Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nara Thai x C.O.W. at iLight Marina Bay

The lions were taking a leisurely evening stroll along the waterfront after a long Sunday of voluntary work. They were hoping to catch some action at the iLight Marina Bay - Asia's first sustainable light art festival that showcases innovative installations, alongside a mini light show, using recyclable materials and energy-efficient light technologies by creative talents from around the world. It was a family affair with kids and elderly folks delighting in the interactive segment of the festival. Adults were equally amused by some of the more cheeky installations.   

So beary adorable... ... by Taiwan's Uno Lai.
#WeHeartLight by UK's Light Collective.
  Professor Charles Xavier of the X-men will approve of this
cerebro-looking installation.
Mini bazaar takes place during the weekends. Vain pots can grab selfie sticks
This is a popular spot for tourists to capture the waterfront cityscape.
A walk through pop-up Pasar Bella sees a different mix of tenants
and a greater variety of grub during the weekends.
Live juggling act.
A pretty song bird belting out jazzy pop tunes.
The lions grabbed a whole grilled squid for $10 at this izakaya joint.
One of the more reasonably priced grub here.
No picture of squid as it was devoured too soon.
High society burger in a casual setting.
The classy Bacchanalia leaves its uppity Masonic Lodge
for this breezy pop-up spot by the water. Nice!
If you are craving a burger fix, avoid the long queue at
Omakase Burger for a well-executed Bacchanalia Burger
and Umami Fries ($20).
At the stroke of 8, the mini light show commenced.
Everyone scrambling to get a good spot.
An ethereal image appears above the water.
Never smile at a crocodile... ... by Bibi from France.
The teddies are alive with colour once darkness sets in.
Interactive Floating Hearts by a group of artists from Spain.
Speech Bubbles with quirky quotes.
Aptly titled, The Guardian Angels are here to provide relief for
the island's drought stricken chaota plants.
We spotted The Travelling C.O.W at The Promontory nearby.
They are currently having a collaboration with Nara Thai to bring
you some punchy flavours from the Land of Smiles.
Thai chef joining the team to feed hungry folks.
Soft Shell Crab cooked Thai style with a side of
prawn paste chicken and white rice ($11). Not too bad
given the constraints of the mobile set-up.
Try their gao gao Thai iced milk tea as well.
Nara Thai x The Travelling C.O.W.

iLight Marina Bay 2014
7 to 30 March 2014
7.30 to 11pm
Marina Bay Waterfront

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pasarbella & Friends Go to Town

After all the sexy eye candy at Maison & Objet Asia, the peckish Miss Monster Cat and the lioness decided to grab some grub at the pop-up Pasarbella & Friends located at the scenic Marina Bay waterfront.

The weather's dry enough for an alfresco pop-up like this;
too bad the haze is here again. Bah!
The container pop-up concept is pretty cool.
Catch popular tenants like local roastery Dutch Colony serving their
blend of java concocted in the Lion City.

Miss Monster Cat remarked that the vibe rather reminds her of Sydney.
You can't deny the stunning skyline. This would have been perfect for catching
a view of the setting sun casting a surreal glow over the Lion City's sleepless
financial district. Haze be gone, damnit!
Ladies, you might like to do a quick mani-and-pedicure here as well.
Is the roast really that crackling good or is the chef just so
darn easy on the eye?
Bar Stool area by the river. Esplanade View.
We plonk ourselves in the middle of the action.
Ok, the crackling pork's delicious and check out the new kid on the block that
serves imported homemade syrups in the form of sodas. We grabbed a refreshing
Six Barrel Celery & Tonic Soda. Those who love their greens will love this drink.
Miss Monster Cat was so enamoured she bought the entire bottle of Celery & Tonic
syrup. Good thing she has her SodaStream at home.
Grab your choice of poison here. We did and were not disappointed.
Otherwise, you might like to check out Pasarbella's sustainable concept
of refillable glass bottles. Pay a flat fee ($16 to be exact) and enjoy free flow
of sparkling or still water till the month's end here.
Tourists enjoying the food and view.
The outdoor concept adds a different dimension and feel to the whole experience.
For gourmet purveyors of high quality cuts like James'
Butchery & Co, it was certainly an advantage.
Seeing meats being marinated out under an open sky
will prompt rustic loving folks to grab a slab as it reminds
them of a happy barbecue session with their mates.
Of course, we are so proud of this home grown brewery, grab a Jungle Beer

Catch other familiar names like Omakase Burger and Providore in action too. 

