Ah Seng Bak Kut Teh @ Bugis

Bugis has always been a popular place for both the old (famous temple at waterloo street) and the young (shopping centres and street). This has inevitably resulted in long queues formed outside popular restaurant during dining hours especially during weekends.

The weekend was initially planned to have my dinner with Mrs SOL at the Korean restaurant, Yoogane, located in Bugis Junction. However, the massive crowd was so intimidating and our tummy cannot afford to wait any longer. Therefore, both of us decided to walk around and eventually out of Bugis Junction that we chanced upon Ah Seng Bak Kut Teh, located on the other side of the road.

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Bak Kut Teh, translates to “meat bone tea”, is a must try Singaporean dish. It was first prepared by early Chinese migrants as they could not afford to have proper meat, thus they boiled soup with pork bones together with herbs. Nowadays, as life gets better, they replaced the pork bones with pork ribs to give it even a sweeter taste.

In this case, what Ah Seng has for us in their signature Bak Kut Teh?

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As illustrated, they use premium pork ribs, boiled in fine ingredients based on a traditional recipe that was passed down since 1969.

Sweet tasting soup with pepper aroma

Sweet tasting soup with pepper aroma

With their long hours of brewing, the soup tastes delicious which complements with the aroma of white pepper. There is another version, which uses normal ribs instead of premium ones, but I would definitely recommend their signature premium Bak Ku Teh.

The Menu

The Menu

You can also other some side dish to make your meal complete with more varieties.

Braised Pig Trotter

Braised Pig Trotter

Braised pig trotter is also another must order dish from Ah Seng. The sweet tasting sauce when doused onto your rice, makes them a perfect match. The meat in my opinion, is just about the right proportion of fats and lean meat. The skin is smooth to swallow too if you are ok with eating it. Mrs SOL don’t quite like the skin though. haha

Salted Vegetable

Salted Vegetable

The salted veggies are appetising. With this dish it just make your meal a more complete one. It is having the bak kut teh provides the spiciness, the pig trotter gives sweetness and this veggie inject saltish taste, all in all to excite your taste buds.

Conclusion

Ah Seng Bak Ku Teh is worth your visit, especially when you are craving for some local delights. The price is affordable, at around $6- $7 per dish.

Ah Seng address is as follows:

Ah Seng Bak Kut Teh
492/494 North Bridge Road
Singapore 188737

It is just a 3 Mins walk from Bugis MRT station, opposite Bugis Junction
You will be able to spot it from the traffic junction of Liang Seah Street and North Bridge Road

Cheers~

Happiness Can Comes Free

Recently over a friend gathering session, we discussed the topic on happiness. There were few heated arguments on the happiness index of Singaporean, which I will not cover in this post.

Rather, pertaining to pursuing happiness, it just bewildered me that when has it became so complex, that it seemed that you might need a PhD to understand it.

What do you see from this photo? A lonely old man or a floor of happiness?

What do you see from this photo? A lonely old man or a walkway full of happiness?

Your definition of happiness?

What makes you happy?

I guess we are so obsessed over chasing materialistic benefits that the answers I got from people were usually linked to some sorts of monetary stuff such as to own a house, a car, having lots of cash in banks, etc. Some others, on the other hand, are less materialistic. They just wanted emotional benefits, such as getting married, having kids and a group of close friends, etc.

However, if you take a step back and look at these answers, you will realised that they actually depend on something for happiness. The problem here is that what if the thing you depend on for happiness is no longer with you? People around you will come and go, marriage can fail and fortunes you made can be lost in a day.  This kind of happiness is just so fragile.

So you might ask again, so can I find true happiness that last?

In my opinion

In my humble opinion, my answer to happiness is that you will need to just unlock your mind and programmed it to receive happiness in the simplest form! Although you could argue that said is easier than done, but do you still remember during the times when you were still young, how easily you can feel happiness and to let your emotions out? We were easily amused, laughed at the ‘lamest’ joke, entertained by the simplest things in life. How can we possible able to do it when we were just a kid yet as a matured adult we can’t?

It is when you regain the skill of appreciating simple thing in life that happiness comes.

Some suggestions are:

1. Learn to live in present, do not wait for your definition of happiness to happen. No more ‘if’ and ‘unless.’ The keyword is now.  

2. Learn to appreciate the little things you have in life. Taking stock of what you have now and be grateful you have them!

3. Learn to love yourself more. Taking good care of your health and well-being.

4. Learn to choose to see the good and not the bad in all things. Yes, is a matter of choice. Go ahead and choose happiness and you get it.

A simple example

Lately Singapore is experiencing a flower blooming season. This is believe to be triggered by the recent dry spell, resulted in mass flowering on trees including the Angsana plant that you see from the picture at the top of this post.

