Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fragrant Nasi Uduk (兰花饭) with Ayam Rendang at Red House (红屋茶餐室)

Red House - with over 100 years of history, is a prominent and iconic landmark situated along Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street. Recently, a coffeeshop is opened within the red and white mansion, serving traditional breakfast and offering a variety of items on their lunch menu.

Since it was early in the morning, we decided to go for a cup of hot white coffee. Though I am not a coffee lover, I enjoyed it's fragrance without the bitterness and yet not too sweet to taste. 

If you are at Red House, do not miss their signature Nasi Uduk with Ayam Rendang. Nasi Uduk is an Indonesian style steamed rice. Unlike the conventional steamed rice with coconut and pandang flavour, Red House serves their Nasi Uduk (兰花饭) where there is an added fragrance of flower in the taste which enhances the flavour of the rice.

Nasi Uduk with Ayam Rendang (rm 7.50)

This simple plate of Nasi Uduk in nyonya style deserves a lot of credit as every single ingredient on it is homemade. The chicken in Ayam Rendang is spicy and tender which goes nicely with the steamed rice.

I was truly intrigued by its unique flavour and went forward to the table to see how it was put together.

 The pot of fragrant steamed rice all ready to be served.

I was expecting the achar to be a mixture of vegetables like carrots, cucumber, pineapple and chilli, but Red House confidently used only carrots and chilli to bring out a refreshing taste in its own style that I have not experienced before. Even the ikan bilis (anchovies) is nicely fried which is crunchy and not too salty.

If you are touring around Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street and looking out to taste something different, you may wish to give Red House Nasi Uduk a try. We will definitely be back again to try their signature Bottle White Coffee with Ice on our next visit. :)

Red House 红屋茶餐室
Address: 56, Jln Tan Hiok Nee, 80000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.455955, 103.763229

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Yuletide within the beauty of Flower Dome - Gardens By the Bay

We love to immerse ourselves within Gardens by the Bay because it is a gateway to nature away from the buzzing city landscape. During the Christmas weekend, we visited the Flower Dome and were welcomed by snowy snowman and glittering Christmas trees.

Our boy wasn't in his tip top condition but we hope the little walk within the "winterland" will make him feel better. 

The charming little houses are one of the central attraction and Gladys love the fake snow so much that we wished upon a day where our family can travel to a snowy land to experience the real winter season.

As you walk along the trail, do take note of the little boards and learn what Christmas means in other countries.

"The celebration of St. Lucia Day on December 13 is common in Sweden, Denmark and Finland. On this day, the eldest daughter in each family rises early and dressed in a white gown and wearing a crown made of twigs, wakes each of her family members for breakfast."

"In the old days, people believed witches came out on Christmas Eve to look for brooms to ride on, so they hid them all ways possible. Today Norwegian women still hide all brooms in their house before going to bed on Christmas Eve."

Snowmen in their top hats are Gladys' favourite. She finds their rounded bodies and smiley faces are so lovable and cute. ^-^

Many photo opportunities with the reindeer, teddy bears, snowmen, presents and Christmas trees.  

Look! Who has a longer nose? :D I still find my girl prettier.

We can't leave the winterland without a family shot. 

Although Christmas is over, you can still enjoy the Christmas display in the Flower Dome from now till 6 Jan 2015 (9am - 10pm).

As we are into the final week of 2014, BPDGTravels wishes everyone
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Triple K Cafe & Pastries @ Tan Hiok Nee Cultural Street

There are a lot of eateries along Tan Hiok Nee cultural street. We stopped by Triple K Cafe (near Hiap Joo Bakery) and sat down for a bowl of Beef Kway Teow Noodle. 

Although the soup is a little salty and bland in flavour, there's lots of meatball and meat in the bowl selling at rm8 that will fill your tummy. 

Next to Triple K Cafe is another stall selling pastries.

We bought some Portuguese egg tarts (rm2 each) which is very milky and sweet. The kids love it and it is one of our favourite.

Another must try is the BBQ Cha Siew Bao (rm1.80 each). It has a crispy crust, sweet fillings and a fragrant taste that we can't help giving it a thumbs up. 

There are a range of pastry varieties you can select within the display counter. Pandan Lotus pastry, Pineapple pastry, Tambun pastry, Chicken Mushroom bao, Durian tart and more. 

A nice place to stay around especially in the evening when the weather is not too hot. We will be back to try the other flavours on our next visit.

Name: Triple K (牛肉面家)
Address: 64 Jln Tan Hiok Nee 8000, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
GPS: 1.456433, 103.763890

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chuggington Winter Snow Party at City Square Mall

Choo Choo! Wilson, Brewster and Koko are back at City Square Mall to bring some Christmas cheer this season! 

