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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Singapore Island Country Club

I know it's late for CNY postings, but what the heck I've got so many CNY celebrations I never got round to posting!

So let's get started with the first one... We had our first reunion dinner? at Singapore Island Country Club (Sicc). The food was pretty good and it was so much better than last year's CNY dinner, which was held at SRC. Quite a few people also said that the food was of higher quality as compared to other restaurants during CNY period.
I hate it when restaurants try and rush you into eating so they can have more customers. They did it to me when I was having my birthday celebration at Crystal Jade Tim Sum and it was really irritating. They would serve the food really quick... but anyway, I'll tell that story another day.

Anyway, this is just food pics cos I don't know the cost or the actual names. Lol.

You can read about the CNY traditions I wrote about in my earlier post here. And just in case you're too lazy to open the link, I'll re-post my earlier posts about the CNY custom.

To start off, we had the traditional CNY custom - Loh Hei. This dish is actually called Yu Sheng/Yee Sang, which literally means raw fish. It's raw fish (salmon/tuna/abalone) mixed with vegetables, sauces, 'golden nuggets' [fried crunchy crisps], among other ingredients. Yu sheng bascially means an increase in abundance, since fish sounds like abundance when pronounced. It also symbolises prosperity and longevity.

The Chinese believe that 'the higher you toss, the greater your luck!". When the waitresses/waiters add the ingredients to the Yee Sang, they normally say blessings/wishes which are usually in chinese - good health, good fortune, prosperity, happy CNY, live well, for their children to do well in their studies, etc. That's one of my favourite parts of CNY, especially when everyone uses their chopsticks and tosses & mixes the Yu Sheng.

Peanuts & green chilli

Raw fish - to be mixed with the yu sheng

The sauces to be mixed

The 'original' yu sheng

After adding the raw fish

After adding the golden nuggets

Now my favourite part... Mixing! And we say all the blessings... My blessings for 2009? Good health, safety & protection for family and everyone else we care about, love, peace & we thank God for his blessings.

Look at my ultra long chopsticks! They're so long cos you're supposed to mix the stuff with it... Not supposed to use those chopsticks to eat the food. Big toot and I were fooling around...

Normal chopsticks & the long chopsticks

After mixing - only managed a shot because everyone was about to eat!

Shark's Fin Soup

This was good, I think I had 2 bowls cos Big toot didn't want hers. My family stopped ordering Shark Fin's soup after we heard how they cruely chop off the sharks' fins and tail and toss them back into the ocean when they're still alive, letting them sink to the bottom of the ocean while they're unable to move at all. It's just so sad man... Can't believe people actually do that kind of stuff. I saw on a Steve Irwin show on Animal Planet how he was investigating the nets that fishermen threw into the ocean and how it traps dolphins and stuff... And while he was diving around, he saw a shark with no fins and no tail and the body was just lying in the nets...

Omg it was so sad. He picked the shark up, went up to surface and told the camera this was one of the worst kind of animal cruelty possible. He then kissed the shark and said "it's all right mate" or smth like that and released the shark. I was really sad after seeing that... Anyway we've stopped ordering but when other people order especially at dinners, we would eat because we still enjoy Shark's Fin and there's no point wasting the bowls of soup. It was good btw :)

This was some fried squid with vegetables and some other stuff... Good but too spicy for me.

Duck - it was quite good and the skins were crispy


I think this was beancurd, abalone (a seafood delicacy), tofu & sea cucumber with vege

Big toot picked this up with her chopsticks and asked me in this funny tone, "tooty, what does this look like to you?".

LOL. Trust her to think of smth like that during dinner -_- (dw if you can't get it...)

Fish - not bad

Glutinous rice

This is sticky rice mixed with chicken, peanuts and other stuff. This was quite nice, pretty much everyone at my table enjoyed it. It was really fragrant. My table couldn't finish all of it so we brought some home haha.

For dessert, we had this - I think it was fried pumpkin.. Can't really rmb but it was good! Ate 2 pieces or so.

Dunno why but we had 2 desserts haha. This is Or/Orh Nee (apprently). I actually don't know the proper spelling for this cos it sounds like 'orny' so I kept googling "orny" in google until I got so annoyed cos all sorts of idiotic stuff came out. In my family we usually joke "let's order horny!" cos orny sounds like horny... In a desperate attempt I tried googling "horny tew chew dessert" and the results were even worse. Ok forget it. It's a tew chew dessert btw.

I finally asked one of my good friends and (thankfully) she told me the correct spelling. Orh Nee is basically yam that's mashed up with gingko nuts and some other stuff. It's one of my favourite desserts (besides durian and mango pudding) and I really enjoyed this.

That's the end to our fab dinner! Most of us enjoyed the food and it was like heaven as compared to last year's CNY dinner. Plus it was really nice seeing everyone on the Q side of the family. I think there were 6 tables of us?? Can't really remember...

