Chingay Fiesta Tampines 2010 Floats

My wife and I went to Tampines 1 last night to have dinner at Manpuku.  There’s a stall there called Hokkaido Aoba Ramen that’s really, really good!  We always get the Sho-yu Cha-shu Ramen and a side of wafu gyoza.

Anyhow, on the way in we noticed that the field by Tampines 1 and the MRT station was filled with a stage area and the round-about area where the Giants / Courts shuttle bus usually picks people up was filled with floats.  After a little walking around I saw a sign announcing that it was for the Chingay Fiesta Tampines parade.

There were quite a few people there, and after my experience with the crowds at New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year’s Eve, I wasn’t in the mood to try to put up with it again, especially on an empty stomach.

So, I did the next best thing.  I took a look at the floats, snapped some photos, enjoyed part of the show on the stage area and then went to dinner!  I didn’t have my camera with me unfortunately, so I just used my iPhone, but the pictures came out pretty well anyway.

Have a look:

I was really impressed with how much effort went into the floats.  As we were getting ready to leave we saw a woman show up in what appeared to be traditional Indian garb.  I think she was going to accompany the float that had the big head (pictured above) on foot.

What impressed me more is that this much effort was put into a regional parade, considering that the official Chingay parade had already taken place. If you’d like to see some really good shots of the actual Chingay 2010 parade, please click HERE to see a beautiful Flickr set.  The following photo is a sample from the set:

© chooyutshing / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

© chooyutshing / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Smart and Contemporary Cat

Meet the Smart and Contemporary Cat:

This cat used to hang out in the business area in Tampines and he looks sort of like he’s wearing a black suit.  We don’t know if he had a name and we didn’t really give him one.  We just always called him Smart and Contemporary Cat.  My wife would see him on her way to work every day.  I saw him myself a few times.  He was laying around by the entrance to a parking garage.

He seems to have disappeared.  We haven’t seen him lately.  Hopefully someone decided to take him home and he wasn’t run over by a car entering or exiting the car park.

Seoul Food!

Yup. That is in fact spelled right. I’m not talking about traditional black American food.  I’m talking about a restaurant chain in Singapore named Seoul Garden!

On Sunday afternoon we went out for a movie, and then afterwards we decided to have dinner at Seoul Food.  It was a group decision.  My wife and I had often seen the place but had decided not to eat there.  We just didn’t care much for the way it looked, and this picture of the goat in the window deterred me:

Some of you may remember me posting this photo before.  Well, I guess I gave in.  I ate the poor goat.

So anyhow, the place was pretty surprising as far as quality of food goes.  When you first walk in your put at a table that has a griddle and bowl of broth in the middle.

It’s up to you to decide your fate:

Some of the items are raw, like the meats in the second photo, and some are precooked and just need to be heated up, like the items just past the person barely visible in the first photo.  There’s also an array of veggies that you can either turn into a plain salad (no dressing) or dump into the pot or onto the hot plate.

It’s all really good, and it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet, so you can sit down, take your time, relax, and chat with your family and friends (and eat more because you’re eating slowly and get more for your money).

The photo above is mainly about that small yellow bowl and what’s in it.  One of the people with us prepared it from the dessert buffet area.  I’m not sure what all of the ingredients are, and either I really misheard what she called it or I just can’t find it on the internet.  She seemed to enjoy it, but I passed on that for ice cream and little pieces of cakes.

The place is a pretty good value for your money and it’s located (the one we went to anyway) on the same floor as the movie theater in Tampines Mall, right in front of you when you come off the escalator.

Last, but not least… a random shot of the table:

If you make it over there, enjoy!  Oh, and from what I saw in the Google search suggestions, there are Seoul Gardens located all over the US as well, including New York City.

Spinach Bacon OmuRice From Manpuku

Lunch on Sunday was Spinach Bacon OmuRice from the Manpuku restaurant in Tampines 1.  I didn’t remember seeing the stall before and the dishes looked interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.  I was later told by a friend that it was added recently.

As you can see from the picture, this dish is a big tasty omelet covered in a white cream sauce with bacon and spinach.  I was actually disappointed with how little spinach there was on the dish.  I was hoping for more.  There was a nice amount of bacon, but it wound up not being enough either.

You see, I had sort of expected there to be a more interesting filling in this omelet, but instead it was filled with just plain fried rice and a very small amount of mushrooms.  I think I sifted through the rice and only found 5 tiny pieces of mushroom total.

It was tasty, but as soon as the sauce, bacon and spinach were gone, the rest of it became rather bland.  A good dish introduces a lot of variety, to keep your mouth and tastebuds happy.  This one just didn’t do the trick for me and I don’t think I’ll order it again.

Strangely enough, we wound up meeting friends later in the evening at this same restaurant and one of them ordered the exact same dish.  She didn’t finish it either and commented on how it wasn’t very good after the toppings were gone.

BBQ Chicken Revisited

Over the weekend my wife and I spent quite a bit of time out and about and we happened to find ourselves at Tampines 1 as evening approached.  We started thinking about where we wanted to have dinner when we saw the Tampines 1 branch of BBQ Chicken.  I believe it’s a local chain restaurant.  We’d eaten there before and the food was pretty decent, so we decided to give it another shot.

This time, we both chose meals from the main course selection.  I got the “Jerk BBQ” and my wife got the “Korean Charbroiled”.  We had a good laugh about that because when I ordered it she said, “Figures”.  Ha ha ha!  We also had another order of an appetizer called Koshi.  There’s a picture of that in the previous post that’s linked to above.

One of the problems I noticed with this restaurant is that they don’t seem to understand the concept of “appetizer”.  It’s supposed to come before the food so you have something to snack on while you wait for your main course.  In both of our visits to BBQ Chicken, at both locations, the appetizer was served along with the main meal, as if it were a side dish.

That aside, the food was pretty good.  It’s still nothing to get excited about, but it makes for a decent dinner.

Here are some pictures:

The top image is the Jerk BBQ and the bottom image is the Korean Charbroiled.  Ya, there’s quite a bit of bad grammar in the menu and in the slogans along the walls.  I should get some photos of that and post it sometime.

What we always want to try, but wind up not having room in our bellies for, is a dessert called Pat Bing Soo.  It sounds delicious!  One of these days we’ll have to go there just to have that dessert.  Here’s a shot of the Pat Bing Soo entry in the menu that shows the ingredients: