Foodnotes

The White Rabbit

I used to read Alice in Wonderland when I was a kid but it never was my favourite fairy tale. Maybe I was spooked by the crazy Queen of Hearts or the fact that the grin of the cheshire cat lingers in the air even though he has vanished. Or perhaps it’s just my romantic bone acting up and refusing to like any tale that ain’t a happy ever after with a knight in shining armour. Hah!

But I have to say, I was utterly charmed by The White Rabbit, a beautiful eatery in the so-hip-there-is-no-parking-lot Dempsey Road area. Again, this was for a media lunch so lucky me!

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3040/2709601033_4e21bb0bb8.jpg(Interior)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2709601033/

It’s housed in an old chapel that was lovingly restored by the owners, the same folks behind the cool Loof. It retains the quaint ambience of the chapel, with its high ceiling and warm lighting, and yet blends in modern comforts (think booth seats and bar counters) seamlessly. My crew and I were seated in a little nook behind the main dining area, where full-length windows allowed the sunlight to pour in.

For starters, we had the mushroom cappuccino and prawn bisque ($16). The bisque is a must-try – you’ll love how the laksa pesto and coconut milk combines with the prawn.

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3139/2709602407_157c73c976.jpg(Mac and cheese)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2709602407/

Our favourite main dish has to be the White Rabbit Mac and Cheese. To be fair, everything that we ordered, from the roasted rack of lamb ($32?) to the sole menuire ($29), was delightful. But the mac and cheese impressed simply because of the way chef Edmund Sia, who has honed his skills working with Chefs Justin Quek and Marco-Pierre White, has taken an old favourite and turned it into something so comforting yet rich.

For the finale, I present to you the White Rabbit Blackforest Cake ($14):
!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3198/2710414652_f68c99aa94.jpg(Say what?)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2710414652

Looks nothing like that chocolate flaked cake that you are used to, right? But this deconstructed version tastes like heaven. The sweetness of the chocolate ice-cream, mixed with the slight bitterness of the chocolate cake, mixed with the crunchiness of the biscuit bits equals DELICIOUS. Needless to say, it was gone in, oh, five bites. I’m a chocophile, meh.

That night, I went to Brewerkz for dinner and gosh, it made Brewerkz’s food taste terribly heinous. Would I go back to The White Rabbit again? Definitely. I hear that they are going to offer brunch soon and it’s a marvellous place to chill out on a lazy Sunday. Perfect. The only downside is the service isn’t quite up to mark yet. Glasses of water were not refilled and the wait staff can be downright grumpy. But given that they have just opened for business a month ago, I expect these things to be sorted out pretty quick.

The White Rabbit
39C Harding Road
Tel: 6473-9965

Wedding March

Two, better together

We’ve finally got the rest of our engagement shoot pictures from Eadwine and sigh, don’t you just love Photoshop? If only I look like that everyday!

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3137/2706550266_44772cae7f.jpg(Nope, not Frenching)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2706550266/

Anyhow, we’ve left most of the fun part of the wedding behind (read: shopping for fun things like dresses and rings) and are now at the serious portion, ie. the guest list. The guest list requires all of your memory, as well as your analytical skills. For instance, you have to remember if potential guest A ever ill-treated you and then you weigh the pros and cons of not inviting him/her. And with a tiny guest list of 90 or less friends (not including our parents’ list, good God, that’s another story altogether), it’s a cruel game of ping-pong that we have to play.

“Should we invite A?”
“Not quite keen. Maybe he’s a B-lister.”
“Think we should forget it.”
“Okay. What about Z’s wife?”

And then there is his shopping to do. The dude is still not suited up (tsk tsk) but at least we have nailed down his shirt over the weekend. Bought that white piece of cotton from Raoul at an exorbitant price (it’s even more expensive than my cheongsum or evening dress) but hey, it was finally something that caught his highly discerning eye.

Everything seems to be going okay but since neither of us have had any experience in handling a wedding, we may just be clueless optimists. Oh well, at least we have each other. And that’s all it matters, at the end of the Big Wedding Day.

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3177/2705741571_b5ffe1d6dd.jpg(Jumping for joy!)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2705741571/

View the rest of our favourites here.

Little Miss Shopaholic

My weekend playtime

Unfortunately, due to my laziness and the fact that I run around the island for work quite frequently, I tend not to pay much attention to my dressing during weekdays. Yes, shame on me.

Flats are the preferred choice of shoes because I have to walk quite a far bit from the MRT station to the stinkin’ inaccessible office (blah, it’s Monday tomorrow!). And because I am pretty thirfty (read: stingy), I tend to cut out cabs altogether and take public transport to my appointments, which means a whole lot more walking. And because my team tends to be quite casual in their dressing, I try not to overdo it so that I can blend in. Peer pressure, meh.