Ok anyway, some time ago I was blogging about my favourite CNY treat? This is it...


You know in Takashimaya how they have that huge place in the centre where all the stalls are for you to buy/test CNY goodies? Well last year I went there and I tried the best green pea so this year I went back in an attempt to find that stall... There were so many people selling the same thing! I went there like 5-6 times going round and round... Usually the people accompying me get really full cos we go round eating lots of stuff.. :P

Anyway I think I tried almost every single place selling the green pea thing and so far I like this one the best. It's from Lavender and the reason I like it so much is because of the aftertaste it leaves in your mouth. It's not as chunky as some of the ones I've tasted so the green pea doesn't clog up your whole mouth. Btw I don't actually like green peas in real life, I just like this particular CNY green pea thing. It's quite sweet and it doesn't taste like how real green peas taste in real life! I bought 3 boxes of this and finished 2 on my own.. Muhaha.

I actually didn't get to finish the whole thing by the time I was leaving Singapore so I brought the remaining green peas with me up the plane (No one could bare to eat my precious green peas!). Ate them on the plane before I arrived in NZ cos customs is so strict... And I finished another packet of Sg chips on the plane too. I know, how greedy (Food King actually asked if I wanted to bring a packet of chicken rice on board -_-).

Oh, and I stuffed myself with durians before going on the plane at Changi Airport and everyone was like "Omg, are you really going up like that?"... And they were all cracking jokes about how I would burp/fart on the plane and it would be really stinky...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Welcome to the PUMProom!

Dear readers,

this is Food King and today's topic will be on The Pump Room. We went to the outlet at Great World City and they have another outlet at Clark Quay.

They opened in early Dec 2006 and they have a live band and a bar too, which was pretty cool. The interior of the restaurant looked unique with coloured glass bottles kept behind glass frames acting as a decor.

We went with 6 of our eating kakis, including my older brother who is friends with the manager there so he was the one who ordered the appetizers while the rest of us just ordered our main courses.

Our appetizers came together and it was really appealing. I believe that some of the appetizers here are not shown in the menu because we couldn't find them there. I guess my brother's friend was giving us something different to try. Wow...

This is called Cheesy Garlic Bread and it's just garlic bread with cheese on top of it. Although it's simple, but the extra layer of melted cheese gave the garlic bread more taste. It was deliciously cheesy and my tastebuds were dancing for joy with each cheesy bite. However I am glad that they did not cover all the bread with cheese because if that was the case, the cheese would probably be too overwhelming and the garlic bread flavour would be lost. Price: $8

This dish is not found in the menu and it's similar to tempura and we dipped it in the sauce that tasted like thousand island. It tasted a little like soft shell crab and fish as it was crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside. A rather sinful dish because it's deep fried but it was yummy!

This soup is called Spiced Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Soup with Freshly Baked
Bush Damper. Price: $8

I think this is the longest name I have ever seen for a bowl a soup. Although it sounds unique, the soup wasn't actually nice and it had a weird flavour. It's a good thing we only ordered 1 bowl because the 6 of us didn't even finish it. Food Queen and myself has tried different types of good pumpkin soup however this soup was not up to our expectations, and I guess to my fellow eating kakis because none of us actually liked it. The nuts gave off a weird flavour that didn't complement the soup and we couldn't actually taste the pumpkin. Disappointment.

This is the second dish that we couldn't find on the menu.

I guess it is some special order that my brother requested from his friend although when I later asked him, he said everyone was on the menu... but he's quite forgetful so let's leave it at that =P This was chicken drumlets covered in BBQ sauce which was quite tasty. The meat wasn't too hard and it tasted just nice. The drumlets disappeared at a very fast rate, haha. I guess because all of us were hungry and the drumlets tasted wonderful.

The pumpkin soup was an example to show that even if we are hungry and the food tasted bad, nobody will eat it. =P

Fisherman's Basket: Battered Prawns, Scallops and Crabcake with Chips @ $26.

One of our kakis had the fisherman's basket and she wasn't really happy eating this. She started out enjoying the food but it wasn't long before she lost her appetite. She said that the food was too oily and everything was fried, so it was rather boring. Eating too much fried food can be too heaty and it makes you thirsty. Plus you get full pretty fast because of the oil... Not really a good choice. Moreover for the price of $26, it really wasn't worth the money. The actual serving is just like what was shown in the picture and there were lots of fries at the bottom. I don't think you want to pay $26 for a basket of fries because you might as well go to the nearest fast food restaurant.

Grilled Cod on Garlic Mash, Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Baby Spinach and Olive Tapenade Sauce @ $29

Another kaki and I ordered this Grilled Cod and it was satisfying. I liked the type of fish they used and the fish meat was soft and there wasn't too much seasoning so the dish was relatively simple but it brought out the full flavour of the fish. The sauce was a little bland but it went well with the fish. I guess this is one of the healthier dishes as most of them are grilled. The sad part about the grilled cod was the serving because it was a little too small for me and I wasn't full after eating it. $29? Would probably think twice next time.

