Friday, January 25, 2013

Cavalock and The Return of The Orchard Library

I wonder how many of you remember that almost a decade ago, there used to be a public library right in the heart of Orchard Road, in Takashimaya mall in fact. It was the first library to have shelves full of comic books and swear to gawd, I must have borrowed hundreds of them. Unfortunately like all good things, this had to come to an end. But fret not fair reader, as library@orchard will finally be returning to our nation's shopping belt next year.

It's gonna occupy two floors in the building (still under construction) between Somerset 313 and Orchard Central. At a special meeting late last year, they showed us some really cool layouts and designs for the upcoming library. I figured since everyone else is talking bout the inside of the new library, I'll just give a little update on how the building is coming along.

Not exactly a food post here but hey, these can only be found in restaurants so I say close enough! So late last year, I posted a pix of my late uncle's US matchbox collection from the 70s and earlier today I finally found time to pass the entire lot to an ex-colleague who wanted it for her collection. But before I handed them to her, I snapped a bunch of shots of this latest retro trove.

My late uncle spent about 10 years in the US working in the banking industry mostly in New York, I guess you could say he was a 'foreign talent' working in the Big Apple. Looking at some of these matchboxes, I like to think that he ate well and it also looked like he enjoyed Japanese food as much as I do.

Looking at this shot below, he must have really liked the food at the United Nations. Or maybe it was the drinks or he stayed around the neighborhood?

He must have also missed home, judging from all these Chinese joints he visited. Wonder how many of them are still around.

The Playboy ones are really nice, with the different countries on the backs. What's that 70s art style called?

Joints that open till 5am, Universal Studios giving out matchboxes .... we'll never see any of these here!

Besides the mainland, I also do remember him sending postcards from Hawaii and couple other places around the world. Some days I wonder what exactly was his job in the bank...;)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cavalock and The Collagen Comedy of Errors

Ever had one of those days when you stepped into a ramen joint, expecting a hot bowl of ramen and was served a steaming pot of bubbly collagen instead? Well, guess who did. ;) Yup. When I stepped into Tsukada Nojo at the new Plaza Singapura wing a couple weeks ago for lunch, I was treated to a really tasty bowl of chicken ramen. But it's a little different from the other ramen joints as you can see below, you gotta add yer own chicken pieces, egg and spring onions to the broth. But hey, no complaints cos it was great.

That ramen was so good that I decided to drop by a couple days ago and have it again for dinner. We arrived just before 6pm and the place was already packed. Sat down, was handed the menu, flipped through it only to discover that *yikes* dinnertime is collagen time! Ramen was only for lunch and it's all about their Bijun Nabe or collagen chicken steamboat dish for dinner. It was a Homer Simpson "D'oh" moment. It was also too embarrassing to walk out since we were already seated in our booth. So despite a heavy 'Pepperlunch' lunch mere hours ago, we manned up and got ready to say good-bye to wrinkles and maybe even look 10 years younger by the end of the meal!

Here's how the collagen looks like when it's served. Oh, and below all that 'tau huay'-looking collagen are 4 pieces of chicken. So after a few minutes, it all melts ( the collagen, not the chicken) and you can get an incredibly tasty chicken broth. Extremely rich and flavorful. Quite possibility the best I ever tasted in a long while.

Then you got all them other meat and veggies to drop into the steaming hot pot of melted collagen as well as your choice of noodles. BTW, this is a set meal for two. No table for one for dinner. Remember kids, there's no 'i' in collagen.

There's even a guide on the correct sequence to add all that stuff to your yummy pot of collagen! Do it the wrong way and suffer the culinary consequences!!! Anyway it was a very satisfying meal and I'll just remember to have a light lunch before my next visit. 

And speaking of chickens, here's my latest Lego minifigure! It's a guy in a chicken suit and he's now stuck on my iPhone!

Now everybody wants to be in the chicken suit, even Frankenstein's Monster.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Cavalock and The Grocery Grabfest

Has it been more than a month since I stalked down the aisles of my favorite supermarket? Yup, sure looks like it judging by the number of new stuff I found on the shelves at Meidi-Ya today. As always, it's like finding myself in another country cos there's a whole bunch of stuff in here that you just don't find in all them other neighborhood supermarkets.