When I wore this outfit to work:
!(imgcenter)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2250/2226391330_f0259b8289_m.jpg(Jan 25)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2226391330/

I had a lot of “wah” comments. And it’s just bright chili red tights! Okay, it is bright red tights.

Come weekends, though, I’m like a vain vamp unleashed from the cage:
!(img)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/2682041929_965dcd3d30_m.jpg(July 19)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2682041929/ !(img)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2306/2205331285_b575a97fab_m.jpg(Jan 20)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2205331285/ !(img)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2258/2237358894_8e97af93a5_m.jpg(Feb 3)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2237358894/

I’m pretty eclectic but almost always jazz up my clothes with crazy tights. I don’t follow rules (I can see fashion editors shuddering now) and often throw on what I feel like wearing at that moment. Sometimes, it’s inspired by what I have seen in street fashion blogs, at other times, the outfit is built upon a particular item (like the “Willy Wonka-like” tights in the extreme left picture; thanks Popartgirl!). I just like playing around with textures and colours, and seeing how things (mis)match.

Call me narcissistic, if you will, but I don’t take these pictures because I think I am gorgeous (I’m actually way too sexay for the Internet, hah!). I just like dressing up and participating in fashion communities. It’s like a forum: you get to see what others can come up with and be inspired, and in return, you hope to inspire someone else.

So call me whatever! As long as I am happy with my playthings all squashed inside an exploding wardrobe, I don’t care. Seriously, you can only do all these things when you are young and free from responsibilities (check back again when I have a squealing baby in my arms and see if I am still busy plotting to take over the world with my outfits). And dressing up does make your day a little more bearable so go on and make yourself feel better!

!(img)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3170/2544746259_8893f52b2d_m.jpg(May 24)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2544746259/ !(img)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2329/2333500580_ac311346b0_m.jpg(Mar 14)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2333500580/ !(img)http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2092/2301833712_dc7c2e22f1_m.jpg(Feb 28)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2301833712/

Foodnotes

Cassis fabulousis

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3052/2698750578_f4f9c7df89.jpg(Smiley face)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2698750578

I know I complain about work a lot but there are days when I am truly glad that I have this job. Today was one of those days.

It was a day of two lunches.

I had a media lunch at 11.30am at Otto Ristorante. It served hearty Italian fare but alas, we arrived late and could barely devour two starters between the four of us before we had to rush off to another restaurant. This time, I was glad that I had the time to sit down and enjoy my meal at leisure.

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3283/2698752544_8ce8158668.jpg(Natural light is happy light)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2698752544/

Cassis (7, Rochester Park) had been kind enough to host us and as we sat down in the room that was filled with sunny, gorgeous natural light, it was clear that the restaurant is run by meticulous people (as evident in our conversation with the witty CEO of the company later). From the damask chair linen to the unique chandeliers, every detail was done to perfection. Plus, I realised later that its executive chef, Eric Guilbert, had earned a Michelin star when he was working the kitchens in Spain. Ah, that explains everything.

One of the tricks that I had learnt from foodies is that you always, always ask the wait staff for recommendations. I did, and came away fuller and much fatter. First up was the roasted pigeon served with mixed salad greens ($32). Never tasted pigeon before, but I decided that I need to be adventurous sometimes. Now, I don’t think I can go back to eating duck because the pigeon was AMAZING. The skin was lightly crisp while the meat was soft and full of its natural sweetness. Mayhap I should catch one of those fat suckers one day and roast them myself.

The lovely PR lady then told me that I had to have the beef tenderloin ($58) and really, who was I to argue against that? And while I don’t normally go for medium-rare beef, preferring medium-well instead, I decided to trust what the wait staff was telling me and go for the kill.

!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3060/2697931365_e26b37cc70.jpg(Beefy beefy)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2697931365/

It’s not a huge slab of beef, just a tad bigger than my tiny palm. But well, whatever they tell you about the best things coming in small packages, it’s all true. I was too busy stuffing my face to take note of the flavours that were exploding in my mouth but man, was the beef done to perfection. Chewy and full of bite but oh so tender and juicy. It was ringed by the sauce and a circle of pureed celery. I usually hate celery and I actually liked the puree! Go figure.

A small molten Valrhona dark chocolate cake (first picture) and a cuppa English Breakfast tea completed my extremely satisfying meal. Somehow, glee (and probably sugar) was rushing through me as I dug unglamorously into my cake, allowing to molten chocolate to flow out. I took a bite and went to heaven.

And then I came back to blog.

Cassis
7 Rochester Park
Tel: 6872-9366

The organised chaos, Werk

What’s next?

!(imgleft)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/2644946165_62d26d7c20_m.jpg(Monochrome life)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2644946165/
After waking up at 5am this morning for the race (no, I didn’t run because I am injured. But more on that later), I figured I would be tucked in bed right now. Instead, I made myself a cup of iced tea and browsed through fashion blogs and sites like a HDB lady of leisure.

