All Tings Cherry Chocolate

observations. tech. games. news. humour. friends. you. me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Is Yours Wet or Dry?

Earwax, that is. I must belong to the minority then. Haven't scientists got better things to do? [via Boing Boing]

Zip It!

Join the Society for Handheld Hushing (SHH) and serve these cards to the nearest offender in the cinema/public transport/washroom etc. Medical and legal fees not included. [via Boing Boing]

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why They So Lite That?!

Here's a case study of shrewd marketing by Nintendo:
  • Nintendo hints at a DS redesign as early as November 2005, only one year after its launch. The DS has sold 14 million units worldwide to date, and sold out in Japan. Nintendo issues a formal apology to its Japanese customers on their website.

  • With nary a DS found in Japan, prices of second hand units skyrocket and retailers import DSes meant for the US market to satisfy local demand.

  • Nintendophiles speculate the shortage in Japan was artificially created, to pave the way for the new design. Nintendo issues a press release on 16 January to quell this rumour, but neither confirming nor denying the existence of a new design.

  • Today Nintendo announces the DS Lite, which will debut in Japan on March 2nd. It weighs 60g less than the current version priced at 16,800 yen, or SGD235.
The DS is a great console, with great games, no-load-times (I'm talking to you, PSP) and excellent battery life, with the only criticism being its weight. While its great that Nintendo has responded to feedback, I can't help but feel that they've only cushioned the Japanese market for the new design, while screwing over everyone else who's just bought one for the year-end holidays. It is however a slick design, infinitely desirable, and makes for a convincing pair with your ipod. I'll take mine black this time.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Sibei Tulang!

Only our second outing to the holy shrine of Golden Mile Food Centre after work, the visit was definitely going to be made more enjoyable with the rain starting after we sat down. Imagine tucking into a large plate of steaming hot, giant mutton bones lathered with a spicy blood-red stock sauce in cool weather. We rolled up our sleeves and got ready to go neanderthal on the bones.

From Singapore Hawker Legends 2005 by Makansutra:
"The reddish bone stew also know as sup tulang was first created in the late 1940s...Sup Tulang is made by stewing the bones to give the broth a natural sweetness. Spices and seasoning are then added. The morsels of meat around the bone are tender and succulent, and the jelly-like marrow inside is simply delicious."

Our regular stall has been Deen Tulang Specialist (They must be damn good at making people tulang *snicker*) Ordering additional bowls of the broth and plates of bread are a must. Dipping the bread into the broth is simply good eatin', and a good appetiser. I'll let the picture do the talking about how good the bones are. Even if you are repulsed by the idea of eating bone marrow, there's more than enough meat on the bone to enjoy on its own. I'd admit the marrow is an acquired taste at the beginning, but once you get seduced by the creamy smooth bone marrow that slides out easily in one slithery piece, the memory of it melting in your mouth will always stay with your first kiss.

Also order mee/bee hoon goreng from Plaza Mee Stall beside. It's one of the best I've had, with the fried noodles retaining heat very well and it comes with generous chunks of tender mutton, compared to the rubbery boogers of lesser versions.

To complete the trilogy, satay from Rosraihanna is also good. Other than the usual grilled chicken and (more) mutton skewers, we ordered babat, or beef stomach. Similarly seasoned like the other meats, it's enjoyable if you like the chewy texture of pig stomach. In addition, they also have beef liver skewers if you want to try something else that's not commonly available at other satay stalls.

You'd probably want to round off the evening with a nice hot tea to wash the meal down, and already start to reminisce about the tulang experience as you lick the last broth stains off your fingers and discuss, "When we going again ah?"

Just remember: pronounce the "g" in "tulang" when you order, else you might be splashed with piping hot broth by the proprietor - and that would be a waste of good broth. *snicker*

Test Yourself

You can take the test here, then find out more about your profile, career, relationships and personal growth here.

This is my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) profile:

The general description is accurate, but I'll reserve comments on the details for those who know me :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Best Wedding Photos Ever!

Was one of the best men for Bobby and Sharon's wedding on Saturday. Other than having to kiss the groom with lipstick on for the gate-crashing, it was a beautiful wedding and one of the most fun I've been involved. Many blessings and well-wishes for this fun-loving and generous couple!

If you've ever been involved in a Chinese wedding, you'll know that it takes months of planning and surgical-strike execution on the actual day. That's why it's so important for the couple to have as many best men, bridesmaids and helpers to help out, because we're the ones who will run the whole show so that they can look radiant throughout the day, right up to the last toast of the banquet.

