Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Nth Attempt to Fitness at California Fitness

Today I enrolled at California Fitness with my friends Rye & Zach. I was actually a member at Gold's Gym and Fitness First in the Philippines so might as well try a different club. After a year and 3 months and a staggering 10-kilo weight gain here in Singapore, I decided to join a fitness club. And also to fulfill the purpose of the last "F" in this blog - my lifelong struggle for Fitness.

2 years ago I managed to lose 54lbs (24.5 kilos) in a span of 2 years. The first 24 lbs in the first year at Fitness First then the last 30 lbs at Golds Gym during the second year. I can seriously say these were the best days of my life since I felt so f*%king goodlooking hahaha... Honestly, people would be so shocked to see me and wouldn't even recognize me if I were sitting beside them. I felt healthy, full of energy and just beaming with confidence.

Gone were those days.. Sigh... So before I gain back all the weight I've lost I finally decided to do something about it. Hopefully, by putting myself to shame and posting it on the net, I would take this challenge seriously.

We got a very good deal at $53 a month for a 2-year membership. The trick in dealing with those uber pushy sales consultants is to tell them "this is my budget, take it or leave it". But I guess it did help that there were 3 of us signing up. Seriously, all those membership fees, processing fees and bullcrap fees are just, well, bullcrap. Don't fall for that trap. When they tell you it's the last day of their promo, tell them you weren't born yesterday. haha. Just kidding. Though I really admire their determination. Can you just imagine how hard it is for them to put on that act.

So here's to food blogging and fitness.. Goodluck to me.. Ugh
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10 Promises To My Dog

Akari fell in love with a puppy that had wandered into her house and adopted it. She names it "Socks" because its' paws looked like they had white socks on. Socks was a great comfort to Akari while grieving her mother's death. However, as Akari grows up, she gives less and less attention to Socks. Year by year, their distance grows, which also leads to physical distance as she moves to a far off city, leaving Socks behind to a childhood friend.

[Spoiler alert]

As expected, Socks passes away on her 10th year of living. And this is where you could hear people sniffing and sobbing in the cinema :P

The movie was actually very heartwarming and touching. It's not only about losing a dog but losing your mom or a loved one. Damn it this movie really made me cry. Especially in my case where I left my 2 yellow labrador retrievers in the philippines to find greener pasteurs here in Singapore - "Peaches" and "Bambi". Peaches is 6yrs old this year, that means 4 years to go for her... how truly sad :(

Aileen and Zach were sobbing like crazy hehe.. Aileen, my cousin, was really moved because her Golden Retriever "Sky" just passed away a month ago due to kidney failure. Sky succumbed to her sickness a few days after Aileen went home to Manila, so we all think Sky knew she was coming home and held on to dear life before passing away. We miss you Sky!

Then again I don't want to be carried away by my emotions because there were a few dull moments in the movie :P .. or was it because we caught the midnight showing at Cathay. For dog lovers like me, this movie is a must. It makes you realize there is more to life than the everyday grind and yearning for fame and fortune. You can always find another job but you can't find a replacement for your family.

For this truly heartwarming movie, I give it a 3.5/5
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

PS CAFE, Harding Road

I have always been intrigued by Dempsey Road but never had the chance to go there, so I decided to choose a restaurant from that area. PS Cafe (not exactly Dempsey Road but just beside Dempsey Hill) was recommended by my friend Ross, and since their website looked very inviting, I rightfully chose the resto as the lucky winner for my first ever food blog :D

Making reservations for 4 people was easy. I just phoned them and requested for an outside table at 8.15pm. For my debut food review, I invited my cousin Aileen and my friends Zach & Ross. They will be my guest food critics for tonight.

As soon as we got to PS we were immediately whisked to our reserved seats at the outside area. I must say I was really impressed with the layout and interior of the resto. The ambience & atmosphere of the Dempsey Hill area, coupled with the tasteful decor of the resto, made it very relaxing & invigorating.

Since Aileen was just on her way, we decided to have appetizer first. We had "Crisp & Dip" ($16) which was an array of turkish bread, crispy baguette, ciabata thins & housemade dips (humus, capsicum w/ pine nuts & mushroom). My fave of all the dips was the mushroom dip as it went very well with the crispy bread. Not bad for starters I must say.

Let me start with the main course of my guest food critics -

Aileen ordered "BBQ Ribs" ($25) - baby back pork ribs & celeriac-black currant slaw w/ frito misto citrus & onions. Sorry to say but the delectable description of the food did not make up for its lack in taste. The ribs were a bit dry and the glaze was not the usual glaze you would have on baby back ribs. We can honestly say we have tasted way better ribs in other places at 1/4 the price. The slaw was equally unappetizing and overall this dish was very disappointing.

