Monday, September 29, 2008

Travel Magazines

Lately, I've been crazy about travel magazines. I needed a respite from the usual novels that I read so I figured what better way but to daydream while reading these magazines. I can be a serious daydreamer, mind you. Sometimes, I would check out all the rates for a specific destination on all the airline websites or even check out the best hotel deals for hours on end.

If only I had the choice, I would love to be a travel correspondent, just like those guys on the Discovery Channel. I mean traveling on the job doesn't really sound like work to me. Until that happens, I don't think I can ever honestly, sincerely say the phrase "I love my job". Oh well...

"Escape" is a local singaporean magazine that just came out with their inaugural issue. On the other hand, "Lifestyle + Travel" is a Thai magazine that I found at Times bookstore. Actually, its very clever of them to have come up with their own travel mag. A perfect way to generate even more interest in their tourist spots. One thing I admire about Thailand is that they really spend fortunes on advertising and marketing for their country (which reminds me of the sad fact on why the Philippines hasn't done the same).

Their latest issue reveals the 3 cities of the new rich - Moscow, Abu Dhabi & Shanghai. As it says in the article, Moscow is home to more billionaires than anywhere else on Earth, Abu Dhabi has one of the highest per capita incomes of any city, and Shanghai is experiencing the greatest explosion of construction on the planet.

Out of these 3 cities, Moscow is the most enticing to me. To be honest, I don't really know much about Moscow, or even Russia as a whole. In my naive mind, I still remember them as the communist country - which is why it seems very intriguing for Moscow to be included in the list.

Hmmm, I'm really planning to reward myself next year and go on a non-asian trip. Maybe around April, any suggestions?? :-)

Read more on "Travel Magazines"!

Spize Supper Club/Spize Mediterranean Grill, Simpang Bedok

It's been soooo busy at work I haven't had the chance to blog these past days... So I'm very glad to be back...

I already gave a food review of this place and in fact, they garnered the highest rating to date. If you haven't read that, please click here.

I've actually been to Spize in Simpang Bedok for the past 3 Fridays eversince the first time I blogged about them. And I noticed something very unfortunate which compelled me to do a second review.

If you remember, in my first review of "Spize", I was all praises about them. Excellent food & great service. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case on our 2nd and 3rd visit. This last friday was a total disappointment. The service was terrible, if not pathetic, and the food was so-so. I waited for a full hour for my lasagne, only to find out that there was no more stock. In short, I was waiting for nothing. No one even bothered to inform us until we asked for the check and wanted to cancel the lasagne.

Anyway, here is what we ordered... More ranting later...

Zach ordered "Grilled Mushroom & Cheese Burger" ($6.50)- described as "beef pattie chargrilled and top with sauteed black pepper mushrooms, tangy BBQ, and melted down with cheese, served with fries".

I have a feeling they probably cut and paste that description from somewhere. Someone should really edit their menus. Anyway, the burger was dry and the bread tasted so commercial. No where did I taste the "grilled" mushrooms.

I ordered "Bangers & Mash" ($9.90) - A mix of grilled beef and chicken sausages served on mashed potatoes with gravy, topped with sauteed onions. Strictly for sausage lovers only! - as they claim.

This order probably took a good 30-40 mins. Even worse, it wasn't good. The sausages were dry and dehydrated. As if they left it too long in the microwave. But at least the gravy was good.

Therefore, I was pissed. Pissed enough to make a second review and take back my highest rating of the place. Zach said they probably gave us excellent service the first time we were there because the owner probably saw me snapping pics of the place. I admit though that a lot of their food is good. My mood probably took over my taste buds that night.

Nevertheless, the damage has been done. Here is my revised rating for Spize-

Ambiance - 3.5 (same as before, to be fair)
Service - 1.0
Food - 2.0
Presentation - 3.0
Value for Money - 2.5
(Average of previous overall score of 4.62 and current overall score of 2.4)

"Live, Love & Eat!"

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lady in Red

Part of the daily musings in my life is the very long commute to and fro work, at least 1.5 hours each way. And what makes it bearable are the daily "characters" that I chance upon either at the bus stop, bus ride or the MRT.

