Friday, January 19, 2018

Cavalock and The Cold Snap Spell

That cold snap's over and it was fun while it lasted. For the Baker-at-Home and me, it was the perfect excuse to make a beeline for Imperial Treasure Steamboat at Great World City. Not the cheapest meal around but it was definitely satisfying.

And with the temperature dropping, there weren't any birds out for my 84-year-old Dad to shoot either so we spent most of our time indoors. But he did managed to stake out (middle-of-freakin'-nowhere) Seletar open fields and shot this little fella round the end of December.

This is another one of those things I never thought I would doing a decade ago and that's carrying a tote bag. Back then this was pretty much one of the most gay things a straight guy would be caught lugging but these days that's how I transport my board games and miniatures around. They are the right fit for most of the game boxes. Just can't resist any Star Wars or Snoopy ones especially if they are all from Japan like the ones I got.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cavalock and The Coconut Nut Entanglement

Was never ever a snack person but I did succumb and buy one of them snacks below when I was at Meidi-Ya last week. That supermarket is always great for spotting groceries your neighbourhood FairPrice will very unlikely bring in, for whatever reasons.

Anyway these Kettle bags of crisps look pretty interesting at first place, especially the New York Deli. I can imagine snacking on that. The others were either too meh or weird to me. I mean, salted caramel and cream crisps seriously? No thanks. And no, I didn't buy any of them.

Coconut biscuits from Japan! This is also where I finally find out whether or a coconut is a nut ... or not. The 'triple nuts sable' features almonds, hazelnuts and ... are you for this? coconut! Yup, from Oxford dictionary you got this definition:

"If you asked a botanist this question, the answer would probably be no, a coconut isn’t a true nut: strictly speaking, it’s a one-seeded drupe. In more general terms, however, a coconut can be a fruit, a seed, and a nut (a nut is technically a type of fruit)."

I like drinking coconuts and coconut-flavoured confectioneries, and I also like a generous scoop of butter on most of my food. Bought the butter pack and had it with a cup of coffee the next day, not bad. 

It's the second week of the new year and I have only managed to play eight games so far. Two games of Clank! Sunken Treasures, three games of Ethnos, continued our weekly Gloomhaven campaign, one game of Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space and one miniature war game of Age of Sigmar. Enjoyed all of them except for Escape from the Aliens. Well, Escape is a hidden movement game where two players are aliens while another two are humans, players won't know who's what until much later in the game. So as a hidden movement game, everyone's calling out real or fake co-ordinates on a map while trying to escape to the escape pod or if you are alien, kill the the human players. It got kinda draggy at the end. And I'm still painting my miniatures!

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Cavalock and The Oxley Flapjack Fascination

Happy New Year Everybody!

If only we had something like this back when we were all living in the old family home. A Kith Cafe opened up at Winsland House along Oxley Road late last year. It's a nice little joint just a short walk down from where we used to live, where we can now all enjoy a breakfast of toast, eggs and pancakes. I know my late uncle would have loved a place like this. He spent half his life working and living in the US, and I remember how he would look forward to a non-local meal more than once. Hah!

I have never visited a Kith outlet before even though they are apparently almost everywhere. Now their light fluffy pancakes are what I would gleefully look forward to on weekend mornings. Just two pancakes, not too filling and just the way I like them. And their honey ginger chai is pretty damn good too. That ginger also kinda gives you a little morning kick.

Another thing that I noticed near my old family home is the traffic light across the road from Winsland House now has a 'Stop' button! Well, it actually had it about a year ago but for decades, it never had one. After all these years, the power is now back in the hands of the people! Well, I mean it's kinda obvious why it couldn't have a bleeding 'Stop' button cos it's at the Oxley junction where I can imagine a certain previous resident would rather his entourage not hit the brakes for the likes of us?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cavalock and The Post Post Boxing Day Post

Oh gawd, so many amazing Japanese high-balls. Spotted this shelf of pretty cool Japanese booze at our local Don Don Donki. They got an impressive range of Japanese groceries that ought to give Isetan and Meidi-Ya a decent run for their money.

Who knew? If someone had told me at the beginning of the year, I would be totally into these two activities, I would have said they were crazy. Never in a gazillion years did I expect to look forward to heading to the gym and painting miniature figures.

The last time I spent this much time working out was almost 20 years ago. Heh, I'm no stranger to a good workout but I'm ain't as young as back then so nowadays there are some mornings when I'm left a wee bit nauseous after training. It's not the cheapest gym in town and I got a trainer too but it's part of the motivation I guess cos since I'm already paying that much moolah, I'll definitely make it a point to work my ass off.

Plus I get a kick outta giving all the strangers in the gym comic book nicknames. Easy to give names to the ang mos like the Kingpin and Batroc. Hah!

I have written bout my recent foray into Games Workshop's Age of Sigmar miniatures game a few months ago. I had no idea painting those little guys could be so therapeutic and serene. I have painting soooo much I have been neglecting my writing. Yah, my painting skills still suck but I'm enjoying it and that's what it's all about. As long as you are doing the things you enjoy, that's important.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cavalock and The Instant Noodle Perplexity

The Baker-at-Home called ahead to make dinner reservations at Oversea Restaurant, an old school Cantonese joint that's just a short stroll from our hotel. So they used to have an outlet in Singapore years ago but had to close that. Their specialty char siu was excellent and it's easy to understand you gotta call ahead just to reserve this dish. And yah, this was the dinner we had after our joint food coma earlier in the day.