The booze section never disappoints me although I was surprised to see these. Never knew the Japanese are so into the Chinese Zodiac too. Check out the above cool snakey sake bottles. Then we have a new beer flavor from Kirin, it says "Sparkling Hop" and apparently it's hop from Middle Earth aka New Zealand. Seriously why not? Middle-Earth beer it is! Plus it already has a mythological creature on the can! It's green and I see elves drinking it!

Snacks galore! Sugar rush! Cereal crunch! Cheese sleaze! ... you get the idea ...

Finally, these bake-it-yourself kits! Sure don't remember seeing these anywhere else. Pretty neat eh? They got all the ingredients in there including the canned ones.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Cavalock and The Scion's Swizzle Sticks

Not exactly a food post but I guess it's still within the culinary realms, introducing retro swizzle sticks! Still clearing the old family home and look what I found, over 40 retro cocktail swizzle sticks from the 70s and 80s. My late uncle was working in the US most of the 70s but I guess when he's back home, he must have spent a lot of time boozing in our local hotels although most of these places are now gone. Can anyone recognize all of them?

Let's see now from left to right we got 2 shangs, Hyatt, Mandarin, Imperial, Marco Polo, Holiday Inn and Oberoi.

Sounds pretty fancy. It says Wall Street Club but I have no idea if it's really from New York. But it might make sense since my late uncle was in the banking industry and lived in the Big Apple.

 Was there ever a Tom's at our local Shangs? Or maybe this is more another country?

Again, I don't remember a Hotel Summit here....

Looks like Kowloon was pretty happening back then. I never get to go to places like that! :(

These definitely look like they aren't from around here. Phuket, Tokyo, Hawaii and on the Amtrak.

Awww... these are probably the craziest and coolest swizzle sticks ever! Do they still make such swizzle sticks these days?

Been awhile since I posted some of 79 year-old Dad's latest pix. Yup, he's still into them eagles. Got him a iPad mini last month so he can look at his pix as well as watch Nat Geo wildlife documentaries.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Cavalock and The Retro Sale Showcase

Hey it's the New Year and I thought it's a good idea to start on a healthy note. Recently I have been having my lunch dates at Real Food at Killiney Road. I gotta admit I was kinda reluctant at first but after some coaxing and since it's also only a short stroll from my old family home, I figured why not try it out at least once. And guess what? I honestly liked it.

Alright so I chose the most familiar thing on the menu, that being the mushroom celery penne pasta, cos I still ain't exactly into all them healthy organic stuff yet. I heard their daily brown rice set is a great deal but me and brown rice ain't ever gonna be the best of friends. So anyway, this is good pasta and I have had good pasta before so trust me on this. The flavors are all there, it's tasty and I guess the best part is it's healthy too. It's now one of my regular lunch joints whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

And speaking of the old family home, I have finally started putting some of the stuff for sale on my Facebook. Here are some of them. Drop me a line if you see anything you like.

Here’s an old family jewelry chest (L 33cm, W 24cm, H 11cm) that’s at least 40 years old. Bought it from CK Tangs for about $70 back then. Great lacquer finishing with some very attractive Chinese motif carvings.  I don’t think you can find anything like that now. The inside needs some cleaning and polishing up although a bit of an upholstery might be in order. However the concealed bottom section of the box has a broken/torn strap. You can always replace the interior but it’s the outside carvings and finishing that really gives this box that unique vintage look. Price is S$60. I think that’s a pretty good deal since we paid more for it 40 years ago.

When my late uncle was working in the US back in the early 1970s till 1980s, he brought back a ton of stuff including publications like these New York City guides. These are as 70s retro as you can get, including maps (remember the days when we all loved Exxon!) and guides with descriptions of various New York landmarks. All are still in really good condition except for the two larger magazines that have a tiny cut out page each. Am selling all five publications for only S$10.

Here’s a complete set of Britain’s First Decimal Coins from 1971. It’s a set of five uncirculated coins housed in a plastic wallet with a Royal Mint information card. A quick check on the Internet shows a set like is going for about £5 but the official value of the coins is around £30. Here’s your chance to own a little bit of British history. Pip pip tally ho and all that!  Am selling the set at a low price of only S$5.