One of them is the lady in the picture. Let me refer to her as "Lady in Red".

The first time I noticed this Lady was actually in the bus ride. Everytime I see her she would mostly, if not always, be eating. And if you don't know, eating or drinking is not allowed inside public transportation here in Singapore. So that's the reason why I noticed her in the first place.

But what really caught my attention was the fact that she ALWAYS wears RED. And when I say always, I mean EVERY SINGLE waking day. No Kidding.

PLUS, it's not like she wears different shades of red or different types of clothing in red - what really boogles me is she wears the EXACT same RED shirt and black pair of pants (including her either black or brown sandals and the same RED handbag) every single day.

AND WAIT, there's more! She always at least carries 2 bags with her.

Even Aileen, my cousin, also noticed her oddity. It's just very intriguing how she came about to do what she is doing. I mean that's a serious obsession for red. It's quite understandable if she has a fond liking for red, but this, I think, is slightly overboard almost bordering insanity.

Have you met her?
Read more on "Lady in Red"!


From the director of "The Hills have Eyes" (2006), comes "Mirrors" - Kiefer Sutherland plays Ben Carson, a NYPD ex-cop turned night security guard at the burnt ruins of the Mayflower department store. He discovers something strange in the store's mirrors, which seem to force people to harm or even kill, both themselves and their loved ones.

I had gone back to Philippine Airlines this morning to finally collect my ticket so we decided to watch a movie, since we were in town anyway. I also remember seeing the trailer and was very eager to watch it. Unfortunately, that eagerness soon turned into disgust.

If only I had known then that this movie was directed by the same director of "The Hills have Eyes", then I wouldn't have bothered to see it. It was boring, unrealistic and was just as worse as its predecessor. To me, it seemed like"The House on Haunted Hill" meets "Night of the Living Dead". Terrible. A total waste of 8 dollars.

I also found out this movie was actually a remake from a korean horror flick in 2003 entitled "Into the Mirror". What's up with hollywood and all these remakes of asian films?? Are they running out of ideas? I admit though that some, if not most, remakes I do like as they add that "sophistication and grandeur" of hollywood but this movie was clearly an exception. I wonder if the original film was any better...

Can you actually believe I fell asleep watching this supposed "horror" movie?! AND in the early afternoon?!! That's how boring it was. I didn't even bother to understand the plot on why the stupid mirrors were making the people kill themselves.

More so, I can't believe some people rated this movie with "A's" & "B's" in yahoo movie review. Goodness.

For this lousy movie, my rating is 0.5/5.0
(At least give them credit for trying)
Read more on "Mirrors"!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

KFC Commercial

When my twin brother, Johann, was here a month ago, he mentioned one of his friends, Robby (whom we met up briefly since he was also here), was going to be in another commercial after a long absence in commercial modelling.

So now I saw the KFC commercial on youtube and I think it's hilarious. Robby is the guy who says "sino kaya?" (means "who could it be?").

For those non-filipinos, basically the commercial is about a group of yuppies who jokingly imply that one of them is presumably hiding a dark secret (they don't directly impy it but "dark secret" meaning one of them is gay), then the one guy gets an "aha" moment and opens the kfc box. The other guy shrieks like a girl in amazement to find out that KFC now has shrimp in their lineup. In the end, they all tease him saying "dude, we accept you" but the "shrieking guy" just says "no, i was just shocked about the shrimp..."

Some people are just making a big brouhaha out of a non-issue, stating that the commercial is homophobic or stereotyping the gay community. C'mon lighten up. It was meant to be light and funny. Enough of the political correctness.
Read more on "KFC Commercial"!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spize Supper Club/Spize Mediterranean Grill, Simpang Bedok

*Updated review on this restaurant, please click here.

Finally. It is time to review my all-time favorite in Simpang Bedok. It's actually funny because I never knew until lately that this placed is called "Spize", I just know where to find it in the market.