This time, the trainees geared up for a party! From the start of the show till the end, it is filled with songs, dance and non-stop action! Children get ready to sit back and be entertained for the next half hour!

The chuggers and trainees also shared some eco-friendly tips to make sure the right materials are placed in the right recycling bin.

The party is not complete with a grand finale! Snow within the Eco-Mall! 

If you like to meet & greet the chuggers this Christmas and have a feel of the snow, do not miss the last chance to catch them live on stage this weekend!

The Chuggington Winter Snow Party 'Live' On Stage
Date: 6 - 21 Dec 2014 (daily except Monday), 
Tuesday - Friday (2pm & 7pm), Saturday & Sunday (1pm, 4pm & 7pm)
Location: L1 Atrium
*Redeem a Meet & Greet pass 1 hour prior to each show with $50 spent. 50 passes per show, while stocks last.

If you missed the show indoor, check out loads of Chugg-ful fun at City Green Park. (12pm - 10pm daily)

Kiddy Carnival Rides, Nightly Trainee WIlson Light Show & Snow Playtime and Ride the Choo-Choo City Express. Gladys hopped on to the mini train for a ride around the park.

For more details, check out City Square Mall website.

Disclosure: Media Invite - All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Thank you City Square Mall for the invitation to experience the Chuggington Winter Snow Party.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

~ Get-together at Eighteen Chefs @ The Cathay ~

Eighteen Chefs has built and earned a reputation of "Good People Great Food" through the years. I have long heard about how Chef Benny Se Teo recovered from his drug addiction and started the casual Western restaurant in 2007.

Being the first Singaporean to work at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant in London, he returns, started up the business and employs ex-convicts, providing them opportunity and a non-judgmental environment.

It has been years since my last meet-up with my ex-colleagues and I am thrilled to be dining at Eighteen Chefs for the first time!

Browsing through the menu, I already made up my mind on my pick - Heart Attack Fried Rice with 200 grams of New York Strips :) 

If you like to complete your meal, you can pick your preferred combo.

Combo A - Drinks + Ice-cream ($3.30)
Combo B - Drinks + Soup of the Day ($3.80)
Combo C - Drinks + Soup of the Day + Garlic Bread ($4.80)

I decided to go for Combo B and ordered their home-made ice lemon tea. It was a refreshing drink which is neither too sweet or sour to taste.

Soup of the day - chicken soup. I applaud for the generous slices of chicken meat within and it is pretty palatable.

Heart Attack Fried Rice with New York Strips is one of the recommended dish in the restaurant and I'll recommend it to my friends too as it is really tasty!

Unlike the conventional fried rice, it is darker in colour. I started to ponder and thought it looked like glutinous rice instead. After tasting it, I figured it was probably fried with dark soya sauce. This was how I used to cook my fried rice and I adore the tinge of saltiness. While the looks may not be appealing, do not judge the rice by its cover.

The beef strips stole the limelight of this dish. It was medium rare, nicely cooked and the meat was sweet, juicy and tender! Not forgetting the sauce dip which was absolutely fabulous and appetizing - I'm a garlic lover and the combination of chili, ketchup and chopped garlic suits my taste-buds so well.

My ex-colleague had Aglio Olio with Mushroom Chicken. Based on their feedback, the grilled chicken meat was tender and yummlicious. Aglio Olio was a little oily but the overall taste is delicious.

There are more variety on the menu ranging from noodles to rice items. On the whole, it has been a peaceful and pleasant get-together. I would love to be back again to try out the other signature dishes from Eighteen Chefs in the near future!

Eighteen Chefs
Address: No. 2 Handy Road, #B1-19/20

Friday, December 12, 2014

~ Media Invite - Parent Child Cooking Workshop @ Food Playground ~

It was our first time participating in a Parent Child Cooking Workshop. Stepping into the Food Playground has been filled with anticipation. Founded in 2012, it is not your conventional culinary school. The team is made up of stay-at-home mums and active seniors who enjoy cooking and love to share their passion with others. What's interesting is they host culture cooking classes for tourists, which are 100% hands-on with easy to follow steps to enable them to cook up and understand Singapore's local food heritage and culture.

The kids wrote their name on their chef hat before we get into action. 

Can you guess what we will be cooking today just by looking at the ingredients?
(Chicken, dried scallops, dried octopus, lotus root, peanut, red dates, wolfberry, potato and onion)

Lena, our culinary instructor, has many years of cooking experience and is a stay-at-home mum herself! Her passion and vast knowledge makes the entire session inspiring and fun for everyone.

