28 September 2007

Review: Lunar Asian Fusion Bar

I received this eDM (electronic Direct Mailer) in my mailbox. From the design, I thought it was an atas club with nice stylo-mylo oriental music, possibly nostalgic and even some Shanghai Jazz too, interior decor that would make Shanghai Tang really proud and service that would come from a team of waitresses dressed in ankle length cheongsam.

So when Lunar opened, I got the girlfriend along with her friends to check the place out. Like all club openings, the place was packed and music booming.

Once we entered, the attention was on the large screen which was screening Rain's concert, with fans screaming in the background. There was hardly any room and on the first level, we decided to move up to the second floor. I was quite impressed by the lift and the waitress team that played lift attendants. Judging from their looks and grasp of English language, they were all our foreign talent directly from China. Good and Bad. Good because it sort of upped the kinky fantasies quotient. Bad because, well, you know how the locals think about foreign talent...

Since we are on the topic of the waitresses, their uniform was functional, especially the striking bob wig, which makes for easy identification in the dimmed environment. The whole package with the short cheongsam dress, stockings and boots however reignites the debate of whether Singapore's very own Annabelle Chong should be considered trailer trash or local pop culture icon.

There was hardly any standing room and it was rather difficult snaking through the crowd. When we managed to find an available spot to rest at, the live music started. The first reaction by the ladies was, "Bad singing of even worse songs." A quick inspection and we realized it was a live band on stage. The female vocalists only scored in the looks department, singing wasn't great and failed to carry the feeling of the songs. Their attempts on interpretation failed spectacularly. Male vocalists weren't any better and looked liked the sharpei (Peking bulldog).

click for hi-res close up

Just when I thought the music could get any worse, the band got off stage and house music resumed... Guess what? They spun Afro-American Hip-Hop, Rap and R&B. Tak match to the extreme can!

Even though a waitress had previously taken our order, the drinks never came. Due to the crowds and the demand for the free drinks, we only managed to get one drink each after lots of pushing and shoving. I was pleasantly surprised by a quiet but friendly bartender who diligent served up requests of drinks.

We took our time to finish our drinks. One of the ladies wanted to hit the dance floor but was promptly discouraged by its emptiness. We decided to take our leave but also have a good look at the interior decor which was really nicely done up.

Some rather nice paintings too. There were also some racier ones on the ceiling, but I missed out taking photos of them. Guys, don't hate me for depriving you of those artistic paintings.

The ladies particularly liked this throne and spontaneously hammed it up there...

And the same pictures with some styling...

And just as we thought the first band couldn't get any worse, another ensemble took the the stage...

We waited for their first piece only to be disappointed and appalled yet again by the quality of sound made. It likened to the ad-hoc performances in Chinatown which employed Mainland Chinese ladies prancing around on stage looking as if they played the Chinese instrument.

So Lunar seemed to know nuts about Oriental music. Perhaps they should consult the Esplanade's producer for Huayi Festival for its musical direction. Seriously, the concerts there are much more happening.

My Parting Note on Lunar

Lunar to me is pretty much like Café Del Mar (Sentosa) where the music failed to fit its image. The management probably didn't think the crowds would appreciate anything that is non-mainstream. Great effort in the decor, but it fails spectacularly by missing the complete experience by miles.

For more photos taken at Lunar, click here.

A Great Message About Plastic Spoons

From www.treehugger.com and StumbleUpon.

26 September 2007

Now this would be a great branding campaign in Singapore

Image from ulibrsrkr

Too bad everybody else knows that Singapore is not a viable place to spend so much effort and marketing dollar to make this possible.

25 September 2007

OMY, What a horrible experience!

At 9.45am, I accessed because today was supposed to be the official launch of www.omy.sg. But all I ended up doing is pick on problems I encountered on the first page. It will take a lot of persuasion, cajoling, coercing and more to convince me say something positive about the site.

