Friday, November 17, 2017

Cavalock and The Rubber Stamp Seizure

So much food to consume before those expiry dates hit us! We have been pigging out on the Japanese snacks and fresh food that the Baker-at-Home brought back from her Japan vacation earlier this month. Breakfast is two slices of bread with some amazing Japanese apple butter jam while afternoon tea at home is either a cheesy snack from Pablo or one of the other numerous biscuits or tarts.

Also glad that she and her friends managed to enjoy a unagi lunch at a Michelin Star restaurant. Yup, the ever popular Unagi Hirokawa in Osaka is still blessed with the same looooong queue as when we were there last year. Think they queued for an hour and a half but it was definitely worth it for them.

Since early this year, I have been collecting stamps. No, not the postage kind that millennials today have no idea what I'm talking about, but the fancy rubber ones with ink pads. The Japanese stamps have always been my favourite and lately this one I picked from Tokyu Hands in Tokyo earlier this year has been pretty active in my journals.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Cavalock and The Lost Week of Miniature Gaming

Nope, I wasn't back in Japan again but the Baker-At-Home was in Osaka and Kyoto with her friends last week. Her third Japan vacation this year but hey, who's counting? She had the luxury of savouring this season's Haagen-Dazs flavours. Clockwise, that's Annou Imo (sweet potato), Sweet Strawberry, Salty Butter Biscuit and Hojicha Latte. Gotta remember to ask which was her favourite.

So the plan for my home alone week was to ... err, never mind ... it doesn't really matter what the original plan was, I ended up mostly tidying up the tiny apartment and playing more a couple games of miniature wargaming.

Played the new Games Workshop game Shadesphire, Age of Sigmar Skirmish and then an epic 2-hour plus Age of Sigmar pitched battle. I believe that's the most miniature wargaming I have ever played in a week. Certainly a joy to finally field my freshly painted figures and seeing them marching across the table. I still have so many more miniatures to paint. Unfortunately all this painting has taken me away from my writing and ... well, them words ain't gonna write themselves.

Heh, that little voice in my head whenever I look at my ever growing collection of games, books, Lego, books, miniatures and books.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Cavalock and The Pitta Photo Shootout

So I was reading some them local food blogs and I noticed a spate of write-ups bout a new lobster roll joint. Apparently there was a media invite and everyone online now is gushing bout their $58 lobster rolls and I was like, SERIOUSLY?!? I looked at the photos and really didn't think much bout the roll. Especially when I just had lunch at Luke's at Gemmill Lane couple weeks back. Wasn't my first time there and far as I'm concerned, this is the only lobster roll in town that I trust.

Big tasty chunks of lobster meat drizzled with house-made aioli in a soft delicious bun, New England style. And it's all in a pretty swanky joint for only $48. Great sides and attentive service for lunch at less than $50.

So my 84-year-old Dad spent two mornings at Hougang from 7.30am onwards till almost noon and came back with a buncha shots of this single blue-winged pitta.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cavalock and The Ulcer Patch Peculiarity

Our second visit to Folklore was just as entertaining and memorable as our first a couple months back. This time, it was an extremely boisterous group of nine adults and kids instead of just me and the Baker-At-Home. Still a wonderful dinner experience except for a couple minor hiccups. No beef rendang that night! They also appeared to be terribly understaffed that night so we mostly refilled our own water when we wanted to. We didn't wanna bother the already harassed staff of two. I guess this is all part of the so-called manpower crunch the F & B industry is facing.

Still a satisfying dinner. Everyone had their favourite dish like the tender oxtail stew or and mine was the unexpected buah keluak fried rice. Yah, never thought I would like a rice dish that much. The chap chye would had been more well liked if they gave us less noodles and more cabbage. Hah!

Here's something to add to the list of handy Japanese products I wish we have here. Bought them in Japan earlier this year when I bit me lip during lunch (or was it breakfast?). These little medicinal miracles are for those pesky mouth ulcers whenever you bite yourself. Peel and stick the small circular patch over the ulcer and it works. No sticky jel or taste and it's easy to store too. So why won't they import this here? Maybe our local authorities have deemed that there's some deadly or at least dangerous chemicals present in them patches? I mean, kinda like how they banned them Taiwanese milk teas, only thing is I bet Singaporeans would consume truckloads of them when they are in Taiwan. Whenever we travel, we would be drinking and eating same as the locals and I just find it weird to hear our Government banning them. Ok, enough rant.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cavalock and The Kombucha Experiment

My first taste of the fermented tea drink Kombucha was at a Real Food outlet couple months back. It's like drinking cider vinegar as the one from Real Food comes with a fruity flavour. It's sweet with a sour kick. The Baker-at-Home and I liked it so much we began toying with the idea of making our own. The health claims are out there and whether you are a believer or not, I think the pros outweigh the cons here.