How can you derive happiness from this? Just take a look at how simple it is for kids to feel happy in the video below:

Conclusion

Sometimes the happiness you can get, comes in the simplest form and best of all, is for free. When we were born, we were welcome to this world with the joy of our parents. Therefore, it should be right to mention that we are born to be happy.

We should always keep in mind that true happiness is not far-fetched goal, and in fact, it all begin with ourselves – our mindset.

Cheers~ 🙂

Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Mother’s Day @ Uncle Leong Seafood (Jurong Branch)

Last Sunday was mother’s day, and being Singaporean whose favourite pastime is to eat, most of us will choose to dine with our family to commemorate how great our mum is and to shower our love for her.

Mrs SOL treated her family to a crab speciality Zhu Cao (煮炒 – usually refers to stalls found in hawker center or below residential flat, non restaurant based, serving a variety of seafood and cook food).

Uncle Leong has various outlets in Singapore, but we just chose the one that is located near us, in the western part of Singapore – Jurong East.

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Signboard

The Setting

Although I did mentioned Uncle Leong being Zhu Chao (煮炒), it is not the usual food stall in a coffee shop. The owner apparently owns the whole coffee shop worth of space, allowing it to have a spacious area to hold around 20-25 tables of guest. This includes 2 tables in the air-conditioned VIP room that you can booked to hold a function.

Are you able to believe this is originally the void deck below a HDB flat?

Are you able to believe this is originally the void deck below a HDB flat?

The owner did spent effort in designing this place to turn it into a crab eater paradise. In mandarin, we always describe a dish to be heavenly when it fulfil 色香味型俱全 (colour, fragrance, taste and style).  In this case, these attributes are demonstrated not only in  food they served, but also in the design concept of the shop is intended to turn on your appetite.   

Preserved Crab on Wall Display

Preserved Crab on Wall Display

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Preserved Crabs on Shelf Display

The Food

We ordered a total of six dishes for this special occasion which cost $238 in the total bill.

Crispy bean curd (tofu) is my favourite dish. I am a great fan of bean curd and this dish just reinforced it. The outer skin is fried till crispy, while inner layer remained chewy.  It is a blend of fish cake kind of texture.  Serve with the sweet dip sauce accompanying with this dish, make the tofu sweet and tasty. Highly recommended!

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脆皮豆腐 - Crispy Beancurd

三杯鸡, direct translation: three cups chicken, literally having 3 different ‘cups’ of seasoning added to the chicken. The three seasoning are rice wine, soy sauce and sesame oil with the proportion of 1:1:1.  Served in a hot pot, the chicken remains warm throughout so does the fragrance of this dish. 

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三杯鸡 - Stir fried chicken with rice wine, sesame oil and soy sauce

Salted egg prawn is definitely one of another all time favourite of mine. Yum Yum~!  Highly recommended !

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咸蛋虾球 - prawn fried with salted egg

Their mushrooms are huge and specially chosen. We are quite lucky to be able to have this dish as I get to know the mushroom were out of stocks couple of weeks ago.

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三珍香菇 - Large Mushroom with Broccoli

Soup brewed with four treasures namely, abalone, sea cucumber, scallop and shark fins. The soup comes with a strong seafood taste. If you are a fan of seafood or any of the four treasures, this dish you might consider to order this dish. Is it not cheap though; a small bowl cost $28 dollar and is meant for one person’s serving.

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上汤四宝 - Soup with Four Treasures

This dish needs no further commentary. Chilli crab, their speciality. Their crabs they served are gargantuan, one crab like the picture below is enough to serve five people, and mind you we requested for just ‘medium’ in size, there are still two size up (L and XL). The sauce is also perfect for mixing with rice or small buns. Highly recommended!

辣椒螃蟹 - Crab with Chilli Sauce

辣椒螃蟹 - Crab with Chilli Sauce

Conclusion

All of us ate to our fullest. But most importantly, Mrs SOL’s mum felt the love showered to her by her dearest family members.

Uncle Leong Seafood provides quality food for a reasonable price. Do pay a visit if you stay in the west or happen to drop by Jurong.

Address:

262 Jurong East Street 24, #01-485, Singapore 600262

Telephone:

(+65) 6897 2881

Opening Hours:

Mon – Fri: 11am – 11pm

Sat – Sun, eve of & PH: 4pm – 11pm

Happy Family

Happy Family

Cheers~ 🙂

A Visit to Wheeler’s Yard

Singapore being a metropolitan city, cafés such as Starbucks and The Coffee Beans are ubiquitous in shopping malls, even in the suburban residential areas. Therefore, in this highly saturated market, a newly opened café will have to be their own unique selling point in order to attract customers for a visit. Wheeler’s Yard is one of them.