I missed out the the screen capture of the very embarrassing Javascript error (which prompted this entry) and after clicking on "No", I had to contend with the super long loading time of nearly a minute... on broadband!


That was exactly what I got on my screen for nearly a minute. Then when something did happen...


Doesn't seem to be getting better in the near future. Frustrated, I switched to the faster and more reliable Firefox, but I got this on the screen...


How can?! Why not Firefox compatible?

After a few rounds of abusing the F5 and Ctrl keys in combinations on both browsers, I gave up on trying to achieve seeing the full complete content of the omy.sg homepage and these are the screenshots for IE and Firefox respectively, riddled with broken links, inaccessible images and incomplete content...



Then I tried to register...


Way to go, www.omy.sg!

24 September 2007

Making New Friends Over Food

Some weeks back, I got an email from a stranger asking me out for a meal in the neighborhood...

It raised my eyebrow quite a bit. At first it was like, Woo~ I got a fan stalker fan stalker fan/stalker...
A fan because she found my food reviews on Choa Chu Kang through Google,
a stalker because she knows of The Girlfriend, i.e. she reads my stuff in detail. (Just kidding)
Needless to say, this is a first for me to be asked out by a lady stranger for a meal. It's like an online blind date, except both parties are to bring their own partners... Ok, it's not really online dating, the option of sensationalizing the topic that way was a cheap thrill.

Anyhow, this required the consultation of the wise girlfriend. To which she also agrees that we should let curiosity lead us accordingly. So we took up the offer and I suggested crabs at Sunshine Place. Both parties only managed to meet up after 2 weeks, when the jet-setting lady stranger finally returns home. So we quickly rushed to plan the dinner outing at the predetermined place.

With the formalities of introduction complete, we took our seats and proceeded to peruse the menu. It is pretty different ordering this time rather stressful in fact, especially when I needed to consider about the new friends' expectations. What if they had have better stuff elsewhere? Eventually, we settled for Crab Tang Hoon and Jin Xiang Crab. I didn't go for the regular chilli crabs or black pepper crabs for the possibility of comparison.

At the same time, the wise girlfriend reminded me of the disclaimer I should make: I find that the crab here is good because the stall consistently serves up fresh, firm and solid crabs... Thankfully, when the food came, it didn't disappoint. Maybe there will be another outing soon.

It was nice to make new friends this way. Perhaps this is the way friends are made in this day and age.

19 September 2007

What's after donuts?

How about homemade muffins and scones?


And I'm not talking about chains like Mrs Fields and Famous Amos, those are just too sweet for my liking. Neither are they able to tweak their recipes to reduce the tons of sugar they put in.

So it is a great to find an independent shop like Wooden Spoon which makes uniquely great muffins that are moist, dense but fluffy and full of flavor. Plus, it tastes of less sugar and more of the ingredients. The sweetness comes mainly from natural ingredients like raisins and bananas, just the way the health conscious would like them. No more having to deal with muffins loaded with tons of sugar! Another feature I like is the absence of the paper cups, so no more peeling off those cups and you can just eat everything.

Particularly, their banana walnut muffins, when broken open, reveals the generous amount of banana mashed into the little package, like banana walnut bread.


Also try the scones. Bite onto the crunchy exterior to reveal the buttery and soft insides with a zap of natural sugar from the raisins baked into it. Goes perfectly with your favorite warm, caffeine-laced drinks.

Besides their muffins and scones, Wooden Spoon also makes a variety of cookies, brownies, cakes and so on. However, note that everything here is produced in limited numbers and they will close shop once everything is sold out. It was already closed when I came by just past 6pm on a weekday. So if you are interested, do come by earlier for a true homemade fix.

Wooden Spoon

DSC_0660Wooden Spoon
100 Beach Road #01-24
Shaw Leisure Gallery
Singapore 189702
Tel: 6297 8839

Something's brewing at www.omy.sg

We've got a situation here, the battery levels are running low and you've got to be handing up the all important picture to be published for the tabloids papers.

