Sushi & Sashimi from Don Don Donki

Previously, on my way to Muay Thai class, I dropped by Don Don Donki at City Square Mall and found that their sushi is actually priced pretty affordably. Promised myself I’ll be back to buy them. ๐Ÿ˜€ Today, I was actually supposed to be at Jewel, catching 2 movies at Shaw and then meeting my pals for dinner. But since they’d informed me of a change of plans, I stayed home, did housework and then took the train to Farrer Park MRT station to get to Don Don Donki. Haha! Yes… I’d travel just for food!

The sashimi platter (8 slices) costs $9.80. Not terribly cheap but the salmon maki is going at only $3.80 per tray! It’s stuffed with chunks of salmon! A pity that the rice is a little hard… like it’s been in the chiller for too long? (I’ll remember not to put them in the fridge after getting home next time)

Then there’s honmaguro with uni ($10.80 for 3 pieces). Interestingly, their soy sauce packets come from Japan BUT the wasabi is made in China. No kidding. Have a close look next time you get these!

Don Don Donki is at B2-05/6/7/17/18 of City Square Mall.

*Do download the Donki app and sign up as a member to earn points with each purchase. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ajisen Ramen @ Changi City Point

I wanted to add “Only the service is good” in the title of this post. Haha! It perfectly sums up how I feel about this ramen place at Changi City Point. Ordinarily, I don’t get ramen cravings while in Singapore as the standards here are, shall we say, way below that in Japan. To me, it’s a bit of a waste of money to pay for ramen here when you can get a much much much better bowl of ramen in Japan (just save the money for your next trip) for the same price. However, there is one very important ‘woman’ in my life who knows just how to get ‘her’ way, by whining non-stop about something, and knowing I’ll give in, just to shut ‘her’ up. So Ajisen Ramen it was. And the Fave deal for Volcano Ramen was bought.

*Actually the Fave deal allows for only gyoza as the side dish but the staff served my maki first so it ended up in the picture above. For $13.85, you get Volcano Ramen and gyoza, with lemon tea.

I went for the Iberico Ramen instead as the pictures were most alluring:

And here it is…

I think the broth is decent. And Ajisen is generous with the toppings. But overall, ramen here still pales in comparison with the ones you get in any random eatery in Japan.

And the gyoza is something else altogether…

When it was served, I noticed one had already been ripped open. And neither the chef nor the servers flagged this as an issue? Hmm.

Dry. Unappealing. Insincere.

I don’t know why we even bother visiting ramen places in Singapore.

Oh wait.

I know why. ‘Cos of this super whiny ‘woman’ in my life. (@_@)

*Apart from the Fave deal, my meal cost $18.71. *gulp*

I. Am. Not. Going. Back.

How should business owners get staff to take pride in their work?

Should we do away with all these restaurant chains and have individual small businesses helmed by bosses passionate about what they do? Like little hole-in-the-wall sushi places in Japan? I wish we could.

GrabFood’s $1 A-One Dried Scallop Porridge Promo w/FREE Delivery

Sis contacted me yesterday, excited about the $1 GrabFood deal she managed to snag at 2pm. I’d already had my lunch so I wasn’t tempted to place an order for porridge even though (1) it’s from A-One and (2) it’s only $1, without any delivery fee. So I set an alarm for 2pm today. Sis told me the portion may be rather small for some big eaters, so I decided I’ll order 2 portions. If you have more people at home, order more portions! ๐Ÿ™‚ The first order arrived in about 20 minutes. The other took about an hour. Don’t ask me why.

As the porridge seemed lukewarm, I decided to heat it up via steaming…

I also added an egg plus parsley (one of my fav herbs). When it was ready, I also added some pickled green chili which I have in a jar at home. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s actually decent, for a $1 meal delivered to your doorstep. There are some fish slices, braised peanuts, some cuttlefish. I’m not certain I actually saw or ate dried scallops but I’d think there are small pieces in there. Ha!

I’m told the promo ends this weekend. So set your alarm for 2pm daily if you’d like to order the porridge deal.

Not sure why my 2nd order, placed moments after the 1st, took so long…

Arrival time changed multiple times…

Finally came by at 3.03pm. By then, I’d steamed and eaten the first bowl of porridge *burp*.

