Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Most Outrageous Potato Salad Kickstarter Campaign

Hey folks, another reason why anything is possible in this weird and wacky world. So dream big!!! :)))

A simple potato salad raises thousands of moolah on Kickstarter:


Nepalese Cold Brew @ 7Kickstart + Queenz Patisserie

After a disappointing meal at much-hyped Truly Curry Rice run by young hawkers (the beauty of how our taste-buds are all made differently), the two cats went for a short jalan-jalan around da hood.

Another great neighbourhood bakery appeared within their field of vision that hardly register a blip on the radar of the written word online. P.S. Are we a nation of bakers or what?

Queenz Pastisserie is a family-run bakery with mommy at the helm, churning out most of the sweet treats. She is helped by grandpa and grandma who lend their expertise in the realm of traditional Chinese desserts. Two playful kids were "assisting" with customer service, adding their own brand of vivacity to the equation.

As they savoured their bowl of old-school (read: exceptionally healthy aka not so sweet) red bean soup that was thick as paste at the park, they tore open the amazingly fragrant Cat's Tongue biscuits. So good, it's so painfully addictive. Help! Can give Chocolat N' Spice a run for their muffin money next door.

After that, they headed down to the National Museum for an exhibition that the lioness was itching to view - Balik Pulau. If your idea of a perfect afternoon is carefully gleaning choice nuggets of information - from video interviews, archival images, personal mementoes, etc - about the history of lost offshore islands around Singapore, yeap, this is for you.

Something for the kids; a cardboard heaven by artist Justin Lee:

Genesis: View 245 black and white images of our planet captured by world renowned photographer, Sebastião Salgado. The dramatic and moving photographic works were taken at over 30 different destinations from 2004 to 2011.

The lions' favourite pic:

We: Defining Stories - another note-worthy exhibition, in collaboration with The Straits Times, featuring a series of photojournalistic images of iconic moments in Singapore's post-war years from the 1950s till 2013. Revisit some of the more significant events in our nation's history and check out the antique newspaper delivery bicycle owned by ST. The lioness love the quirky picture of Elizabeth Taylor at a local market in the 1950s.

Onward for a needed coffee break:

Old iconic images are now emblazoned on tourist souvenirs,
vintage-style. Heart this mini lunchbox at The Museum Shop.
Thank you Lord for helping a simple shepherd boy discover
this amazing brew in the past. We are the heirs of this greatness.
Cold brew made from Kathmandu beans that were a gift to the
cafe from happy patrons. Flinty and smoky.
7 Kickstart is THE place for cold brew on the island.

Exploring an old cathedral on the way back:

Queenz Patisserie
Blk 78B Telok Blangah St 32
Singapore 102078

71 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189555

Coffee: Nowhere. Only in Rochester Park.

After a long and tiring Sunday of serving, the lions and their friend, The Professor, headed for Coffee: Nowhere. Somewhere in the backyard of a black-and-white bungalow in Rochester Park. This newly minted joint is a franchise from Johor, Malaysia with their own blend of beans.

A veritable haven indeed. Apart from the lush surroundings and well-executed cups of robust coffee, the two cats were rather tickled by the pious sounding names given to each cuppa, inspired by biblical declarations no doubt - very apt on a Sunday. Hallelujah! 

Coffee Nowhere
44 Rochester Park
Singapore 139248
Opening Hours
Daily: 7.30am - 5.30pm 

Cat Mountain King (猫山王) Private Party

The lions were invited by Mr Husky to join a bunch of Durian siao folks at a private party where the doors of a durian stall - specialising in just mao shan wang durians - stayed un-shuttered past its official opening hours for a night of merry-making.

Mr Husky's idea of a joke.
The group was given some simple tips, courtesy of the
young towkay, on how to spot the real McCoy from the
hoard of fakes in the market.
Angular, pyramidal spikes - check.
Brown star-fish on backside - check.
Pointed bulbous butt; unable to stand on its own - check.
Discernible brown crown around the stem - check.
The towkay also explained that durian sellers usually tap lightly on the husks
with the flat side of a knife to tell if the pungent pulp inside is moist or dry.
And the lioness was bluntly warned not to smell the fruit from the backside or
crown ("you want to take in insecticide issit?"). LOL.  
Quick, open up lah... ...
Wait, must weight first... ...macham like gold... ...

Consumed that night was a grand mountain of 19 mao shan wangs (anyone noticed the lucky number matching the stall's name) weighing in at 30.4kg in total, at a special group price of $15/kg.

The lions, too, were regaled with stories about China's voracious appetite for the pungent fruit; some local sellers are apparently helping to satiate that demand, sometimes processing up to 90 tons of puree for that major market. Scary. And this period can be considered the "first flower" in the cycle; the coming "second flower" is expected to be good due to the wet weather.  More great durians coming your way... ...

The whole experience left the lions in a dizzy confusion though; they tasted their way through a variety of bittersweet pulps - some wet, some dry, some with a tinge of cognac, some extremely bitter like cough syrup - on top of custard-like sweet ones. So is there a signature taste that unites all mao shan wangs in a way?  

This particular durian stall was also hawking yellow dragon fruits from Ecuador ("Colombian ones are second rate") at an eye-popping price of $7+ per ambrosial fruit. When Miss Honey Wine, the Penangnite, saw them, she basically went into a frenzy, grabbing two fistful of fruits ("very hard to find one you know"). She waxed lyrical about their honeyed, syrupy pale pulps that were a class above the plebian ones that we normally see at the market. Verdict: at this price point, only for serious connoisseurs.