And while you are at it, it might just win you a Sony Ericsson mobile phone, top prize being a K810i.


So give yourself a go at citizen (photo)journalism with this game at www.omy.sg!

Plus, according to a reliable source, something's brewing at www.omy.sg and my guess is that it will have everyone playing the role of a citizen journalist (blatant clue from game). SPH (see fine print on site) is probably going to milk our kaypoh-ness for sensational stuff we find on the street, and maybe in return, we can become feh-mes.

But for now, warm yourselves up with a simulation, where it sublimally says that the juiciest news and gossip will disappear at a blink of an eye, leaving you cursing, "O MY! I could have been (in)famous posting a picture of that!"

Or if you were looking at that all compromising helluva picture, "O MY! That's <insert your favorite adjective>!"


O MY! That's probably how SPH came up with that domain name. Which I have to ask, How come so Ang-moh-nized one? I'm booking wah-lau-eh.sg!

Will my inferences be anything accurate? The exact details should be revealed on the same website on 25 September, along with the winners of the paparazzi of a contest.


And I say it for the last time in this entry - Go play the game at www.omy.sg now!

17 September 2007

不知岛的名字 by Dramabox

At first, people had to go to the arts. Then, they brought the arts to the people. Now, the arts bring the people to places.

不知岛的名字 literally has the audience hop on a tour bus along with a 'tour guides' explaining the snippets of the locations we pass by and the destinations we will arrive at. Pretty quirky that a local is being brought around Singapore like a tour. But Dramabox did a great job presenting their research findings through an outdoor play that brought us to Labrador Park and the original NTU gate, the minimal set up felt really like last time the ah gong tell story.

First Stop: Labrador Park

Dramabox traced the history of Singapore's name with a light-hearted theatre that questions if Sang Nila Utama really did see a lion. Because according to historical records, lions never existed in the region. So how in the world did Temasek become Singapura? Did Sang Nila Utama see wrongly? Or was he mis-educated to identify a tiger for lion? Can you imagine country being named Harimaupura?

Also discussed was Dragon Teeth Gate a.k.a. Batu Berlayer a.k.a. Lot's Wife. This rock formation was a guiding landmark for incoming boats but also posed a threat as it was a perfect hiding place for pirates to ambush. Eventually, it was blown up for the safety of sea-farers.

The multiple names came about from different perspectives. Particularly, Lot's Wife was aptly named after the character in the bible who did not take heed and looked back to Sodom was turned to stone. The parallel of Sodom? It was Pulau Belakang Mati where the inhabitants were wiped out by Malaria. In order not to bring up the sorrows of the deaths, the island was renamed to Sentosa.

Since we were on the topic of Sentosa (and the Integrated Resort), Lot's Wife and Sodom (where all the vices congregated), how about putting Lot's Wife in the gambling den? Keep that to your imagination as we moved on to our second stop.

Second Stop: The Original NTU Gate

I think this is one of the most historically significant of establishments from the time under British colonial rule. Chinese immigrants set up Nanyang University to as a beacon of hope. The university embodied the belief that a better education would bring about a better life.

Our ancestors always thought about their descendants' future. So when the idea of a local University was brought up, the piece of land was given and everybody did what they could to contribute to the building fund. Many professions dedicated a day's earnings to the fund, even the prostitutes were no exception (historically true).

But it wasn't smooth sailing for university. The students were persecuted on many occasions and no recognition was given to their certificate. While NTU is well-recognized today, the alumni from long ago still contest for the name of their university to be restored even till this day.


It was definitely an enjoyable experience and an eye-opener to many unseen facets of our local history which were never taught in the classroom during my time. Kudos to Dramabox for their diligent research on the topic, their innovation to bring their audience out to places for theatre, and the quality performance that teaches and entertains at the same time.

13 September 2007

Singapore Shakin'

The office shook a few hours ago.
Felt like riding on a dry, cold concrete wave.
Weird and oddly scary.