Pasarbella & Friends go to Town
Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza
7 to 30 March 2014
Mon to Fri : 4.30pm to 10.00pm
Sat to Sun: 10.00am to 10.00pm

The Dream Cafe

Dreams are nothing more than wishes and a wish's just a dream, wish to come true... ... ok enough of Harry Nilsson for now... ... The lions were none too impressed with The Dream Cafe; still, it was a rather cosy nook and if you happen to be a student, you get a discount. Yup, we can all guess their target clientele now being located so near a branded all-girls school. And being just down the road from Creamier, we can't help but wonder... ... The pie's certainly big enough in a mature neighbourhood like Toa Payoh. 

Embarrassing fact #1: The lion was attracted by the beckoning cat sign
as he drove past this cafe under a block of flats.
Get a sugar rush here with their all-dessert menu.
Why are you so generous with Wifi?
Cakes for the school crowd; hope their pockets' deep.
The price is equivalent to two-weeks' worth of pocket money back in the eighties.

Chocolate, Cheese and Strawberry to choose from.
I would be as happy as a lark twenty odd years ago with options like these.
Ice-cream. Don't be so fussy lah, they're not made in-house
but from an unknown supplier.
Love the window seating.
A semi-romantic, monochromatic backdrop. Kids, do your homework and let
erm uncle know which city this skyline belongs to.
Dissecting the molten lava cake... ...
Gotcha! It's not chocolate, it's matcha oooozing out.
This unique dessert's not too bad!
No comment for the coffee. But the boy in the window
seem eager to drink it.
At this price point (was it $3?), this waffle is worth
trying without the ice-cream.

The Dream Cafe
Blk 163 Toa Payoh Lorong 1
Singapore 310163

At Shrove Tuesday on a Shrove Tuesday

A late-night conference call saw the lioness chilling out on her own the next day. She decided to explore the old neighbourhood town of Toa Payoh with its bustling wet markets, provision shops and hardware stores all on foot. She took a turn past a primary school to the quieter part of Lorong 4 in the afternoon with its famous fish head curry store, Nepalese restaurant and an old school barber shop at the corner. She was somewhat stunned to be greeted by a traditional Nonya confectionery under a block of flats as the nondescript shop had escaped her notice on previous less leisurely visits.    

Almost extinct in neighbourhoods around the island:
A wide boulevard flanked by a long row of low-rise flats and
and a small hawker centre on the right.
Oh boy, it's not her wedding day but the lioness is excited by all the
pretty handmade nonya kuehs sitting in a row at this traditional confectionery.
At only 60 cents, this lempur udang (dried shrimp glutinous rice roll)
is a steal compared to the pricey ones at @#$% Solo! And it tastes so much
better (unapologetically spicy too!) with a gorgeous hint of blue on the rice.

Kueh Lapis Kukos dressed in traditional colours.
Devour it layer by layer, tearing each layer by your fingers.
This one's not too sickeningly sweet, just nice leh!

Cuchi's favourite childhood comfort food -
the honey comb-like Kueh Ambon.
There's a new cafe in the neighbourhood amongst the nostalgic old birds.
This is totally unplanned (we swear!); the lioness stepped into Shrove Tuesday
cafe on a Shrove Tuesday! She was only informed of it by the young and
charismatic owner during their conversation.
Shrove Tuesday is a day of indulgence before Lent which
is traditionally observed by Christians as a period of fasting
and penance before Easter. Nothing religious here at the cafe.
It's probably an excuse to eat all the waffles you want
as dairy food such as eggs, butter and milk are forbidden
during Lent. In the owner's own light-hearted words,
every day's a Shrove Tuesday for him.
Some of the furniture pieces were specially made by hand
by the owner himself. This cheerful tessellated table is
one of them.
Can you spot other handmade items?
Ok, the cutesy order number is a start.
The lioness got her favourite number - her birth month!
Hair stand can! Serendipity strongly at work here hmmm...
Coffee is brewed from award-winning organic Italian beans
and delivery was excellent. Robust and well-balanced was
the latte. Coffee brewed from organic beans usually costs
more due to the pristine conditions under which the beans are
grown and the careful handling and packing thereafter but the
owner has decided to keep to a competitive price structure here,
matching that of a usual cup at a cafe. 

Yup, the floor boards are made by the talented owner as well.
Count also this nest-like light feature in.
A cosy nook with a guitar. Chill with a bunch of  friends
over music.
The lioness did not really fancy the coconut ice-cream
though but that's a personal opinion. She found it erm too
saccharine sweet. Yah, dun lauff, we know that it's ice-cream.
Shrove Tuesday has a variety of homemade flavours to
rival neighbourhood darling, Creamier.  Speaking of which,
the lions spotted another new ice-cream cafe in the
neighbourhood recently but that's for another story.
Try other desserts on your visit here that includes
brownies, cakes and waffles. Their food menu's still limited

Shrove Tuesday
Blk 94, Toa Payoh Lorong 4
Singapore 310094