Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hjh Maimunah Restaurant & Catering - Malay food on Jalan Pisang

A colleague of ours is super enthusiastic about a lot of things and able to eat like a horse without putting on any weight! No fair ;-) But he decided that we should head for lunch at Hjh Maimunah Restaurant and Catering which is a Malay restaurant on Jalan Pisang in the Arab Quarter. I am glad I trusted him (well, he is Italian, so I should trust him when it comes to food) as we all enjoyed our lunch at Hjh Maimunah. Nice and close to our office, good food, wide range of choice. There was a huge queue out the door and down the side, which is always a good sign in Singapore - just like the Fluff Bakery queue across the road! We had to wait for a bit, there were probably 25 people ahead of us in line, but it moves relatively quickly and there is a load of extra space upstairs.

So what did we have?

I had tempeh with beans. Aubergine with sambal. Beansprout salad with wing beans and coconut. Chicken. Potato deep fried soft thing :) 9$ including a canned drink. I enjoyed the tempeh, I usually do, I like the slightly strange texture and nuttiness. The bean sprout salad was nice and fresh against the other stronger items. Quite green tasting. Fried potato is always yummy. Aubergines weren't the strongest tasting but nice with the sambal. Chicken was good, a bit dry but I like it like that, with a crisp outside. And I had the chicken coconut curry sauce over my rice.

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Wine Creek - a great example of how to handle social media

I wanted to share a great experience I had recently on social media. I went to the Wine Family gathering as you may know if you follow my blog. G and I love Greco di Tufo, an Italian white wine, and we were excited to see it on the list of wines to taste that day. But when we tried it from the Wine Creek stand, we were disappointed. We had taken detailed notes on all the wines we tried and Wine Family uploaded them to their site as tasting comments.

The Wine Creek posted a response inviting us to email them and that they would deliver a new bottle of wine for us to taste. We had two sets of comments and two offers of a bottle of wine, but we felt a bit bad as we are a couple and when asked by The Wine Creek whether we knew each other, I was honest and said yet, happily expecting to just get the one bottle of Greco di Tufo to share which was already above and beyond anything we expected!

And The Wine Creek shocked us by offering to give us a bottle each and then proceeded to deliver a bottle of Greco di Tufo plus a bottle of Falanghina, with an invitation to join them for future wine tastings at their warehouse.

We have since tasted both and enjoyed both wines immensely, we will probably be buying some more soon! So for the Greco di Tufo, it was obviously either a bad bottle or had just been open too long. It smelled right but didn't have the right intensity of flavour.

But that was totally different when we tried the full bottle again at home. It was very nice and we had it with Thai food for dinner and it stood up well to it. Same for the Falanghina we had another night with another Thai meal.

Both are nice and fresh, especially the Falanghina is very light and crisp and mineral-y which I enjoy. The Greco was more fruity but not too fruity, enough acid to keep it balanced.

If you want to get them to try, the Greco is $42 on Wine Family:


And the Falanghina is 35$ on Wine Family:


So I just want to commend The Wine Creek on how they handled this situation. I never like saying negative things any way but had promised a friend my honest opinions on the wines at the tasting so was truthful. But I felt uncomfortable with my less positive views being up on the site and I was so happy to have the opportunity to retry the wine and I am so glad I liked it a lot more this time and could be honest about it. Well done The Wine Creek on such a wonderful social media management!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sri Lankan food - some more homecooked meals

I have posted about Sri Lankan food in the past, both for eating out in Sri Lanka and cooking it at home. Here is some more of our experimenting in the kitchen. I randomly picked up a "Jaffna cooking" book at Colombo airport at one point, and we love it.

It was obviously written by a mother whose cooking delighted her friends and family, and in the foreword she even thanks her son-in-law for typing up her recipes. She does assume that you do know how to cook, so it isn't really for novices in Sri Lankan cooking, or any cooking. But we like it, some great simple, home cooked meals.

Here is the result:

Friday, 21 November 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - The Elephant bar @ Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

When we stayed at the Siem Reap Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor, we had to stop by The Elephant Bar for afternoon drinks. The bar is so gorgeous, so traditional, so part of the colonial era. Full of dark wood and cream, with lovely leather sofas and comfy chairs. Though we chose to sit at the bar.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

DEAREST 《亲爱的》- Film Review - Heart-rending and beautifully acted

I just got home from the preview of Dearest, a new Chinese film out on Thursday and I felt compelled to write about it immediately. Based on a true story, it was just beautiful. Sadly, gut wrenchingly, beautifully sad.

We both exited the room heading to talk about whilst wiping our eyes but in my case trying not to sob. And figure out what happened next. There is no perfect Hollywood clean ending.

Things are messy, how could they not be when the story hinges on a divorced couple Tian Wen-jun (HUANG BO) and Lu Xiao-juan (HAO LEI) whose son Tian Peng (PengPeng) is abducted and they search for him for three years.

Three whole years of not knowing what has happened to their beloved son, whether he is alive or dead, clinging to the hope of seeing him once again. There are conmen out there trying to take the little money they have left, but they will swap money for hope as that is all they have left.

Tian Wen Jun
Lu Xiao Juan
They join a support group for parents whose children have been kidnapped without a trace. The amount of despair and pain and guilt in the room during the meetings is palpable and excruciatingly hard to watch at points.

All the scenes with the parents together are like that... grasping at straws, hoping, crying, trying to keep each other going and getting up every day for years after years. Their chant of "cheer up, cheer up, cheer up" and their song about having invisible wings border on the pathetic but you can tell it is all that keeps them from falling off the edge.

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