Nov 8, 2013

Tim Ho Wan 添好運 @ Plaza Singapura




I queued from 6:15pm to 7:30pm (1 hr 15 minutes).
The very basic attribute that one should have before patronizing Tim Ho Wan is patience - you can't make any reservation.

An exaggerating advice given by one of my friends, "Go in a group of 4 or 5 and take turns to spend half an hour queuing".

Assuming that you're going with a group of friends, or at least with your partner/spouse, talk to each other to kill time. If you're the pity one who needs to queue alone first before the rest of your friends arrive, play games or read something, but remember, you're only allowed to enter when all of your friends have arrived - Tim Ho Wan is doing big business and they can't afford to have a single unfilled table.

If you're starving really badly, you might want to think twice before putting yourself in the dilemma of continuing to queue or leaving the queue.

Tim Ho Wan 添好運 is a Michelin-starred restaurant originated from Hong Kong, which accounts for its popularity.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, people are queuing for two to three hours for this highly sought after dim sum restaurant.

添好運 is pronounced as Tim1 Hou2 Wan6 in Jyutping (粵拼) or to those who're not familiar with the Cantonese phonetic system, it's Tīm Hóu Wǎn in Pinyin (漢語拼音), although the script tim doesn't exist in Pinyin, but those who speak Chinese and English definitely know how to pronounce tim (which sounds like team).

It's a birthday celebration dinner for one of my housemates Alison, who's turning 24. =P

I took the responsibility of queuing prior to everyone else's arrival as I am the one who ends work the earliest (4:45pm), while Wilsen bought the birthday cake. I boarded one of my company buses which drops me at Bishan MRT, and from there I traveled southwards to Dhoby Ghaut via MRT. The stupid me who still find Dhoby Ghaut MRT a maze took the wrong exit and ended up in Dhoby Xchange, leaving me with no choice but to take an extra couple of minutes to figure out how to get to Plaza Singapura by walking across the road, when I could have taken the right exit and reached Plaza Singapura directly.

I was given an two-page order sheet which is slightly smaller than an A6 paper, so that I can think of what to order in advance.


鼓汁蒸肉排 Pork Rib with Black Bean Sauce @ $4.20


香煎蘿蔔糕 Pan Fried Carrot Cake (3pcs) @ $4.50


臘腸北菇雞飯 Rice with Chicken, Sausage & Mushroom @ $6.00


古法糯米雞 Glutinous Rice Dumpling (1pc) @ $5.00


蜜味叉燒腸 Vermicelli Roll with BBQ Pork @ $5.50
The most colorful Chee Cheong Fun I've ever seen.


晶瑩鮮蝦餃 Prawn Dumpling (4pcs) @ $5.50


鮮蝦燒賣皇 Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (4pcs) @ $5.00


香滑馬來糕 Steamed Egg Cake (1pc) @ $3.80


酥皮焗叉燒包 Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (3pcs) @ $4.50

I'll feel sorry for you if you didn't order this Char Siew Pau during your last visit(s) to Tim Ho Wan.
Don't they look exactly like the buns which most Western restaurants serve together with butter prior to serving the main courses? And these crunchy buns are filled with BBQ pork.
Experience this extraordinary fusion culinary yourself by taking a bite out of the sugary crust, although it does give foreigners the wrong impression of how the authentic Char Siew Pau looks like.

Dim sum are usually expensive, and those in Tim Ho Wan cost a bit more than average. However, the dim sum taste really unique, and you can tell that Tim Ho Wan is trying to make their dim sum distinctive from the exceptionally customized names of the dim sum.

Dim sum cravers, you know where to go now, if you have an extra hour to wait in line.


(From left: Emilia, Wilsen, Harry, Alison, Calvin, me, Shuhui)
Happy birthday to you, Alison (the centermost pretty lady) !
希望你今日食咗嘅點心會俾你多D好運啦。 ^^

Plaza Singapura
68 Orchard Road #01-29A
Singapore 238839

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Oct 25, 2013

Saveur @ Far East Plaza


It's the last Friday of the month of October, neither have I turned up at any Halloween party nor attended the Oktoberfest. Oh well, very unrelated huh... I asked Clarissa out for dinner, and having known that she's in favor of European cuisine (I hope I'm not wrong), I sourced this French restaurant - Saveur.

The French word saveur means savor/taste/flavor. I believe the restaurant has got something to do with Christianity - there's bible scripture on its website and on the wall above the waiting seats. Besides, on the receipt I found the phrases "God Bless! Taste and See that the Lord is good!" at the bottom.


Duck confit @ $12.90
I shamelessly turned my head, checked out what were on the tables around me and noticed most people ordered this dish. As read from other blogs, it's their signature dish, which one can easily tell from their trademark - a duck looking to its right.
It's Clarissa's order, I took a small piece of it and I think together with the mashed potato it tastes pretty pleasant.


Sea bass @ $14.90
This was my order, and I have to say that the cubic saute potatoes somehow looked like scallops to me. I know right, how on earth can I get so many scallops for only $14.90.
I personally like the crispy and salty skin a lot, which Clarissa doesn't.