And by some incredible coincidence, one of her friends has actually been brewing her own kombucha  for awhile now and has a slice of scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) starter to pass to us! You'll need the scoby to start your own jar of kombucha. So we did, brewing ours in the above jar and that photo is actually our second batch, having enjoyed the first one. Yup, drank and we still alive here!

Been clearing up cupboard space in our tiny apartment cos of numerous incoming boardgames, cookbooks and Lego sets, and saw this little note. Believe it or not, I actually kinda enjoyed my NS days. I always tell folks that's the first place I learnt how to lie with a straight face. A skill that came in real handy more times than I can remember.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Cavalock and The Hokkaido Melon Extraction

It was just another Japanese Hokkaido food fair at the supermarket basement but we happened to be at Takashimaya that Friday afternoon so why not drop by to see what they got. Melons!!! Gorgeous juicy Hokkaido Raiden melons for sale at $25 each on the first day of the fair!

The Baker-At-Home mentioned that they were slightly larger than the ones we bought earlier this year. Each melon comes individually boxed and we bought two almost immediately. If you like melons and if you like them really, really juicy sweet, this is something you gotta try at least once in your life.


The guys finally got their work leave approved and we all headed to play the epic Civilization boadrgame (with expansions), that's based on the old PC game. Each player takes on a role of a famous leader in charge of various historical civilizations, each with their own abilities. Players then explore a module game board, build cities and buildings, fight battles, research powerful technology and attract great people by advancing their culture. With different pathways to victory and options every turn, this is a brain-burner that could easily go up to four hours.

And then if one plays with us, one would have the privileged of gaming with the most politically incorrect bunch of gamers ever. Especially when you make us heads of state of countries like China and India, well, I know better than to repeat our jokes or comments online but we almost died laughing.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Cavalock and The Lone Red Erget

Good news bout the Media-Ya supermarket renovation is that it's finally done and it looks all nice and spiffy. Bad news is their selection appears (to me at least) a little more mainstream. I see less Japanese and foreign merchandise like beer, snacks and cereal. Maybe it'll be different in the coming weeks? Anyway the Baker-At-Home did notice that they have brought in more Japanese baking ingredients and stuff, with the below small section devoted to them.

Check out the new lighting above the kid's TV section. Pretty neat. Now even though the selection now appears a little more like what you would find in NTUC FairPrice or Cold Storage, there are still more than enough unique Japanese products to make me wanna drop every couple weeks. Fingers crossed!

So my 83-year-old Dad heard bout this lone red erget roaming the fields around Chinese Garden last month. He finally found the time to head down there one morning, almost couldn't find the bird until a drink vendor told him where it was last spotted. Real friendly little bird that wasn't shy at all bout walking right up for its closeups.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Cavalock's Date Night with A View

We were in the mood for something with a view last weekend. Somewhere new that the Baker-at-Home and I haven't been before. Decided on the rather new PS.Cafe at One Fullerton with a view of Marina Bay Sands and the surrounding area. My chicken parmigiano (chicken breast, chunky tomato sauce, garlic ciabatta croutons, roasted rooms, spinach, mozzarella and grilled lemon) was pretty much what I was expecting. It was good but nothing worth shouting about. I made the choice simply cos of the healthier chicken breast that I remembered I ought to be having more of. I dunno, I think when you start making these kinda conscious dietary choices at joints like PS.Cafe, things are starting to get a little serious. Gym days are tough.

Now here's something we weren't expecting. Little complimentary PS. Cafe soap packs! Didn't know they even made them. Plus couple shots we took during our stroll to the MBS bus-stop.

And so it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper, my almost two-decade long love affair with the mooncake. Yah, almost two decades, that's longer than some marriages. I have been a mooncake-loving eater since I started my first real job at SPH a lifetime ago. I was the youngest guy in the newsroom and during every mooncake festival the office would be up to its neck with free mooncakes from media and PR companies. Most of my older colleagues back then would shy away from the ones with salted eggs and shove them in my direction. Why not? Growing up, my family was never into mooncakes so this was kinda new to me. I soon developed a serious McLoving for that ... that lotus seed body of sin. They became my tea break snack while the snowskin ones were my after-dinner desserts. Well, later jobs in advertising and media saw the same yummy annual ritual.