I love the rustic, cluttered and somewhat "dirty" atmosphere. It reminds me of the outdoor dining "good-eats" in Manila, which we call "Dampa" - where seafood is mostly sold. Plus I like the idea of just being "yourself" while enjoying your food. You know how it is when you eat at fancy restaurants - you can't speak too loud, you have to observe proper table manners, chew with your mouth closed, etc etc etc. Not that I'm saying I prefer to eat like a pig but sometimes it's good to just not care about whether you're using the right spoon or the right glass, you know what I mean?

I learned of this place from my housemate, Al, way back when we lived in Bedok. He used to take us here to eat especially after a night-out or whenever we get hungry at odd hours in the night.

It's funny I read someone else's review about Spize (as much as I want to put a link I'm afraid I can't do it, just google it - type spize singapore) and she was saying the place was too loud, the light was too dim she couldn't read the menu, and the waiter didn't know how to answer when she asked "What do you recommend?". Give me a break Ms. Prim & Proper!! You are at freaking Simpang Bedok, what do you expect??! You're not at Ritz Carlton or Raffles Hotel. It's funny how some people just think and act silly. Which reminds me of my latest favorite read - "Waiter Rants", look for it under "My Reads" in the homepage.

After you are seated, they actually offer you 2 different menus - 1 for more asian fare & the other for more western/mediterranean fare. I actually love the idea because anyone can sure find something they like.

The picture above is actually from a previous visit to Spize but I included it here anyway - "Garlic Mushroom Chicken" ($11.50) - Flame-broiled fillets complemented with sauteed garlic mushrooms and gravy served with seasonal fresh vegetables and accompanied with buttery mashed potatoes.

God someone should edit their menus haha. Anyhow, this dish was super good! Probably one of the best sizzling plate dishes I have tasted in a long time. Seriously, even the veggies were very good - tender and not over/under cooked. The gravy was very very good!

On this particular night, I ordered "Nasi Goreng Ayam" ($5.50) - Fried chicken with malay fried rice. This was also very good!! In fact, the serving was big enough for 2 people (I mean 2 regular people hehehe but maybe enough for 1 big size guy like me haha). There was a lot of rice and chicken. And the chicken was very flavourful, even without the sauce. A way for me to judge really good food is if it tastes good on its own, and this dish sure did. And for $5.50, this was very affordable.

Zach ordered the "Mee Goreng Seafood" ($5.50) - Malay-style fried noodles with seafood. Also very nice. Although there wasn't that much seafood. but the noodles itself were very tasty. Plus the texture was al dente, not under/over cooked. Again the serving was good enough to share.

Lastly, we ordered "Fried Calamari" ($10), I don't think I need to explain this because it's simply fried breaded calamari. Now this is the ultimate champion of all calamaris I have ever tasted! Very Very VERRRrrryyyy good! I love the breadcrumb coating! It was very crispy yet the squid was very tender. The kind that doesn't feel like rubber band - it tasted fresh and it popped after you bit it. Plus it also tasted good on its own. I noticed how a lot of calamari would only taste good with the tartar/mayo dip. But this one was really uber good I can't stop raving about it hehehe. Moreover, for $10 it was a steal.

Obviously, I have nothing but praise for Spize. Yes you sit on plastic chairs and there's no airconditioning but the food was great. Just a tip, I think it really helps if you come along with a malay friend because most of the waiters are Malay.

So screw those who badmouth Spize and Simpang Bedok! You can go back and eat in your pretentious fine-dining restaurants! Hehe.

Here is my rating for Spize-

Ambiance - 3.5
Service - 5.0 (The food & drinks came really quick)
Food - 5.0
Presentation - 5.0 (Considering it is outdoor casual dining)
Value for Money - 4.6

OVERALL - 4.62 (garnered highest rating as of Sept.16'08)

ADDRESS: 336/338 Bedok Road
Bedok Shopping Complex
Tel: 64453211

"Live, Love & Eat!"