As you can see from the following pics, it's a tiring task (identities are masked to protect the guilty):

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Grapevine Cafe Bar & Restaurant

As requested by a famous local food blogger, am posting this mini review after my second visit. Since I'll be helping out at a friend's wedding on this coming Saturday, I decided to take my family out on the eve of Hari Raya to celebrate my Dad's birthday in advance.

Grapevine has two branches, the first in Upper Serangoon which I hear from a colleague is always packed, and the newer one in East Coast Road (reviewed here) - near the defunct famous Red Bakery, opposite Katong Village/Mall (Look for the orange-colour sign). On both weekday visits, the place was empty except for our group, so either they need to do more marketing, or they're choosing to wait for word of mouth to spread. It's the kind of dilemma you face when you discover someplace nice and want to keep it to yourself, but worried at the same time that they'll close if you do.

The decor, like the menu, is western and straightforward. The first level is for dining, and the bar is on the second level with projection screen TV and a pool table. Fosters' on tap, there's no wine list; but a small selection of wines (mainly Oz) is available. We ordered a nice shiraz to go with the meal. BYO is possible, but with a corkage of $15 per bottle.

Pardon my French if there's lack of adjectives to describe the food. For starters we had homemade mushroom soup, garden salad and shared a combo platter (finger food consisting of fries, nuggets and mini spring rolls) for Appetisers. Fresh, crisp and crunchy respectively (told you).

As one of the chef's recommendations, and the main reason to visit, I guess I can describe the steak with a little more detail. My parents and I ordered the juicy, succulent, thick (to my standard) char-grilled rib-eye or sirloin on a bed of smmooth mashed potato and red wine sauce. Mmm Mmmm. The chef tends to err on the rare side, so order at least medium rare. Please call in advance for special cuts/requests as the meat arrives everyday in the afternoon. My sis ordered their baked rice, which took too long to arrive and is ordinary.

For dessert, we shared their brownie and blueberry sundae. The brownie was warm, soft and chocolatey with two small scoops of vanilla ice-cream with stripes of chocolate sauce, and is recommended. The blueberry sundae was alright, with a fair number of berries in the sauce to go with the vanilla ice-cream.

Expectations on service should be tempered, it's obliging but not always forthcoming. If you're in the Katong area, looking for a nice place to bring your date, family or friends for a nice meal, drinks and conversation, don't be discouraged by the empty interior. Grapevine's definitely better than the food and atmosphere you pay for at Swenson's and similar... Just dont tell too many of your friends.

Grapevine Cafe Bar & Restaurant, 95 East Coast Rd, Singapore 428793
T:6345 5159 (Ken)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

It's Brilliant 'Innit?

I started checking out podcasts only last December, downloading by topics of interest to my phone to entertain myself while on the cruise. While searching for shows on comedy, The Ricky Gervais Show turned up and was promptly downloaded and subscribed. Currently in it’s 6th episode, it’s now touted as the No.1 podcast in the world! The show is just unbelievably funny, although I sometimes wince at the way Ricky puts down Karl Pilkington (and you will want to Google Karl after you listen to the show).

Ricky's abuse of Karl mirrors his role as David Brent in the hit BBC comedy, The Office, a "dra-medy" of well, office life. David Brent, a Regional Manager of paper merchants Werham Hogg, manages his team as the most incompetent, self-serving, vain, act-cool, non-PC manager imaginable, much like the "boss" in Dilbert, but much worse. The other main characters are Gareth, David's assistant with previous military experience *wink wink*, and the underachiever Tim. (pictured above in character, clockwise from left: David, Gareth and Tim)

The show ended its run late last year on Central, and I didn’t really warm up to it as I only caught one or two episodes. I compared it loosely to shows like Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm, which are acquired tastes especially if you don't follow them regularly.

Since I really liked the podcast, I decided to give the series another chance and rented the entire series 1 and 2 from my neighbourhood video store. Only 12 episodes for the entire 2 seasons, I watched the entire thing in two days and appreciated why this series became a hit (and prompted a US remake).

Ricky's acting is top-notch and his portrayal of a delusional boss more interested in fame and popularity than team performance made me uncomfortable and cringe many times. Instead of many laugh-out loud moments, its the kind of show that will probably draw more snickers and winks because you are bound to have met or worked with someone like that. And if you are someone like David Brent, you'll probably dismiss this show as trying to put hardworking, philosophical and people-managers like you down.

Link to Ricky's website here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

You Mean It Comes In Pints?!

No idea this existed due to our irregular outings to Brewerkz, but once this was seen on another table there was an unanimous telepathic "aye!" among the guys.

3 full towers of wholesome malty goodness full of vitamins and minerals (Golden and Indian Pale, not Horlicks) was just the right tonic to toast the conclusion of last year. Just wish they would serve the food faster before the beer was gone...