Since leaving the rat race, I really didn't have a reason to find myself chomping down on a mooncake anymore. Now it wasn't like I was relying on free mooncakes all my life, I used to buy the ones from Raffles Hotel cos I wanted their tins to store my game miniatures. Yah, I was always finding reasons to have them this time of the year. So I simply stopped and never looked back for bout three or four years now. It also helped that the price just got crazy expensive and the cakes too gimmicky.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Cavalock and The Mill Deck Win

So one of the guys heard bout Sumo Bar at Waterloo Centre and suggested the gang head there for dinner one nite. The Bar's humongous signature Bone-In Short Rib Ramen was their main target, followed by the tulang below. Now the menu stated that the Bone-In Short Rib Ramen was meant to be shared between two guests but two of my friends were having none of that. They had a bowl each cos that's how they rolled.

The tulang was alright. Am not a huge tulang fan but the guys ordered it twice so I guess they must have liked it so it's good. I had the sashimi dry noodle set which was pretty decent. Wasn't in the mood for anything too meaty. 

Anyway walking to the restaurant that evening, I was waiting for the traffic light to turn at the junction of Waterloo Street and Middle Road and I had my head buried in my cellphone when I heard this thunderous BANG. I looked up just in time to witness an elderly guy flying off his motorcycle and over the roof of a cab. The cab was making a turn so it wasn't moving at a very high speed. The victim was conscious, his legs were busted I think. I called the ambulance and a lot of people came to his aid. Well, I couldn't tell who had the right of way or anything like that as I was looking at my phone.  

*** zzzzzzzzkkkkkkttttttt***

*** Warning, Geek Zone approaching ***

*** Turn back now if you are not a gamer ***

Been absolutely ages since I posted a game tourney that I attended. Longer still with one that I actually had a decent play as in coming 4th out of 17 competitors. So the latest collectible game I'm playing right now is Star Wars Destiny and it's currently one of the newest and best-selling collectible game in the market. It's pretty unique where you play a 30-card deck and there are cards in there that come with special dice that you roll if you draw them or start the game with them. At last Saturday's tourney, I played a Hero mill deck comprising of starting characters Padme Amidala, Maz Kanata and Rebel Trooper.

Was able to mill three of my opponents pretty easy cos I don't think anyone was expecting a mill deck. It was just after the release of the latest expansion Empire at War. Replaced my old Field Medics with the new Medic Droid cards and it worked like a charm. Most memorable game move was me playing Con Artist and Cunning on Padme and with help from Maz, I milled my opponent nine cards in one turn. Guy conceded immediately. Won three out of four matches and the alternate art Electroshock card was me 4th Prize. :)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cavalock and The Possible, Maybe, Not Maybe Lifestyle Change

You know you are really getting old when you spend your birthday morning sweating it out at the gym. I was told that I needed more protein in my diet and that I am sorely lacking in skeletal mass while putting a wee bit more percentage body fat than I should. Nah, me hitting the gym has got nothing to do with the government's present health agenda. It's more like accounts of guys younger and seemingly healthier than me dropping dead for no apparent reason.

I have been grabbing my meals at places like Daily Cut and Real Food now. I mean I used to but a little more frequent now since my gym gets me a 10% discount at Daily Cut and Real Food's South Beach joint is pretty near my apartment. Sometimes if I finished my gym and it's too early for dinner, I would just grab two soft-boiled eggs from the nearest kopi tiam. That's supposed to be good right?

But if you think I'm on an all-healthy diet, HAH! Guess again! Here's Saturday's lunch at The Bird over at Marina Bay Sands. Been pretty eager to check out the place since I heard bout it couple weeks ago even though I wasn't exactly in the mood for fried chicken. Had the smoked beef brisket sandwich which was good but it could certainly do with bit more beef between the ciabatta bread. The potato and grits just reminded me so much of our local Malay bergedil patty which isn't a bad thing ... just that it does remind me of it. Friends who had the fried chicken said it was all right and that it reminded them of the Colonel's original recipe chicken.

What else do old folks do on their birthdays? Build Lego sets of cos. Got my hands on the long-awaited Old Fishing Shop. An absolute delight to build, I'm taking my time with this one. I'll be posting random shots of it on my Lego Instagram account, ultron8.