Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trickeye Museum

We had bundle tickets as part of a MOE Family Day package that we could use within a stipulated period of time, and since we were visiting Resorts World Sentosa last weekend, we decided to bring along the tickets in case we had time for it. It was a last minute decision, but it worked out.

It has been over a year since we enjoyed the museum in Seoul (Click HERE), We had to change our tickets for passes before joining the weekend crowd in the queue, which holds visitors when the museum is full. As the queue was projected to be about half an hour long, we snacked on fruits Daddy brought along. Hopefully this would be enough to last us till a late lunch.

The museum is not very big, and can be easily covered in minutes if not for the frequent stops to snap photos. We also realized that it was probably a better idea to visit on a weekday instead of a Sunday as it was very crowded. It was frustrating to be constantly getting in each others' way while posing with the exhibits. Some of the exhibits required us to join a short queue, and where there was no well-defined queue it was hard to tell who would be next.

Aside from some of the more popular sets that were similar to those in the Seoul museum, there were a few were uniquely Singaporean. The museum rents 'selfie-sticks', but we doubt this will help with the exhibits as photos need to be carefully framed and angled for optimum effect.

Some exhibits just don't fit. We still had fun trying them out

K is experiencing a growth-spurt!

We posed with this exhibit in Seoul two years ago. Still a favourite with the girls.

Throwback to March 2014 in Seoul (Click HERE).

We managed to enjoy over an hour of posing and laughing at one another, but the need for a restroom ended our visit and we found our way out of the museum. It was already past our usual lunch time anyway, and we contemplated between a couple of place before settling for the Malaysian Food Street for beef kway teow soup and fried prawn noodles.

We caught a shuttle back to HarbourFront with the intention to ride the MRT home, but after some snacks from the 7-Eleven, we gave in to the temptation of the comforts of a cab. It turned out to be a pretty good decision as we all managed to catch a short nap in the taxi on the way home!

Ju Shing Jung @ East Coast Park

The June holidays are an opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Mummy managed to arrange an afternoon at the beach with the cousins, and as a 'throwback' to our trip to Seoul in March, we decided to have Korean barbecue at Ju Shing Jung. The plan was to order noodles for the kids while the adults tucked into the barbecue buffet they had on weekdays. The daddies would be able to join after work to help out with the buffet!

The options for the barbecue were servings of beef, pork collar, pork belly, chicken and prawns. Adults having the buffet could choose a soup. We selected four kimchi soups and a soyabean soup to share.

The staff graciously cooked up the meats for us and sliced them into manageable portions.

Pork belly fresh on the grill

Beef on the grill with cooked chicken on the sides. Daddy loves the grilled garlic!

Grilled prawns and sliced pork collar.

The daddies decided to share a bottle of Raspberry wine! Daddy and Mummy do not drink often, but this was a sweet option and went well with the grilled meats.

The kids had noodles and were not able to eat the barbecued meats, but they were allowed to help themselves to the sides. This was great as our girl loves her salads.

Kimchi soup with pork.

Soyabean soup.

These wipes were quite a hit with the kids as they enjoyed adding water and watching the towels expand. They can be purchased over the counter to bring home too!

SEA Games 2015 Marathon

5am! The alarm sounds and it's time to wake up after hitting the sack at midnight. We had attended the wedding dinner of a close friend the night before and had difficulty getting out of bed. Duty calls, however and this morning, we're going to support the marathoners at the SEA Games! Uncle Ashley was going to lay it all out on the line for Singapore, and we hoped our light-sticks, pom-poms and hearty cheers would help to send him quickly to the finish.

We overcome the initial sluggishness, donned our 'Ash in a Flash' limited edition T-shirts, and caught a predawn cab to reach Parkland Green around 6.00 am. We did not encounter much difficulty with road-closures, but was surprised to see how empty the park was. East Coast Park was the venue for a number of sports, and the men's triathlon was flagging off later in the morning too. After some navigation, we found ourselves at the u-turn, and waited in anticipation for the leaders to appear.

"Gimme an 'A'!" No prizes for guessing who we're cheering for this morning!

The sky was overcast red and a there were intermittent drizzles. We had strayed too far from the shelters at Parkland Green, but there was a shed nearby in which we planned to take cover in if the heavens opened. Mummy had also packed along our raincoats and umbrellas.

The marathoners made their first u-turn on time a little past 6.20 am. At first it was difficult to see who was who, and we shouted general cheers for everyone. As they ran past us, it was apparent that everyone was keeping it close, which was expected at this point in the race.

The men's marathon staying tight after the first turn. It's still early in the race, and anything can happen.

The leading women followed shortly after and they seemed to be a little more spread out than the men with a handful of women in a lead pack. It must be difficult running a marathon with so few competitors as the trailers soon found themselves alone without anyone to feed off. There were sections of the course that were very quiet, and many of them must have realised that they had to dig deep to find sources of motivation within themselves instead of relying on external sources.

"Ash in a Flash!"

In between cheering, we have the opportunity to chat with and make new friends with the other supporters. There were many park users who where surprised by the extensive road and pathway closures, and those who stopped their morning routines momentarily to appreciate the race.

At about the third loop, it began to rain heavily. Daddy and K got drenched as they were on the way to the toilet. For the final loops, we got into our raincoats and cheered on the runners as we slowly made our way back to the facilities at Parkland Green.

Supporters have gathered at Parkland Green despite the downpour.

After the final runners completed the loops at East Coast Park, we headed indoors for breakfast at a café. It's been a long cold morning and it was nice to have hot chocolate and some warm food as we kept our eyes peeled on social media for the results.

Warming up after a job well done!

Time to make new friends...