To that middle-aged twit who sashayed his way down, you may think it is a joke for someone to be rushing down so quickly. But it is inconsiderate people like you who blocks the whole stairway that's going to get everyone killed if something does happen.

9 September 2007

Review: The Pump Room

The girlfriend's pals were gracious enough to let me in on their gathering at The Pump Room. So we got there early to get ourselves a table.

For the uninitiated, The Pump Room is a microbrewery and bistro. So we ordered our beers and sides first while we waited for the rest to arrive. We were ushered to a table and presented the menu. I took my time to look through the menu for something that might inspire me...


Personally, I prefer dark beers whenever come to a beer place. I have this preconception that dark beers from a place specializing in beers would offer something interesting. Plus dark beers usually meant more dimensions in terms of the flavor, which would be better experience compared the fizzy, foamy, bitter and pale stuff.

I settled for their Scottish ale, a dark beer with a nice taste of roasted malt. It goes down slightly more bitter at first, but ends sweetly.


Our appetite was growing as we waited for the others. So we decided to order some sides to keep our mouths occupied. I was disappointed that there wasn't anything like buffalo wings on the finger food menu. The best they could muster were a few potato-based sides and garlic bread. The rest of the table did set their eyes on something else...

Creamy Mashed Potato was pretty good. I did wish there was some bacon crisps mixed into it. Would have been a great combination of textures.

Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms with herbs was nice too. Although it was on the salty side. The chunky garlic was a nice touch which I liked.

Still waiting, I decided to entertain myself and the "early-birds" with my camera...

More of the interior

And the fascinating "optic fibre" lighting which changes color...


We were rather taken aback when we realized that the staff had failed to inform us about their special offers for their brewed beers. We thought fine, since we never asked.

Then we got really annoyed that many of the wait staff were selective of who they wanted to serve. There was this group of Caucasians that took the table in front of us and were given a VIP treatment while the other tables like mine were conveniently neglected and ignored. I then realized the wait staff were consistently tipped by that table for every item served. Talk about spoil market!

But I guess I shouldn't harp on that. I mean, there are other stuff to be peeved by. Like the wait staff's snail-like and begrudging response times for plain water. It seems like they convenient forget your requests. Not like we won't order other stuff, right?

Main Courses

I found the Linguine with Prawns, Mussels, Scallops and Squid Aglio Olio style was pleasantly spicy with black peppercorns. The seafood was fresh done just right, with the exception of the mussels which were really raw. I think it is because we are so used to the well-cooked mussels in chilli.

One can hardly go wrong with The Pump Room's Special Steak Burger with Salad and Chips. But it does lack the necessary punch to live up to its "Special" status.

Beer-Battered Pacific Dory with Chips, Tartare Sauce and Mesclun Saladwas nothing special, though the chips were pretty good.

My order was the Hickory smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs in Special Beer Marinade. It was a rather standard and ordinary quality. nothing to shout about.

The verdict for mains collectively would be somewhere between mediocre and average.


The plan had been to stay to catch the live band perform. So we needed to "buy ourselves some more time" in the form of desserts.

The Warm Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream was fantastic! The warm, thick chocolate pudding was probably oven toasted to achieve a crispy outer crust with a slightly charred taste. Every mouthful of the thick melted chocolate and the crispy crust was a luxurious experience.

Soft Centered Pavlova with Tropical Fruits and Passionfruit Curd was a light, zesty dessert thanks to the fruits involved at the sides. Pretty enjoyable if you just love the sugar. Personally, I found it a little too sweet, but nevertheless, it had a good mix of textures to be experienced with every little bit placed into the mouth.

There is a sudden realization that one can't really go wrong with a Cheese Platter. With very distinctive textures and tastes, it will instantly turn one into a cheese connoisseur.

By the time we wipe off everything on the plates, the band started their act. Plenty of 80's and 90's music to dance the night away.

Last but not least, the toilet was pretty decent, a good thing to have with all the booze going around.