The Café Exterior

Wheeler’s Yard, a bicycle workshop concept based café located in the northern part of Singapore, indeed worth your visit. What’s special about this place is that is situated in an industrial warehouse area and thus its building façade pretty much remain the same setting as not to break the harmony of the area.

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Their ‘signboard’ has became a popular photo backdrop for visitors too

The back view of the café that faces the main road.

The workshop setting give the café a unique atmosphere that no other café can offer

The workshop setting give the café a unique atmosphere that no other café can offer

From far, you will not be able to identify it as a café in operation. Don’t be deceived by the rundown look, take a look at the interior and you will be amazed how much effort has the owner put in to get their concept into reality.

The Café Interior

I would like to break the interior of the café into three parts; the outdoor, the non air-conditioned and the air-conditioned.

For outdoor, it is a large unsheltered area that is big enough for a big group to gather and have BBQ, although I don’t think they provide BBQ services. I felt that this place has the potential to be booked by corporate for functions and events.

The unsheltered open area

The unsheltered open area showing HDB flats in the background, uniquely Singapore.

The non air-conditioned area holds the workshop area, where you can buy a new bicycle or to get some accessories for your bike.

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The non air-conditioned area

Rows of bicycle for sale

Row of bicycle for sale

As for the air-conditioned area, it will be a nice spot to chill especially during a hot and humid day like the day when we visited this café. Besides, the air-conditioned area has exquisite design for you to admire on while slipping a cup of coffee.

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Every corner will have something for you to look at.

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Bicycle frames

 

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Old Typewriter

The Food

It is a pity that we could not get to try on their main dish meals as the kitchen were in the midst of preparing the evening menu for mothers’ day (5pm onwards) and we do not have the intention to stay beyond 5.30pm. Nonetheless, they still served aroma rich coffee and sweet cakes that will melt in your mouth.

Drinks Menu

Drinks Menu

What we had ordered

What we had ordered- Latte, Iced Mocha and a piece of Chocolate Truffle

With special mention on this piece of delicious chocolate truffle that we really love it to bits. Its sweetness is just right and I like the way they make it so smooth that it melts in your mouth. The bottom crust layer is crunchy and tasty too!

We love this chocolate truffle!

We love this chocolate truffle!

Conclusion

Wheeler’s Yard indeed is a unique café that worth your visit, especially you need a place that provide an environment to allow you to generate fresh idea from work or leisure. It just amazed me how perfectly the owner has blended three different elements into one, a bicycle workshop and café housed in a warehouse.

Wheeler’s Yard can be reached by a five minutes’ drive from Toa Payoh MRT station to reach this café. If you don’t drive, you could either take a 20 minutes walked from Toa Payoh Central or take a short five minutes bus ride from Toa Payoh Bus Interchange, bus number 139.

That’s all for the review on Wheeler’s Yard.

Another happy weekend well spent!

Cheers~ 🙂

Believe in Good

This post will be a sequel to one of my popular posts, a poor man asked the buddha, which I have shared with you, dear readers, on my view on the importance of pursuing an abundance and not just wealth. Having abundance does not have to equate to how much money a person has nor how much fame he enjoys. It can exist in a form of emotion, pure happiness and satisfaction in your life, a simple realisation that your existence does bring a difference to others.

The action of doing good and believing in it, might not make you rich, but it can be just as if not more rewarding than what money can offer to you.

Enough said, please allow me to share with you a video that touches my heart, and I hope it touches yours too.

Believe in good, believe in a better world. 🙂

Cheers~

What it Takes to be a Successful Engineer and Scientist?

What’s comes to your mind, when you think of an engineer and a scientist? For an engineer, perhaps you will picture a helmet, safety goggles and calculator. On the other hand, for a scientist, you might picture a person wearing a white lab coat, holding strangely colourful fluid contained in test tubes.

As the world economy changes rapidly, the role of engineer and scientist has expanded, at least I feel. Therefore, you might be wondering what it takes for a scientist or engineer to be successful in the modern days?

source: chemistry.about.com

source: chemistry.about.com

No longer a frog in a well 

These days where innovation is the driving force for company survivability, engineers and scientists will need to be creative so as to generate useful ideas to sustain a business competitive edge. This can be done by having the engineer and scientist to be exposed to multi-disciplinary fields of study. No longer a major in one single topic is sufficient.

In a dynamic corporate world, team will consist of various experts from each of the field they represent; sales, designing, marketing, manufacturing, etc. To have that synergistic effect, everyone in the team is expected to be at least understand and appreciate what others’ are working in. No doubt this take effort and immense intellectual curiosity to read, ask and google to find out the fundamentals of the unknown.

