Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

3.8 Km Lunch Time Walk From Office To A Mall Near Me

I needed another ninja brace, this time to stabilize the thumb. The nearest mall that has a couple of pharmacies selling this was 1.9Km away.

Instead of driving there, I felt it would be good to walk as it meant burning calories and achieving some form of exercise instead of sitting on my bum all day at work.

Besides, I did not want to give up my covered parking lot as upon return, I will need to park on the roof level, exposed to the sun and heat.

I will hate going into a heat baked car to drive home.

The weather was a scorcher after a brief falling of the rains.

So I armed self with an umbrella and shoved off on my walk.

I had always wanted to go by the quayside where Alkaff bridge is over the Singapore River where a water taxi plies it trade for tourists to take a scenic boat ride through to the central business district.

I love the pastel shades of paint that distincts Alkaff Bridge.

The Alkaff Bridge is known as the Singapore Art Bridge, designed by Pacita Abad, a female Filipino artist.

It is a bridge for pedestrains that crosses the Singapore River at Robertson Quay.

It is named after the Alkaffs, a well known Arabian family who were amongst the elite in Singapore in the early 20th century.

In the above photo you can see the river taxi carrying passengers towards the central business district.


I had to take the above photo of the Alkaff Bridge through the branches of the tree.

Below is a view of how the Singapore is properly contained in a canal as it permeates through our city scape in an orderly manner.

By now I was sweating as if I stepped out of a shower.

The sun refused to let up and where I could walk under the canopy of the shade of trees, I did.

My back and legs had begun hurting but I grit my teeth and pushed on. I told self that I can do it.

I completed the walk in 15 minutes, spent 20 minutes at the pharmacy to buy my ninja brace to stabilize the thumb and took 20 minutes to leisurely stroll back.

3.8 km but my phone step tracker said I did only 6,579 steps. Bummer..I had expected more steps haha!


Sunday Look In Lil Red Dot

Singapore or we fondly call our lil red dot is heading for its bicentennial celebration in 2019.

Singapore was named after its founding by a Palembang Prince, Sang Nila Utama, in 1299.

Singapore’s turning point from a sleepy fishing village was when in 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore, setting our island on a new trajectory – a British colony, a free port and a modern city!

Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong has announced plans to mark our 200th anniversary from 1819 to “truly understand how far our history reaches and its complexity.” (*Source Straits Times 31 December, 2017)

So we are abuzz with creative ideas on how to celebrate.

One great one is to have items listed in UNESCO’s intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List.

Public polls or surveys were made and no surprise, the humble Chicken Rice, Rojak (*a salad of fruits and dough fritters covered in sticky black sauce of shrimp paste and sugar), vegetables topped the list.

Chilli crab, fish head curry although less common had strong links to Singapore.

We live up to the name of a foodie nation indeed.

Others included a folk tale of Sang Nila Utama, Dikir Barat (*performing arts that capture our diverse cultural expressions and can allow our younger Singaporeans to appreciate different communities)

Our little red dot has 4 major communities or ethnic groups – Chinese, Malays, Indians and Others (Eurasians).

We live as a cohesive Singapore with a Singaporean identity.

We share each other’s food and have friends from all 4 groups.

We are uniquely Singaporeans with a great love and passion for food.

For me, our bicentennial celebration must be food related and I hope our humble Chicken Rice dish tops our choice.

Tourist and visitors come to Singapore seeking to try this dish.

And I hope you will get to try it too 😆


CM’s Food Porn #18 – The Raw Kind

Classmate (CM) is professionally, a ship surveyor.

He text me to say he is in Vietnam to see to the loading of a semi submersible oil drilling rig.

It seems the divers doved and removed these molluscs or oysters.

Below are green mussels or in Malay we call these (Kupang).

These green mussels were growing on the propellors of the semi rig.

There are oysters too. Plump and juicy 😄

He said they were having seafood BBQ tonight as the haul was a good one.

All these were growing off these rigs.

And a soft shell crab came a crawling…


“The Scholar” – Student Or Food? I say Food!

Our first dish, which is a must have, was Peking Duck.

This is the only restaurant that I know of who would sell a whole duck for $50!

In other restaurants, the going price for a Peking Duck was at least $100.

The skin of the duck is thinly sliced and wrapped over with a thin crepe with a 2 inch strip each of cucumber and the tail end of chives. Dipped into a lovely plum hoisin sauce, it was yummy and I felt it tasted better than the ones served in restaurants that were “fine cuisine” standards!
The skinless duck was then chopped and made into a claypot duck dish with seaweed doufu, sweet peas, garlic bulbs, shitake mushrooms and carrots!

When served, it was indeed a huge bowl!
We then had a veggie dish called “xi ji dou” – French beans stir fried with mince pork.