Here's something interesting we spotted at the food court in Kuala Lumpur. Unlike our local yong tau fu stalls where we get to decide on the kinda noodles or rice to have, well, apparently in KL there is a whole selection of different instant noodles to choose from. Pretty weird huh?

What I did not expect to do in KL? Buy painting supplies from Art Friend. Was definitely not planning that but we happened to see they had a store at the mall and whoa! things are cheaper here. And I also grabbed a novel from KLCC Kinokuniya, not cos it was cheaper there but becos I have never seen the book sold here. I could be wrong but I believe the book is out-of-print. It's an old horror anthology. Few folks understand the joy of finding an out-of-print book in a bookstore.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cavalock and The Food Coma Trepidation

So we got a wee bit greedy on our first morning in Kuala Lumpur and went on an early breakfast eating spree. We hit the popular kopi tiam at the junction along Jalan Barat and ordered ... and ordered ... and ordered.

We had us some pork porridge, pork noodles and char kway teow, and I washed it all down with a sweeter than sweet tall glass of 3 layer tea. The food was all good although the porridge and wanton noodles were way tastier than pork noodles. But the above pork blood sausage from the pork noodles was my breakfast champ. I don't think I can find anything similar at hawker stalls in Singapore. Well, about three hours after that meal, the Baker-at-Home and I were unceremoniously struck by a case of severe food coma. It was not a pleasant feeling. It slowly crept up as I suddenly found that I could not move my limbs another inch and all we could do was look for a place to rest our bodies ... at the mall. Really. All that carbo overload and sugar overdose were like a lethal double KO blow for us.

Lesson learnt. I think since we started changing our diets and working out. We can't do them big carbo breakfasts no more. :P

Oh yah, if you are at the Jalan Barat kopi tiam, don't forget to try them little custard tarts, damn, they are good and insanely cheap.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cavalock and The Rainbow Tim Sum Bemusement

Back to Jalan Alor and it's still every bit as bustling as the last time I was there several years ago. Couple things we noticed that seemed new to me. First up, you'll noticed a lot of Burmese migrant workers manning the stalls, kinda like how we got the China workforce here I guess. Other thing worth mentioning is the below rainbow tim sum trend that I'm seeing for the first time. More than a few stalls selling them although I didn't try any. Methinks a wee bit gimmicky perhaps? It was the first time at Jalan Alor for the Baker-at-Home and we both kinda agreed that as attractive as the food is, we could give the street a pass if we visit the city again. Not a repeat-visit for us as we would much rather explore the area for other venues.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cavalock and The After Dinner Drinks Aspiration

Who knew this would happen to us? Never saw this coming but we became the kinda holiday couple who hangs out at bars after dinner. Hah! I think it's maybe a sign of old age or something, it definitely wasn't because we were bored. Perhaps it's an evolution of one's travel habits from squirrelling back cheap supermarket food to the hotel to dining at fancy restaurants to appreciating after dinner drinks at watering holes in exotic lands.

Well, that's what we did every night in Kuala Lumpur last week, at The Tokyo Restaurant's bar at KL's Isetan The Japan Store to be exact. We read about their famous cheesecake and knew we just had to have it for our dessert that night. It certainly deserved every praise. Extremely light and luxuriously delicious, making it very tempting for us to order a second slice.

Why the need to rush back to our room when we could be resting on bar stools and taking it easy in a foreign city? During the day, we walked to their Kinokuniya book store at KLCC and damn! that has got to be the biggest Kinokuniya I have ever been to, even larger than the ones I visited in Japan. Huge bookstore means lotsa books! Spent almost 2 hours there and noticed some nuggets in their fiction selection that were sorely missing at our local stores.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Cavalock and The Overseas Supermarket Inspection

I guess you could say it was the vacation over a decade in the making. The Baker-at-Home and I finally made our way to Kuala Lumpur for our long deserved vacation. One of those so near yet so far holiday destinations if you know what I mean. Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves silly on some glorious street food and almost slipped into a lethal food coma mere hours later. More on that in a later post.

We did what we always do whenever we are in another country, we visit their supermarkets! And we were pleasantly surprised to find some pretty cool items on sale. Check this out, Haggis and other porky canned food in the non-Halal section! The last time I had Haggis was back in Edinburgh in 2009. Anyway I sure don't remember any of our supermarkets having such a well-stocked porky aisle before. Who knew? I definitely wasn't expecting this in a country like Malaysia.

I suppose no spermarket or grocery store here is complete without some Kopi Luwak or Tongkat Ali item. Heh, and no, I didn't buy any.

Back in 2014, when me and the guys were in KL for our Magic: The Gathering/Makan road trip, this was how this block of abandoned building along Bukit Bintang looked like. Three years later, it's still exactly the same. For some strange reason, I just seemed drawn to it. ;)