The Singapore course was expected to be unkind with its intermittent rains, surprising humidity and lonely stretches.  Singapore took home the gold in a historic race on home-soil, but everyone who toed the starting line was a winner in our hearts. Distance running is a metaphor for the long journey in life. It is about giving it all, leaving nothing on the course, and finishing strong. Some of the gutsiest performances were witnessed in the runners who had a bad day. After the lead packs had passed by the course became quiet, and the trailing runners marched on with resolve and national-pride that went beyond the glories of winning. Watching them was a chance to appreciate sportsmanship at its finest.

We agreed that despite the early wake-up call and the rain, it was a morning well spent together as a family, generating conversations about sportsmanship and hard work. While we have been able to catch some of the sporting action online, nothing beats being on site. The emotions, feelings and intensity of the sport literally plays out in front of you and you feel drawn into the action.

It's just across the causeway in two years time, so maybe......

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Kith Cafe @ Park Mall

Standing in awe at the exhibition at Plaza Singapura. Can't imagine how large these creatures would have been if they are still roaming the earth.

School holidays have started and it is time to explore again. This time, we decided to explore cafes since the girls are older now and can enjoy different cuisines better. It is a blessing that they are big eaters so we get to try a wide variety of food and give one another our opinions. We talk as we eat...girls-only outings are the best!

We were doing a staycation in town and after a long day out yesterday, we decided to take it slow, window shop and run some errands around lunch time. After shopping at Plaza Singapura, we headed over to Park Mall which is located just across the road. There are not many eating options at Park Mall but one café stands out for its food and ambience. It opens at 8am daily and is a great spot for the breakfast seekers. Pasta and mains are served from 11am onwards but the breakfast menu is available throughout the day. K and I first chanced upon it when we were at Park Mall for a doctor's appointment and the first thing K said was, " Just like Australia". The café exudes a carefree and relaxed atmosphere, and the staff played a big part in contributing to the warmth. Everyone is friendly and it is very easy to strike a conversation with them. No pretence at all.

Today, Daddy was going to join us for a quick lunch before rushing back to the office. An opportunity for the family to enjoy a gem of a café!

Poach and Salmon. Came with a touch of mayo-avocado topping and caviar! ($16.50)

Big Breakfast. ($17) K and I ordered this the first time we were here and she loves it so much that she ordered it again without any hesitation. You get to choose your bread and eggs. Of course, she was set on her sunny side up.

Penne Sausage ($24). They added capsicum and its taste was a bit too strong for the kids. I had to help them finish the rest.

Caramel and Cookie Milkshake and Strawberry Yoghurt Milkshake ($8.50 each). The portions were too large for the girls so Daddy had a good time finishing them up.

We seldom make the trip out to this part of town, but it was great to take the girls out to meet Daddy for lunch when school is out. Family time adds to the holiday mood! The girls like to play 'pretend' when they are together, and it seems that Daddy and Mummy like to 'pretend' too. Well, since we're not travelling, let's pretend we are sitting in a lovely waterfront café somewhere in...... [please complete the sentence]

Bing Go Jung Korean Dessert House

Mummy loves visiting Korea, and it's not surprising that she craves good Korean cuisine too. And the part about Korean food that excites the kids most has to be their creative desserts. On this special weekend, we decided to replace a 'proper' lunch with a visit to the Bing Go Korean Dessert House (located at the junction of Geylang Lor 22 and Guillemard Road). The kids could not believe their ears.

There is no breakfast here as the cafe only opens from 12-11pm. Strictly desserts and drinks in this house!

Note that the cafe is adjoined to Ju Shing Jung via a glass wall and door. The thoughtful design allows you to escape the sounds and smells of the grills for a cosy and comfortable post barbeque dessert.

More evidence that this cafe caters to guests next door. Bing Su is an overpriced ice-kacang in my opinion, but then again, so are many other pleasures and luxuries of life anyway!

There is an outdoor patio outside for the night-time crowd, but at lunch it's simply too hot! Time to head in for some air-conditioning.
We placed our order for a lunch that did not seem like one: Oreo Bing Su, and three toasts: the more traditional Injoelmi Toast, and more contemporary Cheese and Garlic Toast and Caramel and Cinammon Toast. Girls were thrilled! In fact, the only thing that the adults ordered was Injoelmi Toast.

There's less time for family interaction when our mouths are stuffed, so much of it happened while we were hungry and anticipating the arrival of the food. We were the first and only guests then, so we took the liberty to ditch some restaurant manners and make a little more noise than we should.

One of the ways we pass time while waiting for our orders: thumb-wars.

And while we wait, we play pretend: creative use of the restaurant pager while the 'hair-stylist' does her hair.

Oreo Bingsu ($11): Pretty and creative. The Bing Su leverages on the all-time favourite flavours of crushed Oreo biscuits, but we agreed that the large volume of crushed ice and otherwise normal ingredients could bring the price down of this bowl a bit more. The large amount of ice overwhelms the taste of Oreo too.

Garlic and Cheese Toast ($6): Reminds you of the Breadtalk version? The garlic toast in Korea is thicker and softer though. Nonetheless, this was the kids' favourite. They finished it very quickly.

Injoelmi Toast ($6) - Traditional toast filled with rice cake and topped with ice-cream, sprinkled over with sliced almonds and crushed bean powder. Savoury. Just right for mummy.

Ice-Cream Vanilla Waffle ($3) Found the waffle a bit hard but the sweet whip cream made up for that.

Imported can drinks for $3 each!

Hot Jujube Tea ($5.50) and Americano ($4.50).
A simple lunch but a very fruitful family bonding time. Mummy did not have to keep reminding them to finish their meal because the kids were very motivated that day. That was probably their first time having sweet treats for a meal. The bingsu did wonders in this burning weather and the girls couldn't agree more. One more thing. The staff mentioned that the café gets crowded from evening onwards so do head down early if you want to be assured of an indoor seat.