All I can say is… don’t skip lunch for this. (1) You might find the portion size too small, when you’re starving from not having had lunch and (2) It might take an hour to reach you. *wink*

TPG’s Irresistible Offer Of FREE Unlimited Data

Yes, I’ve gotten myself one of their SIM cards. Free mah, why not? One of my initial reservations was that I had to use a credit card when signing up with them, though there would be no charge. But I am not fond of sharing my credit card details, knowing how easily they can be sold on the digital black market. With a friend’s help, I signed up for TPG’s offer of a free year-long trial and collected my SIM card from Shaw Centre last week.

After you’ve signed up at their website over at tpgmobile.sg, you can check where you should go to collect your SIM card. It’s based on your postal code. Mine meant I had to go all the way to Shaw Centre – which is not the place you go to for movies, but the less popular building next door.

If you were wondering, my pal offered to let me use his credit card since he’d already used it to sign up – for himself and for his parents. What an awesome friend! And he also advised me to head to the collection centre between 3pm and 5pm to avoid the crowd. Indeed, when I arrived, there were only 3 other people in the queue and once it was my turn, I got my card in under a minute, I think. It was THAT fast.

I thought I had to bring some proof of residential address like a mobile phone bill or something. But, no, all the staff needed was my IC. They didn’t even need to see the confirmation email.

So far, it’s pretty awesome. With a new mobile number (I have a spare phone at home too) it means I can sign up for new user offers like with GrabFood, which I’ve blogged about previously. Use code FREEFOOD for $18 worth of… free food.

Yesterday’s dinner was from Chick N Grains by WZ:

Chipotle bowls at buy-2-get-1-free

I have to say that they looked more appetising in the pictures over on GrabFood but oh well… it’s FREE! ๐Ÿ˜œ

๐Ÿคฃ

Live Till Age 85 & Above & Your Chances Of Getting Dementia Is 50%!

I did a quiz on Sunday evening and aced it all, except for one question about our chances of getting dementia at age 85 or above. The quiz happened at a roadshow near Punggol MRT Station. It was right next to a mini bazaar but wasn’t extremely popular, as you would have probably guessed. It was organised by LIEN Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association, or ADA.

One of the volunteers pointed out to me this particular info board which states that “1 in every 2 persons aged 85 years & above has dementia”. So if you and your spouse live till 85 and beyond, my goodness, it’s highly likely one of you would have dementia. And in my books, I think the one with dementia is the “luckier” one. The caregiver is, arguably, the one who suffers a lot more.

As I’d completed the quiz, I was given a chance to spin the wheel and win a prize. The yellow triangle represents the top prize, I believe, and that’s what I got! ๐Ÿ˜Š

A copy of ‘All That Remains’ by James Tan. It is a graphic novel about dementia that is based on true stories! It also ends with tips on how to care for people with dementia.

If my memory serves me well, in about ten years or so, we’ll have some 100,000 people with dementia right here in Singapore. An absolutely mind-boggling figure. And unlike diseases like diabetes, people can’t manage dementia themselves. Family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc, will all have to be willing to chip in.

Hopefully, with more of these roadshows, we’ll become a more inclusive society and better equipped to care for a growing number of people with dementia.

Review: Pietro Ristorante Italiano @ 12 Jalan Kelulut

Didn’t even know a ‘Jalan Kelulut’ exists till we made a lunch reservation via Eatigo (50% discount *whoots*). It’s in the Seletar Hills area, where there’s lots of landed property but, unfortunately, very few diners. It was a Sunday, at 12noon, and there were only 3 tables (including ours) with guests? Hmm. Interestingly, Pietro appears to be part of the group which also manages Ice Edge Cafe which I absolutely adore. That day, we had the Spaghetti Aglio Olio ($25) and Hawaiian Pizza ($22). Water is complimentary, so props to them for that.

The pizza has an incredibly thin crust so the 8 slices did not prove overwhelming for the 2 of us to finish. The pasta was decent – had lots of olive oil and also some chili padi, which is great.


The food is decent. Nothing to shout about but at 50% discount, nothing to complain about too.