Someone once asked me why I am not a fashion writer despite my obvious love for the F-word. Surprisingly, the thought of writing about the one thing that I love in my life is simply not enticing. Once something you love becomes your livelihood, it ceases to bring you amusement and excitement. Plus, as I had told my employers at the interview, I am not the fashion writer that they are looking for. Thrifting, budget shopping and street fashion are more my cup of tea, not going gaga over ridiculously over-priced, ugly monogram bags.

Maybe this is why, although the current topics that I write about interest me, I am just not interested in writing about them. A colleague summed it up best: “I felt a dilemma. I liked the camaraderie and cosiness of the team, I am interested in the topics but putting in so much effort to research for them made me not like them anymore.”

Seven months into the job, I am beginning to think that writing may not be the best career option for me. I am happiest when I am writing about everything and anything – sometimes it’s a movie that thrills me, or a song that’s playing on repeat mode (currently Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”) on Ingrid or a look that I am into at the moment. Tell me to speak to dietitians and doctors and I zone out immediately.

It’s infinitely scary because this has been what I wanted to do my whole life and now that I am living it, I am finding that the dreams I once had as a child are no longer dreams but sad realities. Many have told me that I am not cut out for the corporate world but I suppose I should not shut the door on something that I have never really tried before. Who knows, I may just be really good at corporate communications and the like.

Am I at a crossroads of some sort? Perhaps. I’ve been pretty lucky so far, when it comes to opportunities, so I am crossing my fingers that Lady Luck will carry on smiling benevolently on me.

Everything Else

The Dark Knight

Good movies are those that make you ponder. When you leave the intimate enclosure of the cinema back into the real world, these movies are constantly on your lips. Christopher Nolan’s latest edition of the Batman series, The Dark Knight, is one such movie. I have watched twice in as many days and I am still awed and impressed.

The action starts the moment the show begins, and the serpentine twists and turns are akin to taking a ride on a hellish roller coaster – you never know how sharp an angle you are going and you certainly can’t predict where it’s going. It stuns, it amazes, it surprises and it shocks.

Much has been said about the late Heath Ledger’s performance, many are calling for a posthumous Oscar for the talented but short-lived Australian actor. Was it odd watching him work his craft on the silver screen? Is his performance an Oscar-worthy (not that many winners of the statuette truly deserves to win) one?

The truth is, watching the Joker sidle up and cackle on screen is a terrifying experience. You never know what he is capable of doing, you don’t know who he is going to target next. He’s so psychopathic that he is unreal and yet, you feel a twinge of regret for this demented soul. And so, this would have been a career-defining role for Heath Ledger because it brought him to a depth that he had probably never known before. It shows us a Heath Ledger we have never seen before, one who poured his heart and soul into giving the Joker twisted flesh and blood.

Christian Bale, as always, is a fine actor whose eyes flash with emotions even as his face remains impassive. The intensity of his brooding eyes is unbearable, the wry curve of his mouth tells you that he is a man who isn’t comfortable in his own skin. While Heath Ledger dominates the screen, Christian Bale is more than adept at holding his own against such an electrifying force. His Batman is like a deceptive sea: it looks calm and cool on the surface but the undercurrents are deadly. When they face off in the movie, the screen buzzes with tension and anticipation.

The best thing about Christopher Nolan is his immaculate and astonishing work ethic. He has an amazing eye for detail and is not careless, not with the timeline or the story or the characters. He is able to weave an intricate and complex tale that does not require much suspension of disbelief. He draws out the depths of the character and paces the movie evenly and perfectly. In a time when superhero movies treat plots as secondary to the action, he bucks the trend by crafting a story that’s so amazing that you wish you could savour it again.

It’s a dark and dreadful Gotham City and someone needs to the fall guy.

This is definitely one of the best movies I have watched.

Little Miss Shopaholic

A tiery affair

Some of you may recall the lust that I had for that particular Zara dress a year ago:
!(imgcenter)http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1313/557558539_c319e3bbbc.jpg(Ahh, fashion meets architecture)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/557558539

Fast-forward to a year later and this is what I ended up with:
!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3273/2662925825_59976b75a1.jpg(Feeling like flamenco)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2662925825

Multi-frill skirt from Warehouse

I had some hours to kill before meeting the cousins for “Red Cliff” and no prizes for guessing how I spent those hours. In my defense, it is the Great Singapore Sale and these days, I hardly buy anything in its original retail price anyway. And they were on pretty hefty discounts. So, sale equals bargain.

Repeat after me: sale equals bargain. Si?

Therefore, we also ended up, guiltily, with this:
!(imgcenter)http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3032/2663751246_27bb064786.jpg(Geek dash)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/yannie/2663751246/

Coral dress with tiers from Topshop, paired with my new fugly Charles and Keith mock croc bag

I think it’s a reaction to the dreadful fluff I had spun the day before for a writing test.

I promise to be good for the rest of the month.