Coffee spare ribs was recommended by the hostess and we decided on it as well.

For dessert we each had a bowl of “gui lin gao” or black herbal jelly served with honey (a choice of with or without honey) and red bean pancake.

We had to roll out of our chairs to go home.
It was good fun as we chatted about investment options, safe or risk free instruments to generate wealth and Mr Ability To Earn made a new friend in Mr Education.
I soon found out that Mr Education and I had the same family issues. Sigh…we both have our crosses to bear I guess.
Anyway, cheers to good food, good company and a wonderful way to celebrate International Women’s Day with 2 nice guys!


Branch – One Word Prompt

In our lil red dot measuring 719.9 sq km or 278 sq miles, we have many different fast food brands with alot of branches in our teeny tiny island.

McDonalds has about 140 branches.

Burger King has 41 branches.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has more than 80 branches.

Mos Burger has 28 branches.

There’s Popeyes and loads of other brands.

We are spoilt for choice as there’s Dominos, Pizza Hut, Skinny Pizza etc.

I have not even listed the Chinese Restaurants; Crystal Jade, Imperial Treasure etc that have branches everywhere in lil red dot.

There are steak houses too from up market Morton’s to Jack’s place, for families.

We also have hawker centers and food courts.

Yes, we are a foodie paradise and food is readily available within walking distance from where one lives.

I am not complaining about the numerous branches of fast food choices…it is convenient to me.


CM’s Food Porn Series #12

Lil red dotters love to eat communal style like any Asian.

Communal eating means ordering several dishes and eating with family or friends.

This was a dinner eaten communal style by Classmate(CM) and he texted me these dishes.

Sharkfin’s soup…alot of us avoid this dish but CM does not care!

Roast belly pork above and Peking Duck skin wrapped in fine crepes.

Typical appetizers of Chinese tea served with braised peanuts and fish skins (*latest food fad here)

Above is deep fried garoupa

Above dish is sweet sour pork.


Meager – One Word Prompt

It can hardly be said that Classmate (CM) subsists on meager meals!

He sent me these photos of Bamboo Biryani which I have never seen before nor eaten.

It comes served in a hollowed out bamboo trunk!

A seriously BIG MEAL! Not at all meager I say!

Aah well CM pigs out again!


CM’s Food Porn Series #8 – Bird’s Nest Soup

Classmate hails from a Cantonese dialect group. Like any typical Cantonese, he believes in tonics and brews for health.

One such tonic is Bird Nest Soup that is made from bird nests of Swiftlets either farmed in houses or from the caves of Sarawak.

Bird’s nest is made from the saliva of Swiftlets to glue nests with feathers. This is a pricless tonic as the entire nest had to be rid of twigs or feathers through a cleaning cum bleaching exercise before the nests are chunked for sale at easily thousands of dollars a tael should it be “blood nests” or superb quality bird’s nest.

Cooked and eaten with durian…aargh!

Sold in Chinese Medical Shops by grams, they are packed in boxes.

The cheaper version is the odds and ends that do not come out as a chunk but in loose chips.

CM bought both as he said it could be used in different kind of soups for desserts.

Bird Nest Soup is usually double boiled for hours in a crock pot and sweetened with rock sugar and red dates.

The latest concotion CM did was to boil the loose chips and add durian! Ugh! This is really unhealthy!


CM’s Food Porn Series #7 – 3 “H” Tips

Eat Healthy

Eat Heartily

Be Happy!

3 simple H tips but I must admit it is a tad hard to follow especially when in lil red dot.

Food lurks everywhere and those hawkers serve food from breakfast to 11pm.

I don’t blame CM for loving food so much. He epitomises the 2 H tips except the first H…eat Healthy.

He has often said to me that he eats like no tomorrow as it makes him healthy.

This was what he had for breakfast and it is a good share to show you some of our local dimsum fare.

Start with a bowl of congee or gruel…that is cooked with 3 types of prepared eggs; century eggs (fresh farm eggs soaked in ammonia and is caked in black mud till it turns black soaked, salted eggs (*fresh duck eggs soaked in brine) and regular fresh eggs.

3 Por Lor buns that is stuffed with char siew.

Glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves

Polished off with siew man and crystal clear veggie dumplings.

Wow! CM can sure eat!!


CM’s Food Porn Series #5 – Japanese

CM (“Classmate”) is a foodie and eats like there is no tomorrow!

This week, he is gorging self with Japanese raw fish or sashimi. It seems the place where he usually eats has a 1 for 1 deal!

This was his lunch today washed down with a bottle of sake!

And to support the Chef he says…he ordered yet another dish.

He is sad the 1 for 1 deal ends today.