Crème brûlée @ $6.90
My appetite was instantly whetted at the moment I broke the top layer of hard caramel while scooping a teaspoonful of custard underneath.

If you're looking for a 'saveury' and relatively affordable French cuisine, please really do visit Saveur.

Try to be really early. We walked in 15 minutes after the restaurant was opened for dinner and half an hour later, the restaurant was almost full, and no reservation can be made, according to their website.

Bon appétit!

14 Scotts Road
Far East Plaza #01-07B
Singapore 228213


Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Oct 19, 2013

Cameron Badminton Tournament


One thing I like about Cameron is the weekly badminton games, held at the sports hall of Jurong West Sports and Recreation Centre, located just next to Pioneer MRT Station. So every Tuesday after work we take the one of the company buses which will drop us there and we play from 5pm to 7pm.

Firstly, I feel so fortunate seriously, without this I couldn't have been able to play badminton regularly, and badminton is the only sport which I'm relatively good at.
Secondly, those who play badminton know how costly it is to play badminton - the bloody shuttlecocks (approximately $30/tube). And having played under Cameron's recreation scheme, everything (booking fees, cost of shuttlecocks etc.) is beautifully covered by the company! Glory to God!


Bukit Gombak Sports Hall
This year Cameron held it's annual badminton tournament on 19 October 2013 (Sat) 12pm to 5pm at Bukit Gombak Sports Hall where all Cameron Singapore employees are welcomed to join. I signed up, and my partner was Terry Tan, another 1st year GRDP.

Every participant was given a bottle (1.5l) of isotonic drink, an apple and a towel. I love freebies!!

There were 4 groups (6 teams in each group) of men's double and 1 group of women's double. I was the coordinator for group B, coordinating 15 preliminary matches (intra group).

Question: Why are there 15 preliminary matches?
Answer
There are 6 teams in a group, and any 2 teams play against each other.
Number of possible combinations = C(n, r) = n!
r!(nr)!
where n is the total number of teams and r is the total number of teams combined
∴ C(6, 2) = 6! = 15 combinations (or press 6C2 on your scientific calculator)
2!(6 − 2)!



It's fair that every team gets to play at least 5 matches in the preliminary round, unlike some tournaments which disqualify you once you lose.


The top two seeds in each group will play against the top two seeds in the other. Top seeds are determined by the highest number of winning matches (and by the total scores if two or more teams have the same number of winning matches). That happened to my group, but Terry and I were the top seed in Group B as we had the highest number of winning matches and total scores, so we play against the 2nd top seed of Group A in the quarter final match.

It's close, but we lost in the quarter final match by a few points. However, we still have another round, called the 2nd tier final (sounds pretty nice though), where we played against the other loser of the other quarter final match, which we won pretty decently, fortunately. That won us a title - Champion (2nd Tier Men's Double).




Champion (2nd Tier Men's Double), prizes presented by our Director of Manufacturing Asia
The title sounds so prestigious for its achievability, but the ranking was actually men's double 3rd runner up.

There are four NTUC FairPrice $10 vouchers and five SPORTSLINK $10 vouchers in the envelope - abundant fruitfulness of spending time playing badminton. There were four GRDPs including me participating and each of us actually won something.

It's been a while for me experiencing the ache that drives me to a wonderful good night sleep. Healthy ache moreover.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Oct 5, 2013

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant @ Jalan Besar


Calvin was finally back ashore, after his offshore construction and commissioning which took the lunar phase to repeat exactly once, and you can assume that someone's having a king's ransom to give everyone a sumptuous treat. Muakaka…


Serangoon Road (taken from the sunroof)
Calvin picked us (Alison, Emilia and me) up from home and drove all the way to Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant 瑞春点心餐厅, located along Jalan Besar, via the lit up pre-festive (Deepavali) Serangoon Road.

Jalan Besar reminds me of the filming of the 1st scene in "Where the Queue Starts 4 Episode 1", where I was tasting the wanton noodles at Da Jie Chicken Feet Noodles Famous Wanton Noodles 大姐鳳爪麵 雲吞麵.

The very first thing I want to anally point out about this restaurant is the wrongly spelt ‘Tim Sum’, which should be ‘Dim Sum’, according to the Jyutping (Cantonese phonetic alphabet).

Second thing... actually there's no second thing, just get a menu and a queue number from the receptionist and get ready for delicious dim sum!


Chee Cheong Fun 豬腸粉 @ 1.80


Shanghai Xiao Long Bao 上海小籠包 (4) @ $4.00


Red Bean Paste Pancake 豆沙鍋餅 @ $4.80


Fried Dou Miao w/Garlic 蒜茸炒豆苗 @ $6.00
I like the saltiness of the pea shoots.


Char Siew Pau 叉燒包 (2) @ $1.80


Siew Mai 燒賣 (2) @ $1.80  Har Kow 蝦餃 (2) @ $2.40


Fried Prawn Dumping w/ Mayonnaise 明蝦角 (3) @ $4.20
Oops, I'd eaten one before taking the photo.


