Friday, August 12, 2011

110619 Day 4: Recap

For breakfast, we had Kim Choo's nonya rice dumpling, that my grandmother bought for the Dragon Boat Festival. So far, in 5 days, we've had 4 different types of rice dumplings already, because its also the Dragon Boat Festival here.

After breakfast, we went to the columbarium where my grandfather's urn was. It was in another neighborhood in the northeast region of Singapore. Most of my dad's side of the family is there. My grandfather (paternal side), my two great uncles and great-grandmother all have their urns there, and there's a spot for my grandmother there too, when the time comes. Singapore is so land scarce that we cremate the dead instead of  bury them, hence these columbariums.

After visiting the columbarium, we went to North Point (a mall in the northern region of Singapore) for lunch. I haven't been to North Point in about ten years, because it is less convenient to go to the north from the east via public transport, but my dad insists that Jason has to see all parts of the island for himself.

Anyway, we had lunch at a Cantonese-styled, tapas-like restaurant that is similar to Tim Sum, but has other small plates like honey roasted pork and noodle dishes as well. I've personally never been to this restaurant before, but it's my brother's favorite restaurant. The food is really good, and rather reasonably priced for what it is. Of course, its still beyond what I'd like to pay for food, but really good food, and I'd like to return to try out the rest of the (very extensive) menu. [The menu has more than 200 food items! Totally different from what Gordon Ramsay would recommend according to Kitchen Nightmares.]

mayim chinese cuisine

parents and my brother Ivan

us and ah ma


chrysanthemum tea

roasted pork


beef stew

chinese style dolsot bibimbap

green beans and minced pork

char siew

xiao long bao

tofu with avocado sauce

carrot cake

feng zao (Phoenix's claw - braised chicken feet)

char siew chee cheong fun

After lunch, we walked around North Point. There are some strange businesses there, like a baby spa. What? Babies go to spas? Oh my goodness, this is so lame a business idea! Anyway, we walked around and bought more desserts for Jas to try. Amongst those are things like peranakan nonya kueh (cakes), ding dang candy (that my dad jumped at since it was a traditional dessert snack that he hasn't seen in decades), and also durian pancakes (I couldn't resist it... DURIANS!)

nonya desserts and traditional desserts

We went home after, rested a little, and then headed out to the Marina Barrage to picnic and fly kites with my mum's family. Marina Barrage is a dam, and in the area of town that is undergoing huge amounts of construction.The last two years saw the building of the Marina Bay Sands resort (with everything that came under its umbrella - Helix Bridge, Art/Science museum, the 3 hotels with the infinity pool, and the biggest, most luxurious shopping mall Singapore has ever seen), the Singapore Flyer (a giant ferris wheel that is built to be the London Eye of Singapore, and 98ft taller than London's London Eye), all within that area. Currently, they're building Gardens by the Bay right next door, and it would be an amazing park when it opens, it's already starting to look really weird and extravagant with whatever construction is happening at the site now.

the view of the city center from Marina Barrage

Anyway, the Marina Barrage is a fun place and most people go to the rooftop garden to fly kites and have picnics. It is an environmentally friendly building, and uses mostly water from the bay, and solar panels for electricity. It also has a gallery about Singapore being self-sustaining. The roof of the Marina Barrage is well known for having lots of kite flyers, and we saw at least a hundred kites up in the sky while we were there, filling the sky and coloring it.


the Marina Barrage

For our picnic, we had curry, fried vermicelli, fried rice, fishballs, chinese sausages and shepherds pie. Believe it or not, all the food was gone at the end of it! I guess it does take a lot to feed a herd of growing children, although we're now mostly in our early 20s.

flying our kite...

After sunset, and viewing the night kites - night kites have LEDs attached to it as well as to the string, transforming the sky again.

sunset


At about 9, we packed up everyone into two cars and a lorry (total of almost 20 people!) and headed to East Coast Park for supper. Again, tons of food - satay, wonton noodles, oyster omelette (Jason tried an oyster!),  satay bee hoon (satay noodles), grilled chicken wings, and sugar cane and coconut juices. Yes, my family eats a ton.

or luak (oyster omelette)

fresh sugar cane juice

satay bee hoon (satay-sauce vermicelli)

ketupat (Malay rice cake)

chicken and mutton satay

charsiew and wonton noodles

grilled chicken wings with lime

one of our two tables...

table #2

After supper, we headed to the beach to celebrate Esther's (my cousin's girlfriend) birthday with a peppermint cake. Yummy yum yum.

sandcastles on the beach

Esther's green peppermint cake

all my cousins (maternal side) and girlfriends/boyfriend

All round, another good, but long and tiring day.

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