Ross ordered "Chicken Rossa Penne" ($22) - grilled chicken with penne pasta, smoked bacon, spinach & mixed mushrooms in garlic tomato light cream sauce. I hate to be such a prick but this was equally, if not more, disappointing than the ribs. I did not taste a hint of the garlic in the sauce and it was too sweet for a supposedly savoury cream-based pasta dish. I almost thought the spinach was mint because of the sweet taste. Nevertheless, it was a consolation that the pasta was at least cooked "al dente".

Zach ordered the "Rosemary Kofta Curry" ($24) - Lamb & Pinenut meatballs simmered in aromatic rosemary curry w/ coconut scented basmati rice, tomato cumin raita & crispy papadum. The meatballs were quite huge, I must say, and very tender. To be honest, Im not a fair judge for such dishes as I'm not really a fan of lamb, but I would say this dish was quite good. Zach thinks otherwise as he said the dish was "just ok". Although, the meat in the balls were too ground up that you couldn't taste the texture of the meat. Well, at least this dish was better than the first two.

I ordered "Beef, Mushroom & Bacon Ragout" ($26) - a hearty stew of beef, bacon & mushroom with glazed baby veggies & homemade toasted walnut brioche. Im glad to say that this dish was the best of all the main courses. We all agreed that the beef was very tender, tasty and flavorful. The slightly toasted walnut slice was also very good - the perfect piece to wipe the sauce off the dish. The serving was also big, good enough for 2 people, but just enough for me, haha :)

And now for the most anticipated dish of the night.. DESSERT!!

I was really rooting for the dessert to save the day, or shall i say, the night. The "Double Dark Chocolate Cake" ($16) was indeed a lifesaver. Whatever disappointment we had in the main courses were all cast aside after that first bite of the cake. It was moist and UBER delicious. The dark chocolate was rich and divine. MMM mmmm. The sweetness was just right, enough for you to finish the cake and ask for more :P In short, it was better than sex. Ok ok, almost. haha!

So, here is our rating for PS Cafe (out of 5 stars):

.................................Shan / Ross / Aileen / Zach
Ambiance..................... 5........ 5......... 5........ 5
Service........................ 3....... 3.5....... 3........ 4
Food........................... 3.1..... 2.8...... 2.8..... 3.5
Presentation.................. 5......... 5....... 4.5...... 4
Value for money............. 3.5...... 3.5....... 3........ 3
OVERALL..................... 3.9...... 4.0...... 3.6.....4.0
*Rating for food has decimals because I took the average for the ratings of all the dishes.

If you notice, we gave Service a rating of around 3.5 because we had to ask twice for a glass of ice and twice for the dessert menu.

All in all, I would say it was a successful "first" for my food blog. What PS cafe lacks in food, the DESSERT, ambiance and atmosphere definitely makes up for. Our verdict is that PS cafe is more of a dessert place for a chill-out feel-good place for friends or lovers. I wouldn't recommend it for serious gustatory indulgence but I would definitely go back for another slice or two of that cake.

Now, didn't I say my food blog would feature the healthiest food on the menu.. Let me take that back! haha.




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Sunday, June 22, 2008


I've always wanted to write a blog but just couldn't find the right time to do so. Food has always picqued my interest and the glutton in me points to writing a food blog. But I didn't want a regular food blog - I wanted a food blog with a twist.

Since watching movies & traveling are my second bestest faves next to food, I figured why not mix all three favorites in one collective blog. I can almost hear some people say what does film have to do with food, but the reason behind it is I want to blog on something that I would normally do for leisure. Like in my case, I would usually eat out before catching a flick.

Finally, the crazy idea of throwing in my documented weight-loss while gorging on endless food would definitely add in that twist. Thus the name, Food, Film and Flight.. plus Fitness.

But wait! There's another twist. Since healthy eating = Fitness, I will try to feature healthy food that's not necessarily fat or carb-free, but food that is the healthiest choice on the menu. Who knows, I might throw in a calorie-laden cheesecake every now and then (or maybe even more often haha).

I am based in Singapore, therefore most of the food I will feature will start from here. Naturally, as my bank account will allow me, I will blog more food as I travel along the way.

So here's a toast to my stomach and to the 4 F's! Like what Chef Wolfgang Puck says, "Live, Love & Eat"

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