still a bit of saltiness inside your mouth.

Ambush! Yeah, that restaurant gave me an ambush with unexpected place and taste. It’s incredibly recommended. But, that’s a fine dining restaurant, so make sure to bring enough cash or have enough credit in your card. Quite expensive it was, but really worth it (my personal opinion).

Phew! This is the end of my vacation & food hunting journey in Singapore, back to the local cuisine again I guess? Hahaha. Stay tuned and cheers!


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 6)

Well, part 6 it is. Next part will be the climax and the last at the same time. And I’ll switch to any local cuisines from Indonesia, especially my town, Jogja. 😀

*WARNING : PORK DETECTED!*

This time I’m gonna talk about a food court near my brother’s apartment. It’s still in Jurong East St. 92 and it took about 5-10 minutes by foot from the apartment. BTW, the reason I visited this is because my brother said that the pork chop was delicious. Agreed then! About my 3rd or 4th night I decided to get my dinner there. The place was really close to a crossroad, even you can see the crossroad from a certain spot in that food court.

Anyway, we paid a visit to a vendor there that sell Western Food. That vendor offered a unique way of ordering our food. You could order our main course and it’ll come with 2 side dish that you can choose. As long as I can remember the side dishes were including potato (mashed, wedges and fried), salad (egg salad, coleslaw, etc), etc. Since there wasn’t any western food vendor I’ve ever visited in my city but some fast food restaurant, so I just pick my 2 dishes randomly. Not knowing what I was going to order, I just simply went for the french fries and egg salad, but the clerk misheard it and gave me french fries and coleslaw instead. I didn’t even know the word ‘coleslaw’ before since it wasn’t so popular in my city. My brother ordered grilled fish with mashed potato and coleslaw. Of course I chose pork chop as my main course since that was the reason for me being there hahaha. Anyway, this is my dish :

Food Court - Pork Chop

Holy Crab……… Just by looking at the picture, it makes me hungry in an instant.. 😐

Yeah, that was my dish, a pair of pork chop, grilled and covered in BBQ sauce. The pork was cooked perfectly, it sure didn’t have degree as in cooking steak so, it’s like ‘well done’ in steak term. The a-bit-chewy sensation and the a-bit-salty flavor of the pork made it a good combination. Plus, I’ve got the BBQ sauce on top of each pork chops, it enhanced the salty flavor and gave a new savory flavor. Yet, the sauce was a little bit acidic. I got 2 medium sized and quite thick porks. The french fries had original flavor, maybe just a little bit of salt as a flavor boost but it barely made it salty. The coleslaw (mixed vegetables salad) was served cold, so be careful if you have troublesome sensitive teeth since you got cold coleslaw and hot french fries.

At the same time, my brother ordered Grilled Fish with mashed potato and coleslaw. Here is the dish :

Food Court - Grilled Fish

Of course the coleslaw tasted the same and I only tasted the grilled fish. It’s barely seasoned, maybe just a bit of salt-pepper but really, it gave me almost no difference than just a plain fish fillet. However, the fish was delicious. They even gave 2 slices of lime for the dish, in case you didn’t like the fishy smell, and to give acidic taste in the dish.

Now, the night before I flew back to Indonesia, I decided to try western food menu again. Cannot forgetting that vendor’s cuisine, I went back there, around 9PM of my last night there. This time I ordered Lamb Chop. The price is unexpectedly more expensive. It’s almost double the pork chopPork chop was SGD 7 and Lamb Chop was SGD 13. Here’s the dish I ordered :