What was disconcerting was when one of the waiters walked by really quickly with a question of whether we wanted an iced water or a warm water refill. My usual response, when people are in such a hurry and when my mouth is full, is to pretend I did not hear the question at all. I didn’t even bother looking up.

My darling, being the sweet and responsive fella he is, immediately said he wants warm water, and one tendril of cheese nearly made its way back to the plate. ๐Ÿ™„ Good grief. Just ignore the waiter!

We were also seated next to a guy who sounded like he had TB. He was coughing really badly. So I just wanted to hurry and finish my meal and get out of the restaurant.

Because the restaurant is pretty big, they try to seat diners as close to the kitchen as possible so… maybe… they can serve you quickly. But when business is, shall I say, not so good, you should seat diners closer to the entrance to your restaurant so it gives people walking by the confidence that “hey, there are people dining here so maybe I should too”. If they can’t spot your current diners and/or think this place is deserted, they’ll just walk on to the next eatery.

It’s unlikely we’ll be back. We definitely prefer Ice Edge Cafe. ๐Ÿ˜€

~

Pietro is @ 12 Jalan Kelulut, Singapore 809030

Tel: 6484 5528

Book Review: A Child Called ‘It’ by Dave Pelzer

This book is part of a trilogy, and is based on Dave’s life from ages 4 to 12. It’s a very easy read, largely because of the *ahem* large font size and generous line spacing. I have a nagging feeling that instead of a trilogy (which is, of course, where *kaching* happens), everything could have been condensed into just one book. ๐Ÿคจ Nonetheless, it’s still a good read because what Dave shares is so horrific that you won’t imagine a mother ever doing to her own flesh-and-blood.

Dave’s mother has tried to burn him, drown him, poison him, create a ‘gas chamber’ in the bathroom for him, among other cruel acts of abuse. The main one would be starving him every single day, prompting the boy to steal food from his schoolmates’ lunches, fish leftovers out of bins, etc.

I’m not sure what mental ailment the mother must have been suffering from. Apart from alcoholism, surely some other mental affliction must have caused an originally loving mom to turn on one of her sons like that. Sure, Dave managed to escape thanks to his teachers and social workers. But his younger brother would end up taking his place as their mom’s punching bag. Apparently, the brother has also written his own memoir after watching Dave’s success at publishing. But I’m not sure I can deal with a double dose of what has certainly weighed heavily on my heart.

I think Dave’s father, being a fireman and all, should have done a lot more to prevent the horrible abuse happening in his own home and rescue his son who was being treated worse than a slave. Instead of pulling off a daring rescue, he goes on to impregnate his (already unstable) wife. ๐Ÿ˜ฐ

As for Dave, I don’t really want to read the next 2 books in the trilogy because it seems to be motivated by money-making. While I have little doubt that he’d suffered abuse, I do wonder how much the actual abuse has been exaggerated in the telling of his story. After all, when you’re starving all the time, your memory will either fail or play tricks on you, no?

Still, this book has been a bestseller and over a million copies have been sold. Have a read, if you’d like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

9 Lives Art & Design Exhibition @ 51 Waterloo Street

I’m nursing a cold but still felt the need to pop by the 9 Lives Exhibition this morning. I’d seen much of their promo material on FB and IG and thought I musn’t miss this. Did not realise that the bazaar only begins this evening though ๐Ÿ˜… so there were only the exhibits to admire while I was there.

There’s also a craft area where you can paint your adopted wooden kitty ($15) and take it home. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would have tried this if I didn’t have the sniffles. One giant sneeze and the paint will be flying EVERYWHERE.

I think the exhibit which made the biggest impression was the one with countless pairs of eyes in a metal cage. Imagine a cat in that cage. What do those eyes tell you? Fear? Resignation? Anger? Sadness? And how many kitties have had to be sent to AVA as a result of pet abandonment or heartless folks complaining about their community cats being nuisances? I think humans are the greatest nuisances – not the rodents, not the felines and certainly not pythons referenced in Parliament.