Spaghetti with Lobster, Fresh Tomatoes, Chilli, Garlic, Basil and White Wine @ $28

This was Food Queen's main dish and she wasn't happy with this dish at all. White wine? Couldn't taste any. The pasta sauce was extremely bland and there was practially no ingredients apart from the pathetic portion of lobster which by the way, didn't even look like lobster (It looked more like crayfish, and they should probably call it baby lobster). This definitely wasn't worth $28. Although you might argue that lobster is expensive, the portion was honestly pathetic and the pasta wasn't even done el dente style; it was rather soft and limp.

Personally I find that the name of the dish is so funny. Fresh tomatoes... Hmm... Am I right to say that if they don't put the word fresh, we would be served with tomatos that aren't as fresh?

Choice of Prime Grain-Fed Steaks:
Sirloin @$30
Ribeye @$32
Tenderloin @$36

served with your choice of:
Tasmanian Bush Pepper Sauce or Sauce Diane
Fresh Vegetables or Crisp Salad
Thick-Cut Fries or Sautéed Potatoes

This picture doesn't do this dish any justice at all. Perhaps we were too hungry and didn't take a good picture. This is the Ribeye steak. He had it medium well done because he doesn't like his meat bloody. The meat was cooked to perfection and the thick sauce went well with the steak. The potatoes were not bad.

Hickory-Smoked BBQ Baby Backed Ribs in Special Beer Marinade @ $28

I didn't try this dish but Food Queen thought it was so-so. She prefers the ribs at Bobby's or Stuart Anderson. To be honest, it wasn't really fantastic so she can't even remember how it tasted, haha.

After we finished with our main courses, it was time for dessert! The 6 of us ordered quite a bit, actually...

2 of us including Food Queen ordered this:

Stickydate Pudding with Butterscotch and Vanilla Ice Cream @ $10

Personally I thought this dessert was just average and nothing fanastic but I absoutely love the presentation. My perception of pudding wasn't like this because I was expecting a soft jelly pudding but it seemed more like a fruit cake to me. Most of us thought this was just an average dessert... I guess the taste didn't suit our taste buds. Food Queen thought it was not bad, she thought the butterscotch and vanilla ice cream complemened the stickydate pudding and she enjoyed it. The warm pudding and the cold ice cream was a rather good combination.

Soft Centred Pavlova with Summer Berry and Passionfruit Curd @ $10

This dessert looks really cute and colourful with it's presentation. Initially the taste was not bad but over time, the sourish taste was too much to handle and all of us had difficulty eating this so we didn't finish it. Food Queen refused to touch anything else except the berries later on, haha. Perhaps they could think about making it less sour.

Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding with Bailey’s Ice Cream @$10

Finally... the best dessert in the house! Chocolate pudding with Bailey's ice cream... Mmm... Even the name sends shivers down my spine. I loved this and I would definitely patronize The Pump Room again, just for this dish. The warm chocolate pudding was just delicious, the chocolate pudding was extremly chocolately and warm... You have to eat it with the bailey's ice cream to taste the full flavour that comes out. Everyone loved this dish and Food Queen said that her tastebuds were in ecstasy and she wished she had ordered this instead of the stickydate pudding. It's something worth craving for and it was so good that we ordered 3!

The only flaw was that the last chocolate pudding was served with vanilla's ice cream, not bailey's... The staff made a mistake.

The live band only came on about 9.30pm but the songs were quite good and it was nice chatting and listening to the music. Ambience wise, a little dim but a good place to relax and chill with a couple of drinks. I probably wouldn't come back to eat the main courses but perhaps just the appetizers and most definitely, the desserts.

Operating hours @ Clarke Quay
12 Noon to 3am - Monday to Thursday.
12 Noon to 5am Fridays and Saturdays
11.30am to 3am - Sundays.

Meal hours - 12 Noon to 10pm.
Brunch - 11.30am to 2.30pm (Sundays).
Light Bites 12 Noon until 2am.

The Pump Room @ Clarke Quay
3B River Valley Road,
The Foundry, Clarke Quay
#01-09/10, Singapore 179021
Tel (65) 6334 2628
Fax (65) 6338 9145 (Restaurant)
Fax (65) 6338 1532 (Office)

Operating hours @ Great World
10am to 1am- Monday to Sunday.
10am to 2am Fridays and Saturdays
and eve of PH

The Pump Room @ Great World
1 Kim Seng Promenade,
#01-66/67 Great World City
Singapore 237994
Tel (65) 6887 3229
Fax (65) 6887 5778 (Restaurant)
Fax (65) 6338 1532 (Office)