Steamed Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun 奶黃流沙包 (3) @ $3.60

The custard bun that I had before in Penang is yellow both on the outside and the inside, but this one here is white on the outside but yellow on the inside, just like the opposite of banana, resembling an angmoh who speaks Mandarin but doesn't speak English. Hahaha..... Ok, not funny.


Thanks Calvin! ^_^

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant
185/187/189/191 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208882


Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

Sep 22, 2013

Kiseki Japanese Buffet Restaurant @ Orchard Central


Having spent time with the ones whom you were acquainted with in high school sometimes triggers nostalgia. And it’s time for another moment of reminiscence with a buffet dinner at Kiseki Japanese Buffet Restaurant with my fellow high school mates, who came abroad to Singapore for tertiary education, like me. Just a couple of months ago, we graduated from our respective universities (NUS/NTU), and having moved into the status of working adults makes gathering an even more challenging mission.

Nevertheless, some of us made it, and by getting a $15 sponsorship each person from the Chung Ling High School Students’ Association, everyone had to pay only $26 for the buffet dinner (U.P. $41) – big savings, still, big expenditure. It was actually a farewell dinner for the recent university graduates who were from Chung Ling High School (Glen, Jackson, Jonathan, Kay Wei, Sheng Di, Yi Ren & me), and it was undoubtedly wonderful to know that everyone at the table has secured a job in Singapore.

I started off by eating their meat skewers. The warmth and juiciness reminded me of those that I've eaten in Osaka. I was hoping to grab the more deluxe sushi like unagi sushi, but I only saw the pretty basic ones (the best you can get there is probably salmon sushi), which was quite disappointing.

If you’re a sashimi lover, Kiseki is totally a paradise for you. I grabbed almost a dozen of thick salmon sashimi out of greed and I ate till I felt like puking. Oops, but I didn’t say that it’s bad, it’s quite good, but I haven’t eaten that huge amount of sashimi in one shot before.




Apparently I didn't take a lot of pictures, I totally had no mood to do so because there were probably food particles stuck in the esophagus or trachea, giving me the constant urge of vomiting, which I most of the time suppress because I hate puking. This syndrome of mine is often accompanied by flu, especially during buffet meals. I love how they place the utensils tray - it's right behind me, where I've taken countless pieces of serviettes from to save my runny nose.

It's just simply a pity that I instantly lost my appetite for feeling unwell, when I could've tucked into a greater Japanese meal in this buffet restaurant. Guess no one at the table noticed how sunken I was. However, I honestly think that if you have extra money to spend on satisfying your desire for Japanese food or you have extraordinarily high eating capacity, go ahead. Great food, which to me are not really affordable.


Orchard Central, #08-01/02/03
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896
Tel: (65) 6736 1216

Operating Hour:
11.30am to 3pm daily
(Last order at 2.30pm)
6pm to 10.30pm daily
(Last order at 9.30pm)



PS: The journey back home was a disastrous one - I was so close to puking in the bus 190 when it entered the expressway where I had no way to alight before the expressway exit. The impulse just came at the very wrong timing, and trust me you don't wanna experience the sorrow.

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist

第23回 星蘭祭


ペナンにいたから、第22回のを見失っても、今年(第23回)のへ帰ったぜー!

今回の参観は日本から帰ってきた後輩、忠祥さんと一緒だった。
彼は日本語が上手だし、日本へ交換留学が終わったばかりだ。

制服試着会

二年前の星蘭祭で制服の試着を見失って、ちょっと早く並んだらできたのに…けど、今回は最初の訪ねたスポットは「制服試着会」だったので、やっとすっかり日本高校生に変身したよ!


実は、制服の待つ時間は長すぎたから、試着会の後はすぐ食堂へ昼ごはんを食べに行った。$5の食券でこのきつねうどんをもらった。とても美味しかった!
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なんか、奈良で食べた巾着きつねうどんのような味がした、懐かしいなあ…

桃太郎のフェスタ

「桃太郎のフェスタ」でピンボールとか、ボウリングとか、ヨーヨー釣りとかした。

ヨーヨー釣りは本当に苦手だ。いくら頑張っても無理だったそうだ。

ゲームを上手にやれなかったもので、スコアが低くて菓子が二三個しかもらわなかった。

甘かったけど… ^^




御化け屋敷

僕はいつもこんな怖さに楽しみにしてる、やっと今日は経験できた。


グランド・ピアノさえ使って…

暗かったけど、怖いことはあまり怖くなかったと思う。でも、楽しかったよ。

アラジンと魔法ランプ Photo studio

おかしいテーマだったけど、あっちで簡単なマジックを一人の高校生に見せてもらった後でアラブの服を着てから写真が撮られたんだ。



忠祥さんの留学仲間と一緒に





早稲田渋谷シンガポール校の学生と先生たち、お疲れ様でした!
また今度ね!


Waseda Shibuya Senior High School
57 West Coast Road, Singapore 127366

Javin Tham, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSSBB Musician | Engineer | YouTube Coverist