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Lerk Thai Restaurant, Selegie Road

I wasn't really planning to eat out for Lunch last Saturday but since I had to wake up so early to go to the Philippine Airlines ticket office, might as well give myself a treat hehehe. I had to book my ticket going home for Christmas, as soon as possible, unless I want to end up paying an enormous ridiculous price for my ticket. Can you believe Philippine Airlines is charging almost S$1000 for economy seats??!! while Cebu Pacific is charging S$805 for economy seats as well, freaking unbelievable!!

I actually wasn't planning to go home anymore and rather save the money but thanks to my stepdad, Bob, and my Mom - they'll be giving me their miles so I could book a ticket going home. Therefore, I only end up paying around S$330 AND I get to ride in business class hehehe sweet...

I'm such a pauper :-( I can't believe I've been relying on my parents for the past 2 christmases to be able to go home... Don't worry my loving parents, as soon as I get my much needed raise I will return the favour.

Anyway, before I forget, let me get back to the food review -

I actually already saw Lerk Thai on the way to the PAL office. In fact, I already bought their spring rolls to snack on before going to PAL, hehe (see the small brown stuff in the picture above in their display rack). Not bad for $2.50/4 small pieces.

So after PAL, we decided to eat there just the same. Zach ordered "Thai Beef Kay Teow" ($7.50) - thai style noodles with beef and bean sprouts.

It was ok to me. I'm not really a good critic for thai food as I'm not too familiar but Zach says the same dish at Siam Kitchen is better.

I ordered "Suky Phad Haeng" ($7.90) - Fried traditional seafood with bee hon noodles.

I liked the texture of the bee hon, not too sticky and mushy. I've tasted bad quality bee hon before that felt like one big lump of sticky noodles. But this one was quite good, you could feel the strand of each noodle. The sweet and spicy flavour was also just right plus there were generous servings of seafood.

We also had "Pandan Leaf Chicken" ($3.00/piece) - a traditional and classic thai dish of chicken wrapped in pandan leaves. This was average, I've tasted better pandan chicken in the Philippines. I don't think the pandan leaves were fresh as it didn't give out the usual fragrant smell and taste of Pandan.

We weren't supposed to have dessert but the waitress said that for a minimum of $30 we can get 10% discount from the bill, so in essence that means getting the dessert for free. So Zach chose the "Red Ruby" dessert ($3.90) - red ruby in ice and coconut milk. I'm not sure what the Red Ruby was made of. Sorry but I didn't like this dish. I felt robbed paying almost 4 dollars for what was mostly ice.

So far, Siam Kitchen fares better than their competition. Next time I'll feature Thai Express and let's see who is the king of Thai food in Singapore.

Here is my rating for Lerk Thai -

Ambiance - 3.0
Service - 3.5
Food - 3.0
Presentation - 2.5
Value for Money - 3.0
OVERALL- 3.0/5.0

1 Selegie Road
Paradiz Centre #01-07

"Live, Love & Eat!"

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Mad Jack, Simpang Bedok

One of my most favorite eating places is a hidden market place in Bedok, called "Bedok Market Place" or more fondly referred to as "Simpang Bedok". I actually don't know why it took me this long to post it on my blog.

Before I feature Simpang Bedok (in another blog), we wanted to try this interesting place called "Mad Jack", just right beside the bedok market.

Good thing they were open till 12 midnight coz we already got there past 11pm on a Friday night (very late dinner coz we went to the gym, YES you heard me right, back to the gym after a long hiatus hehe).

Their menu boasts of authentic australian fare. We decided to have the "Fish & Chips" ($7.90) - authentic aussie style w/ crispy batter and chunky fillet.

Now I was hungry and looking forward to a good meal on a Friday night - and Mad Jack sure ruined it. The fish was so bland. It absorbed so much oil and it tasted like nothing - for some reason I couldn't even taste the fish. It felt like they just dipped the fish in flour and fried it, with no salt or even pepper. The tartar sauce couldn't even rescue it. At least the fries were great.

We also had the "Chicken Baked Rice" ($6.90), another futile attempt to rescue the fish and chips. The cheese and butter were too overpowering, and the chicken was so scarce.

This has got to be one of the worst meals I have ever had in a long time. At least their service was pretty good, the waiter and owner very friendly and accomodating. Now if they could only improve on the food.