Food Court - Lamb Chop

Sorry for the quality, it was night and my cellphone doesn’t have a good feature when it comes about taking a picture. So, that time, I ordered Lamb Chop with Egg Salad and Mashed Potato. I’ll start with the side dishes first. The egg salad was served cold. It’s consisted of chopped boiled egg with mayonnaise. The mayo wasn’t sour, but rather sweet instead, and the combination was stunning. Then, the mashed potato. It’s served hot, not blazing hot, but only average hot. You got BBQ sauce on the top of it, just like the lamb chops. They mashed the potato until its amazing state, so soft and creamy in texture. But, since the beginning, I wasn’t a fan of mashed potato (I was just trying to taste :D), so I’m not really into this mashed. The taste was bland, barely had any taste but the potato’s flavor itself. Even though the mashed potato is healthier, but I’d prefer the fries instead. Then, the lamb chops. Compared to the pork chops before, the texture here was more chewy. Maybe it’s like comparing chicken and beef, but not really, :|. Anyway, the taste was more savory than the pork, and I also got 2 pieces full covered by the BBQ sauce. I think that time, the cook grilled it a bit longer than it’s supposed to be, so there were some black crisps on some spots of the lamb, but overall, I loved it.

Sometimes, a food stall also has delicious food and with good quality. Need to explore more to discover the truth LOL. Next will be my last about my food hunt in Singapore (in that vacation) and also the climax at the same time. Stay tuned.

Cheers!


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 5)

Phew! Part 5. When I started to write, I didn’t imagine that I’ll make this continuous stories hahaha.

Here goes!

As a foreigner in someone’s country, financial budget is a thing that you should mind almost every time you wanna spend. So, when I decided to choose my meal, sometimes I choose the simple ones (simple in budget, meaning relatively cheap LOL). One afternoon, Sunday, after I was wandering around in the city, my lunchtime came. With only a little amount of money in my wallet, I decided to go home and bought something from a local grocery near my brother’s apartment. You don’t always buy a fancy and luxury meal every time even you’re in a vacation, though hahaha.

BTW, there’s a local grocery at the ground level of my brother’s last apartment (before he moved to a new one, near the previous one). This grocery was owned by an Indian family, usually the man and his wife were at the grocery. It looks like everything is sold there, from food, drinks, until daily household needs. That Sunday afternoon, I bought a box of noodle (we can call it Red Noodle, because it’s seasoned and literally reddish orange in color) and a plastic of Curry Puff (small size of 3 pieces). Here is the picture :

Package - Lunch

That’s the Red Noodle. It’s blazing spicy 😐 , I didn’t know that it would be that spicy. Unfortunately I bought a cold A&W Rootbeer before I ate that Red Noodle, or else… Anyway, the one in red plastic bag was the Curry Puff, unfortunately the picture isn’t clear enough to show it. But later, I’ll show the picture of a single Curry Puff. The Red Noodle was incredibly spicy with savory flavor. There’s also small slices of eggs and cabbage in it. In total, the price is about SGD 2.

Right the next morning, I also decided to buy a set of economical breakfast. Also from the same local grocery. This time I bought Nasi Lemak, and, of course, a plastic bag of Curry Puff, again! LOL. But this time I bought the small size of 2 pieces). First bite of this big Curry Puff and I already taste the difference. The big ones were more spicy (actually, the small ones weren’t spicy at all, hence I love the small ones :D). Anyway, both were delicious. This is what a Curry Puff (half bitten) looks like :

Curry Puff

Yeah! Yeah! That was the Curry Puff, my favorite quite-cheap snack in Singapore, till now :D. The filling was potato curry with some chopped and minced vegetable, like carrots and onions. The shell (wrapper) was a baked pastry (in my country we have similar dish called ‘Pastel‘, only different filling). The wrapper wasn’t so hard to bite and not too thick. The filling had strong curry flavor in it. And my main breakfast dish was Nasi Lemak, here is the picture :

Package - Nasi Lemak

For a massive eater, Nasi Lemak will be a snack due to its small portion. Yeah, that was the whole set. A bit of rice, a small fried fish, a small slice of fried egg and chili paste. Despite its portion, the taste is very delicious. The rice wasn’t common white rice. It was savory. The fried fish was not too salty and not too savory, just right in the middle. Now, the special one was the chili paste (or in my county we call it ‘sambal‘). Even though I don’t like spicy food, this chili paste was an exception. I ate it all haha. The flavor was sweet, a liiiiitle bit savory and the spicy flavor itself. Yeah… yeah… That was the only kind of chili paste I ever loved :D. I was about 60 – 70% full with this package, but for some massive eaters, they’ll need 2 or 3 Nasi Lemaks for their full tank of energy :D.