Employers are also reviewing on potential employees work experience and personal interest during an interview as such information will reveal the candidate’s ability to take on future leadership role and customer interfacing roles.

Outstanding ideas should make economic sense

All ideas are good, at least no one should disparage any seed of thought as who knows it might be the next big thing. However, outstanding ideas are those that make economic sense, meaning, those that are pertinent to current issues or relevant to the customer needs and wants.

Therefore, it has become imperative for all scientist and engineer to acquire business acumen competency. It is important for all researchers that involved in projects to understand how the business works. This will help to improve their critical thinking skills and decision-making skills which might significantly improve the success rate of these new projects.

What can be done?

Training and upgrading are the two main keys to achieve the above mentioned. In Singapore, it usually involved a tripartite effort; employee, employer and government.

– Employee must be willingly to undergo upgrading courses so as to be able to take on more roles. Some sacrifices will have to be made for a better future, be it less time for the family or less rest.

– Whereas the employer must provide such opportunities to employees. They could also make job-rotation option available to the employee so that they could learn important skills through different job assignments in different departments in an organisation.

– Singapore government has been encouraging workers to keep upgrading their skills. The sum of $300m has been invested to build two massive Continuous Education and Training (CET) campuses – one in Paya Lebar and the other in Jurong East. The purpose all be to house training providers, career counsellors and classrooms under one roof. This will greatly aids workers in seeking for the relevant trainer and vice verses. With constant feedback, the trainers could also develop relevant courses that are required by the labour market.

Conclusion

Whether you are thinking of becoming an engineer or scientist, or If you are already one of them, I hope you can strive to be a value-added staff and belong to a unique group of technical gurus equipped with business essence, who can solve problems and most importantly deliver value to your customer.

Cheers~

Tea Break @ Miam Miam

A relaxing saturday afternoon with Mrs SOL spent at Miam Miam, Westgate.  We do treasure such rare afternoon tea session on a weekend as usually, we will be spending time working at home. Yes yes, you might say where is the work-life balance! However, you will understand if you have read my thoughts on work-life balance. We do still have some ‘life’, just that sometimes is just more work less life or more life less work, depending on our work demand.

Miam Miam @ Westgate

Miam Miam @ Westgate

Nonetheless,  having such lavish (in the aspect of time and money) tea break session do make my weekend more complete, at least not just all work. I love spending quality time with Mrs SOL, where we can discuss our plans over a tea break.

A short introduction on Miam Miam

Fusion between french and japanese cuisine

Fusion between french and japanese cuisine

Miam Miam is a casual Artisanal French cafe that brings together a mixture of French Artisanal Cuisine & Techniques with influences derived from traditional Japanese preparation and cooking arts. Currently, they have two outlets, one in Westgate and the other being located in Bugis Junction.

Their menu has much to offer, from sandwiches, pancakes, soufflés, spaghetti, parfait and rice, suited for you to visit at any time of the day.

I like how they designed their interior, it gives off message that the contemporary flavour is oozing out from a quaint setting.

Miam Miam Interior Design - A well mixed of modern and oldies.

Miam Miam Interior Design – A well mixed of modern and oldies.

What we ordered

We ordered the following:

1. Famous French Toast – S$9.80

This is a popular dessert and definitely one of the recommended dish in Miam Miam. It tasted yummy when doused with maple syrup and daubed with whipped cream that both of us savoured to the very last bit.

Famous French Toast

Famous French Toast

2. Matcha Souffles – S$10.80

Souffles is definitely another highlight of Miam Miam. They have three types; Vanilla, Chocolate and Matcha. Being Matcha fans, we ordered the Matcha Souffles to try. Overall, appearance wise not too bad, but both of us felt that the taste could be better if it could make it more ‘airy’. What we have felt soggy and less fluffy than what we expected.

Matcha Souffles

Matcha Souffles

3. Hot Matcha Latte – S$6.80

I preferred to drink hot matcha (when the environment allows so), whereas the lady preferred to have the iced version. The taste is near to what St Marc Cafe is offering which is milky yet that comes with faint green tea aroma.

Hot Matcha Latte

Hot Matcha Latte

4. Iced Matcha Latte – S$7.80

Mrs SOL’s cup of iced version of the similar drink. Honestly, I would say the iced version do taste better than the hot one. Reason is that with the iced in the drink, it seemed to be less sweet and milky.

Iced Macha Latte

Iced Macha Latte

Conclusion

Miam Miam indeed served a different feel of food that will attract foodies who have a sweet tooth or inclination to the french cuisines. It does gives off the fusion element both in their shop design and food flavour. Mrs SOL and I will definitely visit this cafe again in the near future.

For now is a yay to a rejuvenating Saturday! Indeed a weekend well-spent! 🙂

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Cheers~