Before we reveal what the children are cooking, let's take a look at their progress. Denver & Gladys took turns to peel and slice the lotus root before putting the other ingredients into the pot.

If you have guess it correctly, we were cooking soup! The steps are easy and it was a great opportunity for the children to have hands-on practice and learn how to handle the blades. Everyone is busy cooking under the guidance of our friendly and experience culinary instructors from Food Playground.

Me with my little chefs.

While waiting for the soup to be ready, the children moved on to the next station. It was another interesting and interactive session where their knowledge were put to a test by attempting to name the ingredients that were displayed on the table.

What do you think are the kids are frying? 

They were frying the fillings for their Fried Popiah! 

It's wrapping time! The children did a lovely job wrapping their popiah up nicely!

Gladys looked like a potential chef herself with the pretty apron on.

While the children were busy cooking, let's take some time to learn more about traditional soup. Soup used to be a common dish on the dining table during my childhood days. Not only is it appetizing and nourishing, it is a comfort food for me whenever I do not feel well. However, as we become working adults and spending a lot of time working in the day, cooking at home seems challenging.

To enable more families to enjoy a taste of traditional soup, which usually takes hours to boil, Freshen Food Home-Style Soups debuted two traditional household favourite flavours where a bowl of soup will be ready in minutes.

~ Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup (with Red Date & Wolfberry) - 165 calories per packet
~ Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup (With Onion) -  90 calories per packet

Ms Pamela Phua, founder of Freshen Group, grew a love for soups in her childhood under her maternal grandmother's influence. Her grandmother would bottle Cantonese soups and bring it over to Ms Phua's office when she is working late. This sparked the idea of developing traditional soups that are easy to prepare, yet authentic in taste and quality, just like they have been brewed for hours at home.

"These are traditional soups that fit into our modern lifestyles, so anytime you long for a bowl of home-brewed soup - whether at home or in the office, just open a pack and heat it up to enjoy its heartwarming comfort in minutes." - Ms Pamela Phua

Initially, I was a little skeptical about how this little packet can taste just like the ones as if it was brewed for hours. When the secret within was revealed, my immediate reaction was WOW! I wasn't expecting a piece of chicken drumlet to be within the packaging!

Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup

Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup

This is made possible with retort food processing technology that uses pressurised steam for heat sterilisation. Freshen Food Home-Style Soups are cooked with fresh, all-natural ingredients, yet remain shelf-stable for over a year without any preservatives. The single-serve packaged soups are ready to heat-and-eat. Simply tear open a pack, pour its contents out to heat in a microwave oven or on a stove and it is ready to eat!

Heating guidelines
- Stovetop : Pour soup into a saucepan or pot, cover the lid and heat gently until hot.
- Microwave : Pour soup into a microwave-safe bowl and cover, heat on medium for 2.5 to 3 minutes.
- Hot water : Immerse soup pouch in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, open pack and pour soup into bowl.

Now, let's go back to check how are the children's soup coming along. Strong flavour of Chicken soup ooze out the moment we open the saucepan lid.

Let's put the Freshen Food Home-Style Soup and what our 'home-cooked' soup together. Can you tell which one is from the packaging?

(Freshen Food Home-Style Soup - Left bowl)

Compared to the one that was prepared by Denver & Gladys, the soup from Freshen Food package has a darker colour. In terms of flavour, Fresh Food soup is not as sweet as it does not contain any monosodium glutamate (MSG), additives or food enhancer. The chicken meat is tender and tasty while the lotus root is firm.

Denver & Gladys enjoyed the meal that they cooked up for the day! Lotus Root Chicken Soup with brown rice and fried popiah. 

This definitely helped to save a lot of time and effort and we can still enjoy a bowl of soup at our convenience.

Freshen Food Home-Style Soups have received the Health Promotion Board's (HPB) Healthier Choice Symbol for being over 25% lower in sodium and saturated fat, compared to conventional soups and broths. Staying true to the principles of nourishment in Chinese soup-drinking culture, the soups are seasoned only with salt, in order to maintain the natural flavour profile of each soup's ingredients.

Love to have a packet and try? 

Freshen Food Home-Style Soups are now available at the following retailers:
~ Kee Song Online (
~ NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra (Major outlets)

Available soon
~ The Butcher's Dog (Great World City #B2-11)
~ Four Seasons Gourmet Market (Marina Bay Link Mall #B2-49)
~ Redmart (

Lotus Root & Peanut Chicken Soup - SGD$6.95
Carrot & Potato Chicken Soup - SGD$5.95