Now, even you’re in a vacation abroad, it’s not all about fancy meals or luxury dishes. A simple, economical meal from street vendor or local grocery is a choice sometime (especially when you’re low in budget). Don’t be shy to buy it as a foreigner especially when you’re a food hunter, you need to “TASTE ‘EM ALL” (Pokemon pun intended LOL).

Stay tuned for the next part, the climax will be coming soon.. Cheers!


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 4)

So, rain comes at this moment, drives my laziness deeper into my head, so I’ll just stay at home and make this 4th part.

Here goes!

*WARNING : PORK DETECTED!*

Despite being a culinary hunter, settling in a restaurant is not the only option. Sometimes going with street food or take-away food is a choice as well. I’ve tried a few kinds of street food here in Singapore while I’m wandering around the city. Usually I just pass by and if I see an interesting food counter, I’ll just try the cuisine haha.

After I had breakfast (part 3), I wandered alone in the city like a village boy lost in a metropolitan city LOL. After wandered here and there, I went to Jurong East to get some lunch. Went out from the MRT, out the MRT station and I walked around until I reached a bus terminal. Yep, there’re lot of choices of food there. A lot of food stall along the side of bus terminal. I walked around, looking everything (actually while counting my money haha!) until I came to a Bakpao (steamed white stuffed bun) stall. Well, it’s not that expensive (SGD 1.2), that’s why I chose that as my lunch.

There’re some options there, like Bakpao (Pork) with Minced Green BeansBakpao (Pork) with Spring Onions, etc etc. The price was actually vary but it’s not that expensive (in average). I chose a simple menu, the Pork with Spring Onions (also called ‘spring onion’ as ‘scallion’ for some people). It was a taken away food so I ate it when I got home. Here’s what I bought that day :

Pau - Pork Spring Onion

What a beauty! This Pork with Spring Onions was cooked beautifully. The softness of the white bun was just perfect, not too dense, not too soft. The bun was thick, indeed, but the filling was worth the thickness of the bun, it means, even if you bite it full bite, you still can taste both the pork + spring onions + the bun. It’s served hot, fresh from the steamer, even when I ate it at home (approx. 10 to 15 minutes from Jurong East to home by MRT) it was still hot (not burning hot but more than warm). The pork itself was savory, really savory and every bites worth the flavor. Combined with spring onions and a souce made of spices (maybe like pepper, a bit ginger(?, because I think I tasted ginger)), the filling was rich in flavor. What’s so special about this street food was the size. Belive me, the size (diameter) of the bun was about my palm span, so, I ate that in 3 sessions. I can’t finish it in a time. I need about 30 minutes break per session LOL! (I don’t usually eat that much, only small to medium portions).

At night, I also asked my brother to buy me a sandwich (more take-away food). He bought me a sandwich from Subway. Since I wasn’t there to see the menu, I don’t know what other food was served by Subwayand since I wasn’t there when ordering, I can’t say what’s in my dish, I can only decide by tasting, so it might losing some ingredients. My brother bought me a Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich. Here’s the picture of it :

Subway - Chicken Teriyaki

That was my half-eaten Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich hahaha. Well, I didn’t open the sandwich apart just to see the inside, so I just munched that and try to taste everything. Yes, that was a big size (compared to my usual portion of food). Probably, about 20-25 cm long. Well I tasted the soft long bun with sesame on it, then some fresh vegetable (cucumber slices, tomato slices, some pieces of lettuce). The main filling, Chicken Teriyaki, was about in the middle of the sandwich. The teriyaki sauce was sweet and sour at the same time but the sourness wasn’t overpowering (a bit sour). The sauce itself was combined with mayonaise so it’s double flavored sauce, yet each sauces still remain in flavor. At the other end of the sandwich, I tasted something soft and chewy. I thought that might be mushroom but until now, I’m still not sure. I didn’t open the sandwich either to see what that was. So, yeah, I’ll assume that was mushroom :D.