Here is my rating for Mad Jack-

Ambiance - 3.0
Service - 4.0
Food - 0.5
Presentation - 3.0
Value for Money - 1.0
OVERALL - 2.3/5.0

304 Bedok Road
Singapore 469463

"Live, Love, & Eat!"
Read more on "Mad Jack, Simpang Bedok"!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Milo Ventimiglia (of the blockbuster TV series "Heroes") portrays a young intern (Dr. Ted Grey), newly arrived at the University Hospital in Philadelphia, who stumbles onto a psychopathic group of colleagues playing a "forensics" game. They regularly select one of their members to commit the "perfect murder," while the rest use forensic methods to try to determine how exactly the homicide was executed.

No wonder the main actor looked so familiar - He IS the guy from "Heroes". It's also surprising to know Alyssa Milano is still active, I thought she was like retired or something. It's good to know she hasn't been totally overshadowed by the newer, younger, more good-looking actors.

I don't really have that much to say about this movie. Well, for one at least I didn't fall asleep :-P

I was expecting much more from the storyline, more twists, turns and thought-provoking sequences. Instead, the plot was simple - a group of psychotic, drug-addict doctors who kill and get away with it. [Spoiler Alert] In the end, they all die expect for - who else - Dr. Grey.

I'm the type of movie-goer who goes for realistic movies that I can relate to or can happen in real life. That's why I don't like fantasy films like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, etc. Some people say I'm shallow, or boring or what have you but it isn't really my cup of tea. I always go for the story. That's also probably why I can read a novel and enjoy it. I don't need pictures or anything as long as the story can keep me interested.

My rating for Pathology is 2.5/5.0

Read more on "Pathology"!

Pepper Lunch Express, Raffles City

Most, if not all, of the food bloggers in Manila have featured Pepper Lunch at least once in their blogs. So of course, I had to finally see for myself what the craze is all about.

We were actually supposed to eat at Thai Express but the freaking queue was so long. So we just headed up to the food court at Raffles City. And just my luck because they had Pepper Lunch Express.

I learned that Pepper Lunch has over 200 branches in Japan so they must be serving really good food to keep up with the demand.

Anyway, the mock-up food on display was enticing, it really made me salivate (I once saw on TV how they made these "fake" foods and if i'm not mistaken, they are made mainly of wax, glues and different kinds of plastic). Since this is the "express" version, the choices, serving and price is also downsized.

So I decided to go for the Cube Steak & Hamburger Combo ($7.90), so I can taste both the steak and the Hamburger.

I was really excited to mix and cook my own pepper lunch meal. I believe the best selling-point of Pepper Lunch is they give you the DIY feel of cooking your own food. And boy was I excited to prepare mine.

I took both the honey brown sauce and the garlic soy sauce so I can compare which one is better, and I agree with a lot of bloggers that the honey brown sauce is indeed yummier.

Grilling the meat in the sizzling hot plate and sauteeing your food while drizzling your choice of sauce really adds up to the pepper lunch experience. But seriously, in terms of taste, the beef and hamburger just tasted like, well, normal beef and hamburger. It's really the sauce that spells the difference.

So I'd say not bad. But I don't think I'd be crazy about it. :-)

Here is my rating for Pepper Lunch Express:

Ambiance - NA
Service - NA
Food - 3.0
Presentation - 3.5
Value for Money - 3.0
OVERALL - 3.17

252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103

"Live, Love & Eat!"
Read more on "Pepper Lunch Express, Raffles City"!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Do you love Chocolate??

I received this email yesterday (thanks Baby Ruth)... I just have to share it with you guys..

DISCLAIMER: Make Peace, Not War! Don't mean to offend anyone with this email :-)


We were raised on chocolate as kids and even into adulthood. I will never eat it again. I hope from now on you will throw yours away whenever you are given any . It seems as though nothing is safe to eat anymore. This is what happens when you eat chocolate! This is a warning, send this to everyone you care about. It could happen to you......or them.






Chocolate can cause small feet !!
Warn everyone
Read more on "Do you love Chocolate??"!
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