If you’re free this weekend, do drop by. The venue is very accessible. Near to Bras Basah station and Bugis. ๐Ÿ™‚

*In case some people are still confused… feeding stray cats or community cats IS PERFECTLY LEGAL. It is NOT ILLEGAL. Feeders are given 2 hours to clear any leftovers. More than enough time for you to place some food at the void deck for your resident kitties, head home for a shower and a meal, and then return to bin the leftovers. If you have a cat (or cats!) in your community, lucky you. My Meow Meow has gone missing. Sigh.

OKG Express @ NEX: A Hearty Bowl of Noodles Paired With Lychee Tea! :D

Next to Eighteen Chefs at Serangoon NEX is a noodle place that is super easy to overlook. In fact, I’ll probably never dine there if he didn’t buy the Fave voucher. I’m not easily tempted by noodles, even if they come with scallops on top. But mention iced lychee tea and ok, I’m in! ๐Ÿ˜€ The noodle place is called OKG Express. And for just $14.90 on Fave, you can get their Signature Dry-stirred Noodles with Scallop plus iced lychee tea for TWO! Really good value for money!

Each carafe comes with THREE lychees on top! My goodness. How’s that for generosity? And there’s so much tea, you won’t ever need to order a second glass!

I’m totally heading back again, for sure.

The noodles are decent. A very hearty bowl of noodles for sure. Paired with the chicken rice chili sauce and some chili padi, you’ll be breathing fire in no time.

We also ordered the OKG Herbal Chicken ($6.80 for members, otherwise $7.50) Two drumsticks! Perfect! Soup’s ok, just that we were surprised to find there’s nothing else within. No herbs, no red dates, etc.

Speaking of membership, they have this OKG member card you can get. Top up $30 and you get $3 extra credited to your card. It’s a good way of collecting monies upfront for a decent amount of cashflow, I guess. And since OKG has 4 outlets around Singapore, it should be pretty easy to use up the credits. ๐Ÿ˜‰

#01-58 NEX

#02-37 Alexandra Retail Centre

#01-11 Icon Village

#01-27, 3 Pickering Street

Book Review: ‘Infinite Hope’ by Anthony Graves

When he was only 26 years old, Anthony was taken into custody because the guy who had brutally murdered a family of 6 and set their house on fire said Anthony was his accomplice. It was a blatant lie from the murderer Robert Carter and yet it resulted in Anthony being behind bars for 18 YEARS, 2 months and 4 days. Though Robert would go on to retract his statement and tell the authorities he’d lied, the prosecutor, district attorneys and Texas State Rangers weren’t going to let Anthony off the hook so easily.

While he was behind bars, Anthony’s sons grew up, got married and had kids. When Anthony was eventually released, he’d become a grandfather. Imagine that!

Because of the flaws in the legal system, innocent people can and have been put to death for crimes they did not commit. In Anthony’s case, though there was no real evidence to show he’d been involved in the murders, the authorities had other considerations such as needing to have someone caught so as to assuage the fears of the public – can’t have a supposed cold-blooded murderer on the loose when it’s near election time, can you? Being poor and also ‘cos he is black, Anthony became the scapegoat of sorts.

This book is about how he survived those 18 long years, how his exoneration came about and how he came to terms with the situation – he even managed to forgive the Texas prosecutor, Charles Sebesta, who withheld information which could have led to Anthony’s release from prison a long time ago.

What would YOU do if put in prison for a crime you did not commit… and you’re behind bars for 18 years?

Would YOU be able to forgive the people who got you incarcerated in the first place… and those who kept you in there?

I’m amazed at Anthony’s tenacity. He was determined to have the State either kill him or free him. He’d not submit a guilty plea to get life imprisonment instead of a lethal injection.

That an innocent black man was convicted wasn’t a bug in the system, I knew. It was a feature of it.

I’m not sure how many people will take the time to read this book. Will you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ The book cover, for one, isn’t incredibly attractive. But I think anyone who wants to be a lawyer or play some part in the legal system of any country should read books like this one. Then perhaps there’ll be fewer money-grubbing lawyers, egoistic judges and unscrupulous prosecutors. Too few people understand that a person is innocent until proven guilty. And even fewer would be willing to admit that they screwed up and had passed judgement on a guy simply because of the color of his skin.