Big portion dishes weren’t my only choices, sometimes small chunk of ice cream was great when I took a walk around. Back in my first day and 3rd day, I visited Orchard Road, where a big, luxury shopping malls were there. Right in front of the mall (on a wide sidewalk, oh I don’t really know which side that was, buat when I went out from the MRT station which is inside a mall, and you go out from that mall, you’ll see a wide sidewalk), there’re lot of ice cream seller. In Singapore they call it Es Krim Potong (literally in English maybe sliced ice cream or something like that). They didn’t call that with no reason. If you order one, you’ll know why. The seller will bring a big chunk of ice cream and slice it to a smaller size and give it to you. It come with 2 options, with or without bread. If you order it without a bread, you’ll get a plastic cup as a container, but if you choose with a bread, the seller will give a slice of bread and wrap it around your ice cream. The ice cream was dense and solid, so it won’t melt quickly. Here’s a picture of it :

Es Potong - 1

The bread made a good compliment with the ice cream. In a hot day, this can be a great choice. The ice cream itself came in some flavors, like durian (that I bought), green tea and peppermint, choco chips, there’s a purple one but I forget the name (maybe ‘talas’ or sweet potato :D), etc. With only SGD 1.2, you can get this chunk of es krim potong. If you’re curious about the vendor, here is the seller where I bought this ice cream from :

Es Potong - Penjual

NO!, that’s not the seller, that was a buyer! LOL. The man in front of the buyer was the seller. You can see his hair if you look closely. Yep, it’s not a store or mini market, he’s just a middle aged man with motorcycle and his working tools (big umbrella, the ice cream box, menu list, etc).

Well, that’s about some street food in Singapore, I wonder if I can find it more in other areas, maybe the unique ones. :9

Still, stay tuned for the next part, I still have some more in my pocket! 😀


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Across the Border : Neighbour’s Cuisine (Part 3)

Here comes the 3rd part of my food journey. I think this won’t be a long one since I’ll only talk about common food that I had for breakfast in my 2nd day there.

So, the next morning, my decided to take me to NTU again to get some breakfast. He had something to do there, so I’ll just tag along and go to the city after breakfast. It’s not really crowded in NTU in the morning and a lot of canteen clerk also had opened their food counter (like Western, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese food, etc). Being confuse in choosing, I chose a simple Western breakfast.

The one I chose is a Fried Egg Breakfast Set that costed me SGD 2.5. This set consisted of 2 sunny side eggs, 1 sausage (chicken sausage probably), 2 pieces of bread, a piece of leaf as a salad (I don’t know what kind of leaf that was but it’s cold fresh), and a small chunk of butter. Here is the picture of what I ate that day :

Breakfast - Fried Egg Set

Yeah, that’s the dish. Maybe standard breakfast set of Western food. At that time I ate it one food by one food and I wasn’t combining them together (might be the wrong way LOL) but by that way, I could taste everything more detailed. The butter was so creamy and milky. It had strong taste of the milk and it’s not so dense. The sliced bread had standard taste but a bit crunchy (not too soft). The sausage was savory but the taste was mild. What I thought a bit special was the eggs. The eggs, actually, were soft sunny side eggs. They’re made thick and round with perfect soft yolk on it. When you sliced through the yolk, it’ll drip down the egg, BUT, it’s not that watery (uh! my most preferred state of yolk hahaha). Not only that, instead of dense and thick, the egg white itself was soft fried, so it’s still juicy inside (maybe in steak we can say it’s medium rare). *at home I learn how to make that kind of sunny side eggs, but still no satisfying result, sigh..*. Anyway, with SGD 2.5, I can get almost full energy to do my day, though.